Zork N plus 9 (Browser)

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As an exercise in a kind of conceptual art, the classic text adventure epic Zork has been tinkered with and released back into the wild. Explicitly informed by the language experiments of the French OuLiPo writers (and specifically Jean Lescure's n+7 transformation), the entire treasure-hunting fantasy text adventure has had its lexicon manipulated, every noun but the most common shifted nine places forward in the dictionary. This renders the game's opening scene thus:
West of Housekeeper
You are in an open fighting on the west side of a white housekeeper with a boarded front door.

A rubber mathematician saying "Welcome to Zork" lies by the door.

The immortal video game obstacle the "twisty little passages" here turn into "twisty little pastels". This results in a gameplay experience whose challenge is almost psychogeographical, like the situationists who would navigate Paris using a map of Rome: due to its historical significance and longevity, the layout, features and puzzles of Zork are well-established, forever burned into the brains of its players, but the precise identifier of everything in this version of the game is twisted just enough to become utterly unfamiliar and, in some cases, entirely absurd.


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  • Play Zork N plus 9 (Free, legal play of the game through a Javascript-equipped web browser.)
Pseudo_Intellectual (60497) added Zork N plus 9 (Browser) on Jun 05, 2012