[Gaming Decades] Zork: The Text-based Adventure of the 70's

in archdruid-contest •  last month 

This an entry to #archdruid-contest the first round of "Gaming Decades: The 70's" My entry is about the game Zork!

I was born in 1992 and my first actual gaming console was the Playstation 1 (though I played games before that.) I wrote posts about that. I didn't see the age of first generation of video gaming, but there are games from as early as 1970s that caught my attention. Like Pong & Zork!


Zork is an interactive text-based adventure game. The player character is controlled by typing commands. Its text parser could understand "verb noun" commands as well as more complicated sentences like "hit troll with Elvish sword."

While the main game Zork was published in 1980, there were already versions of it by 1977. It's not the first text adventure but it's one of the most iconic of its time. Zork is divided into three seperate games. Zork 2 assumes that the events of Zork 1 already happened to the character.

You can read more about the game's
history in wikipedia here. It's a good read!

Zork put you in the shoes of an adventurer "who is venturing into this dangerous land in search of wealth and adventure". As he explores the ruins of an ancient empire underground. The first starts in front of a white house with little info about what to do from there, giving it adventures feel from the start.

With its lack of visuals and limited exposition, it simulates imagination.


Download Zork from its main website here.

I tested the game (using the emulator DosBox since it won't run on 64bit computers.) I found myself lost in the forest at first. Until I looked up how to get into the house (it was quite easy though.)

Zork has interesting sense of humor. Like one scene where you could count 69,105 leaves scattered on the ground. How many hours did the player spent counting them?

Now that I have the game I put it in my long backlog,
hoping I get to finish it one day.

This game might be released more than 40 years ago, it's still interesting today. The 70s having games like this one proves that there are people who can create amazing things despite the limitations imposed on them!

What are your thoughts?

First image is made using the game's cover. Other images are screenshots of the game made by me.
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Text-based games never get old, I think the fact that is text-based helps a lot to that, you don't need to revamp the graphics or the gameplay because everything is already there! Now that you provided a link I may unleash some of the nostalgia with this one.


Totally agree!

Hope you enjoy the game.