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Zork Zero

by Steve Meretzky

Episode 5 of Zork
Fantasy/Zorkian
1988

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Number of Reviews: 1
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Enough is Enough!, March 30, 2010
by tggdan3 (Michigan)
I love the Zork games. I really do. And this game had some delightful parts, but enough is enough.

For one, the world is HUGE! Epically huge. There are hundreds of useless items, and a tower with 400 floors. Getting to floor 400 berates you for wasting your time (and it is a waste of time considering you might be randomly teleported to the bottom). You need the feelies to even understand what you're supposed to be doing, much less solve the puzzles, as the feelies include maps of areas you can't see in-game (such as a chessboard puzzle where you need to insert passages in the walls- and need a feelie map to see where).

Some of the puzzles are rehashes of old games, like the tower of Hanai, the fox, chicken, grain, tricking someone with a mental paradox, or a card game with no real point except to perform a special series of moves described in (here it comes) the feelies.

The game did have some nice touches. There are plenty of AMUSING things to do, such as manipulating a stone pigeon that teleports you to the location of it's perch, leaving you to throw that perch EVERYWHERE, such as off the bottom of the world, into the sea, etc, so you can teleport to it. (A similar mechanism existed in Spellbreaker, though they didn't implement much experimentation with it.)

The game also explains where Grues come from and the origin of the White House from Zork I, and such, but the ending leaves you wondering "What the Hell?", especially after such a LONG game. That and a random Jester who shows up and messes with you (Much like the annoying wizard from Zork II), it just leaves me saying enough is enough.

If the game were more clever, with better thought out puzzles, it might be different, but after 3 Zork games, we're still left with a varaint of "Go collect all the treasures and put them in the trophy case" that we were using decades ago. For die-hard zorkers (like me), you'll play to the end, but I promise you, you'll use plenty of hints, since many puzzles have nonsensical solutions. If you're into that, have fun, but I found the game fairly aggrivating, and not in that really good way.

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David Welbourn, March 19, 2010 - Reply
Minor nit-pick: the very tall building is 400 stories tall, not 100. (If I didn't mention it, someone else would.)
tggdan3, March 30, 2010 - Reply
Thanks- fixed it.
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