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Zork: The Great Underground Empire (DOS)

100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
5 point score based on user ratings.

User Reviews

Zork?!? Zork What? Zork you too, pal. rs2000 (15) 4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars
You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door. There is a great game here. Steelysama (106) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue. vedder (20266) 3.33 Stars3.33 Stars3.33 Stars3.33 Stars3.33 Stars
The most eclectic and interesting of the series Colin Rowsell (45) 4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars
A great introduction to interactive fiction. Mirrorshades2k (273) unrated
The one that stated it all for Infocom Tony Van (2687) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

Our Users Say

Category Description MobyScore
Personal Slant How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes 3.8
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they're executed 3.8
Text Parser How sophisticated the text parser is, how appropriate its responses are, etc. 3.8
Overall MobyScore (63 votes) 3.8

The Press Says

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
The last (alphabetical) member of Techtite's List of Top 50 Multimedia Classics, is also the best. This was the game to put adventure gaming on the map. While some of the puzzle strength was in finding out what --if anything-- the text parser would allow you to type in as a command, the story was inspired and thought-provoking.
Adventure Classic Gaming
Zork I: The Great Underground Empire (or Zork: The Great Underground Empire) is the original Zork game that starts it all. Back in the era of interactive fiction, everybody is writing games that try to compare to it but most fail miserably. Since then, this game has risen to become the poster child of text adventure.
Strictly speaking, Zork I wasn't the very first adventure game, I think Colossal Cave preceded it and maybe a couple of others did too, but, to the best of my knowledge, it was the first commercial success. It certainly played a huge role in spawning all the games we enjoy today and, even after 10 years or more, it is still a very good game and will guarantee you hours and hours of fun and frustration.
PC Player (Germany)
Der Feinschliff zwischen Puzzle-Frust und Adventure-Lust war derart ausgetüftelt, daß Infocom auf eine treue Fangemeinde zählen konnte. Der Parser, sonst ein nörgeliges Zwei-Wort-System, ließ selbst komplexe Eingaben ohne große Murren zu - das und ein Wortschatz von bis zu 300 Begriffen galt damals als kleine Sensation.
Playing Zork I now is indeed worthwhile, both to see how far IF has come and to appreciate its origins, despite the annoyances. It is a credit to its design that it remains an enjoyable game, well worth its popularity.