Saturday, May 10, 2014

ZORK I:The Grandfather of Video Games

A piece of gaming history.
When I was deciding how I would go about writing this review, I thought I should set down and play one of the very first video games ever.  Zork was released in 1977 and is a text adventure.  Meaning there was no graphics or music, just words on the screen.  It reminded me a lot of the old choose your own adventure books I read in school. 
Basic setup is your an adventurer searching a great underground labyrinth looking for treasure.   The room or area that your standing in is described in text on the screen like your reading a book.  The game is controlled by typing in commands, like for example, "go west".  You can even interact with the area, "move leaves around".  You even come across monsters you have to fight, although it only entails saying "attack monster with sword", but damage seems random.  You can only take 2 or 3 hits before you die.  But you only have to fight a couple of times in the game.  I was frustrated how easy it was to get confused and lost in this game.  You almost have to draw a map or have a map handy to find your way around.  I think I have been totally spoiled by automaps.  The writing seemed a little bland to me but that might be a little unfair considering its age. 
I never did finish the game as I sort of just lost interest  in it.  But still this was an amazing piece of work for the time.  Without it we wouldn't have the modern adventure or rpg games we have today.  I believe it was necessary to play this to really appreciate what came after it.
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