Zork… It Is Pitch Black And You Are Likely To Be Eaten By A Grue


Ahhh 1980s video games! I’m pretty sure the Zork was one of the first games that I ever played in my life. It’s twisted passages,  jewel encrusted egg, white house and mailbox, water funeling area?… Heck I didn’t even know what half the items in the game were because I was so young… 🙂

But that grue…. boy… it stuck with me… and might be why I play D&D today. 😀

I’m sure if you asked many today if they would play a “text based” adventure game, they would laugh. But to me this is where gaming started. At a time when it took forever to load a basic color CGA few color pattern, “graphic”… Text games were where it was at!

Did you ever play? If not.. you can start right now online, on  the magic of the Internets…. Thanks guys from MIT who made this.. (Tim Anderson, Marc Blank, Bruce Daniels, and Dave Lebling) I wonder if those guys are on gplus? 🙂


#videogames   #gaming    #zork   #ab   #infocom

Zork... It Is Pitch Black And You Are Likely To Be Eaten By A Grue


  1. Cara Evangelista says

    YES. Omg that grue.  <3

  2. Sir Charles says

    Now this is a blast from the past.

  3. Donagh Reardon says

    I tried play Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy, but couldn't figure out how to get the Babel fish.


    hi amenda

  5. Stewart Rogers says


  6. Victor Josue Millan Martinez says

    + Donagh Reardon it was a convoluted process for the uninitiated in the arts of the highly respected Douglas Adams

  7. Christopher Aultman says

    Yup. Muds. Gotta love 'em!
    I've moved from those to the fine art of DM'ing.
    Currently, I'm about to show my group the world that is Sigil.
    It's D&D meets Stargate and they can't wait! ^_^

  8. Raymond Andrews says

    Hello Sailor

  9. Peter Holloway says

    Another vote for Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy! + Donagh Reardon getting the Babel fish has something to do with collecting the junk mail from the house before you leave – drop it on the floor and hang the dressing gown on the hook on the wall. The fish then hits the gown and misses the hole in the wall, and the junk mail gets scooped up by the cleaning robot, leaving the fish  – it must be 25 years since I played it, so I'm sure I've missed something…

  10. Jim McCloskey says

    I played all the Infocom games. I miss them, but they're available to play online in a browser if you really want…

  11. Amanda Blain says

    yup + Jim McCloskey maybe in that link i posted there 🙂

  12. Enrique Betancourt Escalona says

    Que juego Más? ingenioso nünca lo había jugado, me gusto, buen dia….!¡

  13. Bob Lai says

    I played most of the Infocom titles. Worked on a text-based multiplayer game in the 1990s for Simutronics.

  14. Ezra Allen says

    I've been thinking about making a text based games in Java that will run in browser but have not managed to get my ass into gear yet. I used to like the old books like warlock of fire top mountain .

  15. Leonard Suskin says

    The Infocom games were, at their best, wonderful. Imaginative, clever, whimsical, and even emotional at times. 

    It's an era we're not likely to see again, and one which I miss.

  16. Andrew Konietzky says

    I know there are emulators that can do it, but I wish all the Infocom games were in a single package for Android tablets.

  17. Jim McCloskey says

    + Amanda Blain For some reason, my brain glossed right over the linky at the bottom. I'm a bad internet person.

  18. Donald Suiter says

    Yeah right

  19. Bob Lai says

    FYI, Inkle is releasing versions of Steve Jackson's Sorcery pick-your-adventure books. Available on iOS, not sure about Android.

    Their website also allows you to use Inklewriter, the engine behind it all.

  20. Raymond Andrews says

    + Peter Holloway Gown on the hook, towel on the grate, sachel to block the door, and junk mail to confuse the upper robot. (longest week evar)

  21. Andrew Konietzky says

    LOL… I recently bought both of Inkles Jackson games…. LOVE THEM. I am hoping they keep converting the Fighting Fantasy books.

  22. Kevin McCormick says

    I was playing this about a month ago, even got out the graph paper to map it out.

  23. Peter Holloway says

    Spot on + Raymond Andrews , you've a better memory than me! 😉

  24. Nayroz Kabboudi says

    good!I love vidéo games

  25. Brad Whitehead says

    I used to play that all night on my Commodore 64

  26. Amanda Blain says

    I adore my c64 🙂

  27. Joseph Compton says

    I had the 1541 disk drive and was ecstatic when we got a 1571.

  28. Brad Whitehead says

    The big floppy disc when you put it in and it made that distinct noise.  I knew it was ready to go after that.  I wasted some serious time back then

  29. Tim Coon says

    What the hell is a grue?

  30. Jeff Hemphill says

    + Leonard Suskin
     GOG.com sells them and lots more. I bought lots that I thought were gone forever.

  31. Damian Trasler says

    Zork gets a big shout out in the excellent novel "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline. And I too am a veteran of failing to complete "The Hitchhiker's Guide" game. Later I went on to fail to complete "STarship Titanic"

  32. Mike Kuwik says

    My brother used to play text based games. I always thought he was crazy. P&P rpgs are all the text based fun I've ever needed 😉

  33. Gregg Sakauye says

    Yes!  I played the Zorks on my C64 too.  Good times.

  34. Kwan Lowe says

    Loved this game.. Played it on an Atari 800XL and spent hours mining the GUE. 

  35. Leonard Suskin says

    + Jeff Hemphill – yes, but the era in which they were created is over. 

    I was a huge fan of Infocomm back in the day; it was the one game company that I really loved. I even subscribed to their (snail mail!) newsletter – The New Zork Times (later renamed The Status Line )

  36. Jeroen Wiert Pluimers says

    Zork I, II, III, THHGTTG, and other InfoCom adventures. Fun those days, and still! Good to see I'm not the only one having nice memories of that era (:

  37. Hank Greer says


  38. Peter Mancini says

    The first incarnation of Zork came out in 1977 on a PDP-10 (which would have cost you about $1500 a month in electricity to run!). It was a great leap forward in text parsing and I think a great inspiration for the field of text analytics to follow in later decades.

  39. James Jameson says

    I had these on my c64 as well. I loved how the retail copies had all of the extra stuff like maps, hints, and all that! I have very fond memories of playing a demo of 'Infidel' to this day. As a young boy who loved both books and video games, these games were magical.

  40. Raymond Andrews says

    + Peter Mancini RUN ADVENTURE (thank goodness for study hall)

  41. Donagh Reardon says

    + Peter Holloway thanks.
    Thats has ended something I've been wondering about for 20 years.

  42. Roy Hembree says

    I played through both Zork I and II but I needed the help of cheat books. Someone had a copy that got passed around or you could peek into at lunch. After Zork I got Robots of Dawn by Epyx and that was too much for my 12 year old brain to enjoy and concluded my text adventuring. – I moved on to The Bard's Tale.

  43. Howard C. Shaw III says

    It is more than that for me. It was one of my first introductions to programming, typing in printed BASIC code from books and magazines. The first one I did was spaghetti code, every screen was is own page of code, every exit a goto. Modifying it was a nightmare. The second used BASIC DATA statements as a primitive database. Each room had a number and every exit had a room number it went to.

    I was instantly hoped on the sheer power of data driven code. Awesome stuff.

  44. Bruce Keller says

    OMG I actually created my own text based adventure game too… I had forgotten about that! BASIC was the sh!t lol.

  45. Gary Schopp says

    Many hours "wasted" playing Zork, et al, rather than studying for some exam or writing some paper in college.

  46. John Enfield says

    Those games exercised your brain and made you think critically without you even realizing it.

  47. Kyle Alm says

    I miss the bad jokes and simple game play

  48. Mark Swope says

    Colossal Cave, Adventure, Zork n…, all great!

  49. Kwan Lowe says

    Part of the fun was not only the game, but all the little toys that shipped in the box. I remember the HHGttG having a small towel. The Lurking Horror (IIRC) had a coin. 

  50. Chris Rogers says

    Played most of the Infocom titles on an Apple //c.  Zork, Planetfall, Enchanter, LGoP. + Steve Meretzky where are you now????

  51. Kwan Lowe says

    + Chris Rogers 🙂 The Enchanter series was my favorite. rezrov lamp. 😛 

  52. Mark LaViolette says

    Digital Choose your own adventure.  I remember playing this as a kid. LOL

  53. Lee Clarke says

    spent many an hour trying to load games via tape cassette only have them to crash,jet set willy in particular,first platform i ever played!!

  54. Wayne McCormick says

    I had the box set of all the Infocom titles.  Wish I still had a computer that could run them.

  55. Bob Lai says

    There's a collected Infocom app on iOS and probably Android.

  56. binod koiri says


  57. Tony Longworth says

    Cool…make sure to have a listen to my album totally inspired by Infocom games…there's a Zork track on there too 🙂 http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/tonylongworth7

  58. Howard C. Shaw III says

    FYI, + Leonard Suskin, regarding the era being over: http://ifarchive.org/indexes/if-archiveXgamesXzcode.html
    There are games in here dated 2014 (10 games), and 2013 (40 games).

    Certainly not in its heyday anymore, but interactive fiction is still being produced.

  59. German Vicente Martinez says

    No deposito tiempo en juegos,ahora,si deposito tiempo en g+Plus

  60. Richard Keith Leasure says

    Never played games like that, not to say its+?++???

  61. Todd Zimmermann says

    Infocom was so awesome. Very fond memories of their games on the C64. Played some other text games on the VIC20, but Zork I-III are what got me. Solved I and II, but the  sliding puzzle in III, no luck 🙂

  62. Scott Christian Simmons says

    You are in a maze of twisting passageways, all alike.

  63. Adam Hollman says

    Yes, I also played on my c64. I remember playing a naughty text based game at that time too. Good times.

  64. @ Gmail.com Phillips says


  65. German Vicente Martinez says

    Amanda,te agradezco tus mimos,sin embargo carezco de tiempo para juegos,saabes que no me dedico a jugar,me dedico ayudar a personas…de todas formas te agradezco tu notable interes,recibe un cordial saludo

  66. Sam Sowards says

    I never did finish that game, came close though, couldn't open the grate, can't remember if I ever got the key though

  67. Yadira Navarro says


  68. milad ghahramani says


  69. Bart Hoste says

    Infocom was one of the greatest, but let's not forget level 9, magnetic scrolls, Scott Adams and the many others that paved the way. Still playable on many systems with emulators like frotz, gargoyle,… There's lots of amateur stuff available too in the z-format (like Infocom). Amateur written that is, but with astounding results. Try if archive. Google is your best friend. When looking for a portable text adventure player : try to find a cheap psion 5 on eBay. Now excuse me. There's a nasty dwarf attacking me…

  70. Yadira Navarro says

    It cnt forgtable

  72. John Brow says


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