Zork to Return as Web-based Casual MMO

Ready to be eaten by a Grue? Jolt Online Gaming on Wednesday announced Legends of Zork, a Web browser-based game based on the Infocom text adventure game classic.

Zork was one of the first works of "interactive fiction," a text-based adventure game that originally saw the light of day on a DEC PDP-10 minicomputer and was later adapted for Apple II's, Commodore 64's and other early personal computers. A descendant of the original "Colossal Cave" adventure game, Zork spawned multiple sequels and helped launch Infocom, a company that cornered the interactive fiction market for personal computers of its day.

Now Zork has been recreated as Legends of Zork, a casual massively multiplayer online (MMO) game playable in any modern Internet browser, including Mobile Safari on the iPhone.

"The Great Underground Empire has recently fallen and the land is in disarray. The Royal Treasury has been sacked. The stock market has collapsed, leading even mighty FrobozzCo International to fire employees from throughout its subsidiaries. A craze of treasure-hunting has swept through the remnants of the Great Underground Empire. The New Zork Times reports that trolls, kobolds and other dangerous creatures are venturing far from their lairs. Adventurers and monsters are increasingly coming into conflict over areas rich with loot. It's a dangerous time to be a newly-unemployed traveling salesman, but it's also a great time to try a bit of adventuring," write the developers.

Legends of Zork will provide a persistent online world, where players take up the role of a recently laid-off salesman and part-time loot-gatherer who has decided to explore the Great Underground Empire.

Legends of Zork's release schedule and other details were not made available; the publishers are offering a mailing list for users who want more information.

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