Zork was the first game created by the great Infocom, and one that would influence an entire genre. Inspired by the example of Colossal Cave Adventure, the first text adventure to gain any kind of attention in the computer scene of the 1970s, Zork is a sprawling piece of interactive fiction initially developed by four friends and programmers at MIT on the PDP-10 computers. . It was first released in 1977 for the PDP-10, before the original developers and other contributors formed Infocom to polish, expand and release it as a commercial product for personal computers.

The game was not only the starting point for Infocom in general, but an entire genre. This wasn’t the first text adventure, but the sophistication far surpassed what had come before (adventure used two word commands). The text parser was designed to allow players to enter ‘natural’ language and the game would interpret these commands and act as a narrator or dungeon master of sorts, explaining what happened and the current situation/local. Zork is not only responsive, but also funny, managing to create that sense of personality in the computer talking to you. It inspired a deluge of similar games, very few of which came close.

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By wy9m6

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