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Zork Nemesis: The Forbidden Lands Reviews (Windows)

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

User Reviews

Superb story and atmosphere, somewhat weaker puzzles. Bizboz (6) 4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars
More like Myst than Myst. Scott Monster (1010) 4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars
The best puzzle adventure I've played. Rodney Mayton (19) 4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Acting The quality of the actors' performances in the game (including voice acting). 3.8
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.) 3.9
Graphics The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines 4.0
Personal Slant How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes 3.9
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 4.0
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they're executed
(required for every game entry that isn't a compilation)
Overall User Score (33 votes) 3.9

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
GameBoomers (Jan 05, 2004)
I remember when I saw the first magazine ads and screenshots for Nemesis. Yes.. you read that right - the first magazine ads.. This was back when PC gamer actually covered all the genre’s in gaming. Sigh. Anyway, I was blown away by the early promotional copy. I had never seen such rich graphics in an adventure game before. The story line looked sweet as well. " In a Desolate Corner of the Underground Empire, an evil demon torments the land. Evil rules the Forbidden lands. Here the souls of the Empire’s great Alchemists lie in perpetual hell.." Whoaa, stalking evil.. demons.. Yep, I was hooked.
Coming Soon Magazine (Jun 14, 1996)
Activision has done it! This is the one, this is THE game. Close your eyes, imagine the most pleasurable feeling possible, multiply it to the nth degree and you are only vaguely experiencing what is "Zork Nemesis".
Gamezilla (Aug 17, 2000)
Just as Infocom took the lead in text adventure games a decade and a half ago with the original Zork trilogy, Activision has continued the line of excellence with their latest twist in the Zork saga, Zork Nemesis. They have put together a game that strives for so much and succeeds. Graphics, plot, video sequences, acting and gameplay—all are above average and combine to put together one awesome graphic adventure game. I spent many long evenings engrossed in this game and found myself more than once a little disturbed with the shadowy world that they put together. If a game can truly achieve this type of reaction, then it is worth checking out. Activision scores a 95 with its outstanding latest release in the Zork series.
Go buy it, you'll love it! This is more than just a game, it's an experience. If you aren't really into adventure games, Zork Nemesis might just change that. With a multi-million dollar budget and a crew of 75 skilled individuals, Activision has created an unforgettable experience. With their recent track record (MechWarrior II, Spycraft, Pitfall 95) in mind, I expected no less, but got so much more. The future of Zork is bright once again!
One thing about the puzzles this time around, is that they are much more logical than the ones in Return to Zork. Even if they stump you, you will have to admit that it makes some sense (in the context of the game's story) when you finally solve it. I felt that there were too many puzzles that made no sense in the previous game. The ones here are solid. They range from the simpler to the intensely difficult. A good range of difficulty for the average adventurer or the accomplished. Activision has put a very entertaining game together here. Don't let the lack of Zork sway you from this one, if you like adventures, you will not be disappointed by this game. Bottom Line: Less Zork and more Nemesis, but still a fantastic adventure. Puzzles range from median to tough, but most follow solid logic. Lots of fun, highly recommended for average to accomplished adventurer.
Zork Nemesis, the latest game to carry the name Zork, is a 3-CD experience filled with SVGA rendered locations, incredible atmospheric sound, and some full-motion video thrown in. Zork Nemesis mixes all these elements and produces a truly engrossing game.
PC Action (Apr, 1996)
Zork: Nemesis ist die neben Bad Mojo die zweite Adventure-Überraschung 1996, vor allem für Leute, die eine anspruchsvolle Story und ausgefallene Puzzles mögen. Meilenweit entfernt von den Ursprüngen im klassischen Text-Adventure, bietet Zork: Nemesis Unterhaltung auf hohem Niveau. Dabei widerlegt das Spiel alle Behauptungen, beim Einsatz innovativer Techniken bliebe häufig kein Raum für eine entsprechende Rahmenhandlung. Zusammen mit Das Rätsel des Master Lu hat Zork: Nemesis einen Ehrenplatz in jeder Adventure-Sammlung neben Indiana Jones, Discworld und Monkey Island verdient.
Entertainment Weekly (May 17, 1996)
How much you enjoy Zork Nemesis as a game will depend on your affection for arcane logic puzzles, but as an immersive experience — especially if you have a souped-up computer and Windows 95 — it is often astonishing, blending freedom of movement through computer-generated landscapes with an alternately soothing and creepy ambient soundtrack.
Game Revolution (Jun 05, 2004)
There is enough here to keep you involved for many hours/days/months. If you thought Myst was too short (as I did) Zork Nemesis has 3 CDs full of gothic splendor, panoramic locations and video clips.
80 (Mar 12, 2013)
Se démarquant de la grande famille des jeux d'aventure estampillés Zork, Zork Nemesis parvient à offrir au travers d'un point'n click des plus classiques une aventure prenante et une ambiance très soignée qui saura retenir l'attention du joueur pendant de longues heures, tout en offrant un défi honorable avec des énigmes intéressantes et logiques. Pour peu qu'on aime les Myst-like et qu'on ne soit pas rebuté par les casse-tête, les graphismes un peu vieux et les endroits glauques, on ne peut qu'apprécier ce divertissement de très bonne facture. En résumé, un incontournable du jeu d'aventure !
Overall, Zork Nemesis is a very good game and fun to play once you’ve learned how to use interface. The story line is excellent and combined with astounding graphical detail Activision has masterfully created the mystical Forbidden lands. I must warn you, however, that it is very hardware specific and that some of the content is not suitable for children.
Pro: Eindeutig der größte Motivationspunkt ist die einzigartige Atmosphäre, die durch die sagenhafte Präsentation aufgebaut wird. Die intelligenten Rätsel und die abwechslungsreichen Szenarien reizen immer wieder zum weiterspielen. Selbst wenn Du Zork:Nemesis bereits durchgespielt hast, installierst Du es früher oder später erneut auf Deiner Festplatte, um vielleicht diesmal ein anderes Ende zu erleben. Die dichte Story reiht sich ebenfalls in die Reihe der positiven Aspekte ein.
Contra: Negatives kann man bei Zork:Nemesis lange suchen. Für den Anfänger dürfte der hohe Schwierigkeitsgrad unangenehm sein, für Menschen ohne Englisch-Kenntnisse die vielen Bücher und Briefe, welche allerdings unabdinglich sind, da ohne sie die Story nicht zur Entfaltung kommt.
Nemesis gefällt mir aber wesentlich besser als das Vorbild Myst: Die Welt wirkt lebendiger, die Puzzles sind abwechslungsreicher. Man klickt nicht nur Bildelemente an, sondern dreht und verschiebt zumeist große Objekte per Mausbewegung. Wer auf edle, anspruchsvolle Rätselkost steht, darf sich das neueste Zork nicht entgehen lassen!
Quandary (May, 1996)
Far too many recent adventure games have been shallow and relatively easy to complete in just a few hours, but I'm delighted to report the same cannot be said about this one. Zork Nemesis is a game for savouring and there is no way that you will finish it in an afternoon.
Adventure Gamers (Nov 05, 2004)
Despite its minor shortcomings, I really can’t recommend this game enough. It has stood up to multiple plays over the years and its dark and eerie atmosphere has not diminished over time. If you like your games dark and macabre, as I do, you shouldn’t think twice about playing this one.
Activision has taken a new direction in the Zork series with the development of Zork Nemesis (also known as Zork Nemesis: The Forbidden Lands). Although Zork Nemesis is billed as a sequel to Return to Zork, the story in this game bears no authentic link to previous Zork titles except for a few passing references. Such a risk taken by the developer is likely going to stir up mixed feelings from diehard Zork fans. To gamers who are unfamiliar with the Zork series, Zork Nemesis stands well by itself as an adventure game that commands a welcomed challenge. For the first time, the grandiose view of the Zork Empire can be fully visualized inside the game, bringing scenes which once can only be described in text in the original adventures to a new level of experience. Together with a hefty dose of challenging puzzles, Zork Nemesis represents a dark side of the Zork universe that any gamer is surely enticed to experience.
GameSpot (May 03, 1996)
While Zork Nemesis may be too graphic and intense for children, adults who loved Myst or Phantasmagoria will find a lot to like about this CD-ROM. With Broderbund Software pushing the sequel to Myst back into 1997, computer gamers might not find a better substitute than Zork Nemesis.
Gameplay (Benelux) (Jun, 1996)
Als dit spel nu gewoon Nemesis zou heten in plaats van Zork Nemesis, zou ik het misschien iets beter naar waarde schatten. Maar vermits de makers zelf verwijzen naar Zork en via deze manier liefhebbers van het 'Zork' genre willen verleiden om dit spel te kopen, kan ik maar één conclusie trekken: laat dit spel rustig liggen waar het ligt en haal de oude 'Return to Zork' nog eens vanonder het stof onderuit.
Power Play (May, 1996)
Im Windschatten von „Myst“ wird Activision dank nahezu identischen Konzepts mit diesem Titel wahrscheinlich kommerziellen Erfolg einfahren. Die Zielgruppe setzt sich allerdings weniger aus Spieleveteranen zusammen, als aus durch nett gerenderte Filmchen zu beeindruckenden Neulingen. Versteckte Anspielungen auf das „Underground Empire“ und die „Flathead“-Dynastie sind jedoch nur für „Zork“-Erfahrene verständlich, die sich aber alsbald angeödet vom leblosen Maschinenpark der Puzzles abwenden dürften. Als Verbesserung gegenüber der Broderbund-Vorlage ist zumindest die in Teilen wählbare Reihenfolge der Spielabschnitte zu honorieren. Selbst das schönste 360-Grad-Scrolling kann nicht verhehlen, daß „Zork Nemesis“ komplett vorberechnet wurde. Bei mir will sich das Versinken in der Spielwelt, wie es echtes 3D vermittelt, einfach nicht einstellen.