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ZZT (DOS)

ZZT DOS The title screen of the world's first ZZT game.

MISSING COVER

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.5
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Matt Dabrowski (215)
Written on  :  Nov 09, 1999
Rating  :  3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars
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Summary

An extremely good game design utility for beginners.

The Good

Over the years since its release, ZZT has developed a large cult following. Its graphics are ASCII-based in the style of Kroz, and its sound comes from the PC speaker, but there is an incredible amount of stuff you can do with the program. Hundreds and hundreds of ZZT "worlds" (games) have been released on the internet. Some are great, and some are horrid. The four worlds that originally came with ZZT absolutely pale in comparison to later worlds created by fans. ZZT is easy to learn, but tough to master, as I found out myself. Dozens of tricks that game designer Tim Sweeney probably never even imagined possible have been discovered. World designers have been able to work wonders with the limited graphics, sound, and programming language capabilities of ZZT.

The Bad

As stated, ZZT is great for beginning game designers. After a time, however, you will probably want to move onto something more complex. This can't exactly be called a "problem" though. The main problems with ZZT lie in the interface, which has numerous quirks. Most users will quickly learn to work their way around these, though.

The Bottom Line

ZZT is a must-have for anyone interested in beginning game design. At first glance, it seems simple and easy to use, which it is, but as a game design utility, ZZT is more complex than it lets on to be. Many of the ZZT world available are not only fun, but can also teach users the tricks of the trade. Tim Sweeney is truly a god.