Home | Profile - Edit | Your Page | Your Inbox Browse | Search Games   |   Log In

Zork I

by Marc Blank and Dave Lebling

Episode 1 of Zork
Zorkian/Cave crawl
1980

Return to the game's main page

Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
(43)
4 star:
(76)
3 star:
(38)
2 star:
(12)
1 star:
(4)
Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 173
Write a review


Previous | << 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >> | Next | Show All


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Look. I have yet to find a game as satisfying as 'Zork 1.', May 5, 2019
If you've never played 'Zork 1' before, give it a spin. As for myself, 'Zork 1' is the first interactive fiction game I've ever played. Maybe it isn't the friendliest game for beginners of IF, but I'm personally glad that I began with this clasic masterpiece.

What 'Zork 1' did well, in my opinion, is that it hooked me right away. The opening scene - and this is not a spoiler, it's the start of the game - where the player is placed in front of a mysterious white house is purely brilliant. My brother and I, who I first played this with, would brag to each other via text who made it furthest into the game. It was thrilling to text to him that 'Hey! I made it past the house!' or 'I did it - I killed (Spoiler - click to show)that horrible thief!'

So maybe it was the rivalry I had ongoing with my brother in playing this game that made it so exciting and gratifying to me on my first play, but 'Zork 1' really is clever when it comes to its presentation of exploration and surprise.

Don't miss this one.

I'm grateful for Zork and never want to play it again, May 2, 2019
by deathbytroggles (Minneapolis, MN)
Yes, Zork was the most important computer game of the early 1980’s. Perhaps even more important than King’s Quest. "You are standing in an open field, west of a white house," is quite possibly the most well-known line in adventure game history. It laid the foundation for many wonderful things to come. And it was an incredibly impressive, engaging adventure when it was released. But other than nostalgia, it has little going for it after all these years.

A simple treasure hunting expedition can actually be a welcome relief from more story-based games, but Zork breaks so many conventional rules of modern game play that most fans of current interactive fiction would rip it to shreds were it released today. First, there’s the pointless maze (of twisty little passages, all alike). Then there’s the random enemy encounters and random battle elements. There are several ways to lock one’s self from victory without even realizing it, and a few puzzles are so poorly clued (or not clued at all) that it doesn’t matter anyway. And all that onto a time limit (due to a finite light source, at least early on), and you have one maddening game.

To be fair, the atmosphere still holds up well after all these years. The parser is impressively strong. And a few of the puzzles are rather ingenious. But I don’t have patience any longer for the aforementioned annoyances. Zork used to be a giant, but so many others have piled on top of its shoulders that it has weakened considerably. Still, I would recommend this to those who do have an interest in seeing how computer gaming first exploded in the market.

- e.peach, March 16, 2019

- lcs70, February 19, 2019

- Zach Shifflett (VA, United States), December 11, 2018

- oscar-78, December 6, 2018

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A classic!, October 19, 2018
I really enjoyed playing through this game again this year (after having played, but not beaten it back in the 1980s). Yes, I understand how the phrase "Zork hates its player" came about, but at least because the tasks are compartmentalized and getting back to where you last were doesn't take more than a few minutes that it doesn't feel like a major setback to blow yourself up when you weren't expecting it. I had fun puzzling through everything (or at least most things, I had to cheat to figure out (Spoiler - click to show)the secrets of the egg) and even making the maps on my own, though I can see how those can become tedious as well.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed myself and look forward to picking up Zork 2 and 3 for the first time ever, soon.

- Arrowhead (Edmonton, Alberta), September 8, 2018

- ishashobar, September 3, 2018

- Stas, April 14, 2018

- Guenni (At home), February 4, 2018

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Play it, but don't play it first., December 31, 2017
by lastplaneout (Boone, NC)
It almost goes without saying that the original Zork trilogy is a must-play for most interactive fictions enthusiasts. As someone who is relatively new to the medium/genre, it was gratifying to play through the first part of the trilogy (and then the sequels) after I had experienced some more recent works first. This set me up to have a whole bunch of "Oh, this is where that came from" moments as I played through Zork's underground that would have been lost on me otherwise. The narrative style of the game works really well for me when paired with a sense of vague familiarity.

The modular structure and dubious geometry of the underground may not earn the game points for realism, but I enjoyed mapping the maze-y areas with Trizbort while playing. There was also never a sense of "What do I do next?" at any point, I think due to the clear association of specific rooms with specific puzzles and functions. The puzzles themselves were hard as hell, but gratifying to complete.

While the game is obviously littered with ideas that become genre tropes and conventions later on, there are also some things that I am glad didn't stick. For instance, I never would have completed the meta-parser puzzles (e.g. (Spoiler - click to show)the cyclops and echo puzzles) without using a walkthrough. The (Spoiler - click to show)sceptre puzzle was also maddening, seemingly requiring knowledge of previous games and/or a willingness to brute-force every possible command into the parser.

- Naeemah, December 23, 2017

- stet, November 21, 2017

- beriaearwen, October 10, 2017

- jamesb (Lexington, Kentucky), July 12, 2017

- Arkaedi, July 7, 2017

- nosferatu, June 28, 2017

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Heaven in text form, April 24, 2017
by H. W. Wiliams (Sweden)
One of the finest IF games I've ever played. I remember sitting at my old computer for hours just mapping out this game. If you like massive adventures, then this one's for you.

- ifMUD_Olly (Montana, USA), April 21, 2017

Adventure Classic Gaming

I have replayed this game several times over in order to write this article, and I have found the gameplay to be as absorbing as it is the first time I have played many years ago. While on the whole it is very much a game of "find object and use object in the right place", it does not necessarily mean that it is a doodle. It is not at all! There are some quite tricky puzzles to be solved, and I have been stuck a few times even though that I am playing the game the second time around. Although the treasures in the game are easy to find, getting them back safely to the trophy case can be an entirely different matter. Certain puzzles must be be solved in order, but there is no clue as to what that order is�it is up to you to work it out. In some cases, timing is also important. The text descriptions can either be in "verbose" or "brief" mode. Even in the brief mode, there is still enough to keep pulling you further into the game. For me, the game defines the whole addictive syndrome of "must solve just one more piece of the puzzle" which other imitators never manage to capture.
-- Karen Tyers

You wrote this review - Revise it | Add a comment

- TheAncientOne, March 25, 2017

- Spike, February 26, 2017

- Greg Frost (Seattle, Washington), February 11, 2017

- Christopher Hall (London, Great Britain), January 27, 2017


Previous | << 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >> | Next | Show All | Return to game's main page