Legends of Zork

Legends of Zork Logo

Release date:
April 1, 2009
Closure Date:
May 31, 2011
Adventure, MMO

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


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 Kingdom of Loathing, and there was no charge to sign up.[4]

Premise and gameplayEdit

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 receptionEdit

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 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 criticized 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]

Closure controversyEdit

Jolt Online Gaming quickly killed off the game with little warning. It shut down Legends of Zork on May 31, 2011 with only 3 days notice to its adventurers.[10] A little after Noon, BST, this was done. Angry adventurers were left to find a page that read "Sorry, this game has been closed ..." Angry gamers were locked out from commenting on the closure of the game and when questions were posted asking why the game was abruptly shut down, Jolt Closed down the forums page. One gamer, (Thomas Ronald Baron) wrote, "none of my emails have been answered by Jolt as to why or how a pay as you go Adventure game could be shut down on users who have paid to eventually complete the adventure. It appears that Jolt never really knew anything about "Zork" and could care less about its fanbase."


  1. Graft, Kris (2009-01-14). Zork MMO Announced. Edge Online. Retrieved on 2009-04-09.
  2. Cohen, Peter. Legends of Zork launches as Web-based casual game. Macworld. Retrieved on 2009-04-02.
  3. Graft, Kris (2009-03-09). Legends of Zork Dev: "It's Not an MMO". Edge Online. Retrieved on 2009-04-09.
  4. Faylor, Chris. Legends of Zork Actually Launches Today. Shacknews. Retrieved on 2009-04-02.
  5. Zubkavich, Jim (April 6, 2009). Zork- Fanucci Suit Icons. Zub's Art Refuge. Archived from the original on November 29, 2012. Retrieved on September 3, 2010.
  6. Brown, Greg (April 7, 2009). Double Fanucci Face-Cards. The Cornflake Box. Retrieved on September 3, 2010.
  7. Biggs, John (2009-04-03). Legends of Zork: This is not the Zork you’re looking for. Retrieved on 2009-04-09.
  8. Meer, Alec (2009-04-02). Grue-some: Zork Remake Live, Horrible. Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved on 2009-07-29.
  9. Newquist, Kenneth (2009-04-06). Misremembering the Legends of Zork. Retrieved on 2009-09-14.
  10. Game Closure. Jolt Online Forums. Jolt Online Gaming. Retrieved on 2011-05-25.

External LinksEdit


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.