Zork to return as browser MMO

Jolt revisits classic 70s text adventure.

Dublin-based internet game specialists Jolt Online Gaming are to revive the world of early text adventure Zork in a new browser MMO.

Jolt, maker of "trucking RPG" Truckz and the political sim NationStates 2, is collaborating with Zork rights-owner Activision on the project. Legends of Zork will be a "persistent online adventure, playable from any internet browser" and a "casual MMO game". iPhone support is specifically mentioned.

Legends of Zork is set after the fall of the Great Underground Empire and the collapse of its stock markets, with the subterranean labyrinth world in a state of economic disarray, and looting and treasure-hunting rife. Players take the role of recently-sacked salesmen embarking on a career of adventure. Topical.

"As a complete Zork geek, I'm very proud to be releasing this title," said Jolt chief Dylan Collins. "Anyone who plays MMOs will definitely like to spend some time with Legends of Zork while they're taking a break or browsing around the web. It's very addictive."

You can register for news updates and the beta test at the Legends of Zork website.

Zork, one of the earliest examples of a narrative-driven role-playing computer game, was written by Massachusetts Institute of Technology hackers in the late 1970s. They then founded legendary publisher-developer Infocom to convert it to the home computers of the day.

Zork has had many sequels and spin-offs over the years, although none as fondly remembered as the original trilogy. Perhaps, in browser gaming, Zork has found its natural modern home at last.

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