The Book of Adventure Games

I stumbled upon this book last year at one of those city-wide book sales. The adventure games referred to in the book’s title are text adventures. Along with several articles in regards to text adventures, the book contains maps, hints, and walk-thrus for approximately 80 different computer games. It’s a shame that I didn’t stumble across this book until 2011 — I would have loved to have owned in back in the 1980s.

Player Made Zork 3 Map

When I did the Zork Podcast I mentioned that it was the habit of most Zork players to actually map out their adventures on paper. I looked at some fan made maps online. Some of them were actually quite elaborate. What I was looking for was something that resembled the maps I made, scratched down quickly and without embellishment. That is exactly what I found in the posted by Mellicious in the Retroist Image Pool.

The Grue by Jim Zubkavich

Jim Zubkavich worked on the ill fated Legends of Zork game and created some wonderful art for the game. Zork was text based and the thing about Zork that I found most difficult to picture was the dangerous and frightening Grue. It should be nightmare incarnate.

So how do you bring this creature to live without spoiling what your imagination can do better? I think Jim Zubkavich did a fine job with his grinning monster in the darkness.

Retroist Zork Podcast

Retroist Zork Podcast

Welcome to the Retroist Zork Podcast. On today’s show we talk all about the groundbreaking text adventure game, Zork. We talk about how it was made, the people behind it, how to play and much much more. For those with Java on their computer, who have never played Zork or who just want a refresher, I suggest you check out the aptly titled website, Play Infocom Adventures Online. Text adventures are a fun thing to rediscover, I hope this show inspires people to give them a try.

Subscribe and Support


If you have a moment please stop by iTunes or wherever you might download the show and perhaps give the show a quick rating. It is very much appreciated.

[iTunes] Subscribe to the Podcast directly in iTunes (MP3)
[RSS MP3] Add the Retroist Podcast feed (in MP3) to your RSS aggregator and have the show delivered automatically.

If you would like more retro fun, you can also follow me on the Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/retroist and on the Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/retroist.com.

Want to help Support the Retroist Podcast? Please drop by our Support page to find out how.

Listen and download the Retroist Zork Podcast


Thanks for listening to the show and I hope you have a great weekend.

Z-Machine Wednesday: The Lurking Horror (1987)

Released into the wilds of various retail outlets in 1987, the Lurking Horror was Infocom’s first and only foray into the world of horror for interactive fiction. Programmed by Dave Lebling, who also had a hand in crafting Zork I, II, III, Starcross, Spellbreaker (Third in the Enchanter series), Suspect, and James Clavell’s Shogun. Obviously influenced by the works of H.P. Lovecraft it was originally released for DOS, the Apple II, Atari ST, Atari 8-bit family and Commodore 64. An Amiga version was later made available and it had the added feature of sound effects to heighten the tension in key moments of the game. They didn’t really need that I reckon because I can remember how I felt while playing this title for myself on my C-64! If you’ve had the pleasure of playing this game yourself you might remember the nightmarish situation that occurs with the janitor…that still gives me goosebumps thinking about it.

A big thanks to the Infocom Gallery for the awesome front and back box art as well as the scans of the “Feelies” that were included in the package.

How about this impressive Student I.D. card…that you can now print out and carry with you at all times?

Let’s not forget the very important G.U.E. at a Glance booklet to help new students get use to the new surroundings! I like the slight wink to the Zork series Great Underground Empire.

The major lifesaver of all interactive fiction adventurers…the map!