Legends of Zork

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Legends of Zork
Legends of Zork Logo.png
Developer(s) Jolt Online Gaming
Distributor(s) Activision
Platform(s) Web browser
Release date(s) April 1, 2009
Genre(s) Adventure
Distribution Internet

Legends of Zork was a browser-based online adventure game, based on the legendary Zork universe.

Production[edit]

A Zork massively multiplayer online game was originally announced in January, 2009.[1][2] However, the developers recanted that MMO statement, calling it a "casual adventure game", instead.[3] Game mechanics were similar to those of Kingdom of Loathing, and there was no charge to sign up.[4]

Premise and gameplay[edit]

Players controlled a recently fired traveling salesman for FrobozzCo International, now fighting monsters and solving puzzles for zorkmids (the world's currency). A class, leveling, equipment and skill system give each character unique attributes. Free accounts were given 30 action points per day, but could pay a fee to receive more and other "perks".

Upon defeating monsters, players may have recovered enchanted Double Fanucci cards which could be arranged into four-card hands called "gambits", which enhanced types of skills. In addition, having face cards in a gambit could provide other enhancements, like additional hit points or inventory capacity. Legends of Zork's Double Fanucci cards were drawn by artist Greg Brown and colored by Jim "Zubby" Zubkavich.[5][6]

Critical reception[edit]

Legends of Zork received mixed reactions from the gaming community, with many reviews complaining that the game was not true to the original Zork.[7]

Alec Meer of Rock, Paper, Shotgun criticized the game, saying it's "as though someone designed a micropayment system then awkwardly shoved a very crude game on top of it." Meer goes on to describe the game as "rudimentary" and "unfunny."[8]

Kenneth Newquist of nuketown.com called it "a barebones MMORPG-style game designed for the casual gamer" which was all about number crunching, although pointed out that it was not necessarily a bad thing, comparing the game to the Facebook App D&D Tiny Adventures. He criticised the lack of a story within the game, but admitted that later additions to the game in the form of quests came some way to fixing this problem. He also said "Still, it is Zork-like. The locations, the artwork, and the tone all evoke the Infocom games I loved." He conceded that while it did not come up to his expectations (although he was still playing it several months after release), other players might, and thought that as "an amusing little app, and as a lunch time diversion, I think it works."[9]

Game Closure[edit]

Jolt Online Gaming quickly killed off the game on May 31, 2011 after 3 days notice to its adventurers.[10] The game's official discussion forums were shut down shortly thereafter. The game's website now re-directs to Jolt Online's Facebook version of its game "Utopia Kingdoms".

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Graft, Kris (2009-01-14). "Zork MMO Announced". Edge Online. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  2. ^ Cohen, Peter. "Legends of Zork launches as Web-based casual game". Macworld. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  3. ^ Graft, Kris (2009-03-09). "Legends of Zork Dev: "It's Not an MMO"". Edge Online. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  4. ^ Faylor, Chris. "Legends of Zork Actually Launches Today". Shacknews. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  5. ^ Zubkavich, Jim (April 6, 2009). "Zork- Fanucci Suit Icons". Zub's Art Refuge. Retrieved September 3, 2010. 
  6. ^ Brown, Greg (April 7, 2009). "Double Fanucci Face-Cards". The Cornflake Box. Retrieved September 3, 2010. 
  7. ^ Biggs, John (2009-04-03). "Legends of Zork: This is not the Zork you’re looking for". Crunchgear.com. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  8. ^ Meer, Alec (2009-04-02). "Grue-some: Zork Remake Live, Horrible". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  9. ^ Newquist, Kenneth (2009-04-06). "Misremembering the Legends of Zork". Nuketown.com. Retrieved 2009-09-14. 
  10. ^ "Game Closure". Jolt Online Forums. Jolt Online Gaming. Retrieved 2011-05-25. [dead link]

External links[edit]