Grue-some: Zork Remake Live, Horrible

By Alec Meer on April 2nd, 2009 at 12:24 pm.

The initial RPS response to Legends of Zork, the just-released free(ish) browser reimagining of the old text-based adventure/RPGs, was that it’s simply too wretched and cynical to merit a post. Instead of ignoring it though, I’m going to pen a sort of open letter as to what’s wrong with it and what needs fixing to to rescue the fun concept underneath all the howling screw-ups. Why should I bother? I guess I’m a little saddened that a game-name of legend has been treated so cursorily. I’ve barely played the original Zork, but nonetheless this just seems like a bizarre waste of a license. Crucially, though, I reckon it can be fixed (this being web-based and free from expensive graphical shenanigans, it only needs theoretically cheap code-tweaks). Here’s how.

Gosh, I’m arrogant.

That fun concept is, essentially, a turn-based, text-based RPG – along the lines of the boardgame Talisman, or more recently the wonderful Kingdom of Loathing (which really deserves its own post here at some point). You explore, you fight stuff, you loot stuff, and you buy stuff: the core enjoyment factors behind so many RPGs. Sometimes watching a bunch of numbers slowly get bigger is enough, to paraphrase Gillen.

Unfortunately, here it’s not – primarily because the numbers aren’t represented as anything but numbers. Why does the game go to the trouble of having you choose an avatar and buy a bunch of loot with funny-ish names if you then don’t get to see any of it? Given so much of the loot is pretty prescribed – as in, most people are going to end up with the same stuff equipped – it’s wantonly foolish to have no decent visual representation of both it and how your guy looks with it equipped. Otherwise you really are just collecting numbers – which is fine for a pen’n'paper RPG, but when it’s a videogame that already features a ton of environment and creature artwork, it’s that much harder for the imagination to paint pretty pictures in your mind. The slow, HTMLy interface hardly helps.

So it’s this horribly confused halfway house between text-based and graphical adventuring, failing to leverage the strengths of either. Why do I want to wield a frying pan? Because it’s +7 to my AR. Also because it’s a frying pan! Hilarious! Except it’s not. It’s too ordinary a gag – one of the reasons Kingdom of Loathing gets away with similarly rudimentary loot visuals is its item names are openly ludicrous. You don’t need much of an image when the words convey a great gag. A frying pan as a weapon is not a great gag – it’s just a tired stereotype.

The second core problem (and like the first it’s something than could be fixed) is that Legends of Zork is uncomfortably similar to the RPG-satirising Progress Quest. I.e. it plays itself. Combat just happens, as an auto-generated list of stats you have no involvement in. Looting just happens. Healing just happens. Worst of all, the loot you collect sells itself. A message reading “you have sold [all your shit] for [this much money]” is about as satisfying as paying someone to go skydiving on your behalf then tell you what it’s like afterwards.

Sure, selling loot is mechanical and repetitive by its very nature, but there’s a reason it’s bread and butter to so many RPGs – there’s a fascination in poring through exactly what you’ve got, hoping it’s worth a fortune then feeling proud/annoyed when it is/isn’t. There is no point in the looting process being there at all if it automatically and magically turns into dry cash. Make the loot meaningful or usable in some way, or take it out. It’s just a waste of silly names as it is.

Finally, there’s the issue of its free-ness. You get 30 action points per day – that’s real, Earth days. Action points are spent when you fight or travel, which in practice means you’ll get about 20 fights before waiting until tomorrow or paying (with real, Earth cash) for – ugh – ‘Coconuts’ that grant you more APs. Alternatively, there’s a raft of horrific, spam-addled special offers that bung you a few ‘nuts if you sign up for them. Yes, if you subscribe to an online dating site, you get to hit a few more Kobolds. Think of the stories you’ll have to tell on your dates, eh?

It’s inherently flawed. There’s a reason free-to-play games have settled upon a specific model – all the play you want, but with the really cool stuff available as micropayments. People need to be in the game to want more of the game. 20 minutes a day of clicking one button and watching some numbers go up isn’t going to leave anyone wanting more. If LoZ’s payment model is to work, people need to be playing in the first place, then hitting situations in which they want/need something extra. Better yet, make it good enough to earn critical admiration and a large audience, make it entirely free, then earn revenue from those ads that are all over the site. I’m incredulous that’s not the model it’s launched with.

Which, really, feeds into all of LoZ’s major failings. It’s transparently designed to earn money first and foremost, and be a game second. It’s honestly as though someone designed a micropayment system then awkwardly shoved a very crude game on top of it. The ethical ambiguity of micropayment systems aside, it’s something that could work if it’s slick and compelling enough. It’s not – it’s rudimentary, it’s unfunny and it’s horribly cynical. The vastly superior and totally free Kingdom of Loathing, on the other hand, makes a virtue of the first and is the total opposite of the second and third.

__________________

« | »

, , .

49 Comments »

  1. danielcardigan says:

    Between this and solipsistnation’s posts in the forum, these are far too many words wasted on a really poor browser game.

  2. Eric says:

    Someone please go interview Marc Blank about this. Now.

  3. Jason Moyer says:

    Well, on the plus side, at least they haven’t raped the Enchanter and Beauracracy licenses yet.

  4. Kraft says:

    I tried to get them to see the light before the game came out, but it seemed to have no effect. A few of us voiced our concerns and were told to relax, everything would be fine, just play the game and see, etc. It is pretty much a “Legend of the Red Dragon” remake with a few extra features and the ability to spend real life money. It is heartbreaking to see the Zork named used with such horrible tricks to take people’s money. Sad day, indeed.
    I have played Kingdom of Loathing for quite sometime now and it still is a great game! You don’t have to spend a dime to play it fully.

  5. mysteriesofkabir says:

    “if you subscribe to an online dating site, you get to hit a few more Kobolds”

    WTF? It’s horrible they are able to get away with this. I remember trying to finish Zork III and failing miserably at it. The difficulty of the puzzles remains unmatched, at one point you had to play some kind of fantasy-poker with “special” rules against the computer. Ugh. Yes, thank you, but no. Definitely no point-and-click.

  6. Ben Abraham says:

    Uhm… not to be trolling or anything, but was Zork as a franchise really held in all that high regard before this? Yes, a few commenters have mentioned they liked it and Mister Meer obviously likes it… but it means almost nothing to me.

    Gaming generational gap perhaps? I don’t even know if I’ve played the original.

  7. Jason Moyer says:

    The original 9 Zork games (including the Enchanter trilogy) might be the pinnacle of writing in adventure games. Obviously you could debate that, and they may not even be the best written among Infocom titles (I’m more a fan of the two Douglas Adams games or A Mind Forever Voyaging), but anyway, they pioneered interactive storytelling and puzzle solving and certainly influenced multiple generations of game designers.

  8. Dan Taylor says:

    The thing is…5 years ago, this would have been ok, as the quality level and expectations of free-to-play, microtransaction based games was quite low. Today, with close to, if not already, AAA tier games based on the f2p business model, this kinda thing…well, it sets the whole genre back a step. Sad really.

  9. Erlam (Shalrath) says:

    “Alternatively, there’s a raft of horrific, spam-addled special offers that bung you a few ‘nuts if you sign up for them.”

    I’m sorry, I had a good laugh at this when I looked at the pop-up add for RPS, which was a game called “Hobo Wars,” and looked about as terrible as the name suggests.

  10. Psychopomp says:

    You get pop-ups?

    You’ve got spyware, mayun.

  11. Jason Lefkowitz says:

    If RPS is going to start covering Web games like Kingdom of Loathing, you really need to do a review of ForumWarz. I’d love to see the RPS take on that…

  12. Aggrazel says:

    Its a Legend of the Red Dragon clone alright, and we already have one for the web. Google Legend of the Green Dragon. I used to run a LOGD server myself, fun game. Doesn’t need coconuts.

  13. Kieron Gillen says:

    Jason: I actually did a quick over-view of it last year. Scanning now, there’s at least one joke I like.

    KG

  14. danielcardigan says:

    “Obviously you could debate that, and they may not even be the best written among Infocom titles”

    I loved Lurking Horror

  15. Markoff Chaney says:

    ForumWarz was my second thought (the first being Kingdom of Loathing) and both of them are so far superior to this waste of a License I’ll just stop there.

  16. Jason Lefkowitz says:

    I swear at some point in my life I will come up with a good idea that doesn’t turn out to be completely redundant.

  17. J-P Voilleque says:

    I’d agree that the Offerpal link-up is embarrassing and awful. The least offensive possibility that actually nets sufficient coconuts is getting a credit card, and given the current economic state that seems really, really lame.

    I was going to post on this game as well, and ponied up some dough to get deep enough to have an opinion, and the central theme of everything I saw was the muddiness of the tag cloud around “casual gaming.” This is a “clever,” cartoony, ostensibly old school dungeon crawl that seems to want to appeal to the same demographic that can invest vast quantities of time on match 3, time management, or solitaire quest games. That’s a weird demo to aim sword and sorcery at. So it’s not deep enough to satisfy people who remember the original titles fondly (cf. Etrian Odyssey), and perhaps overly weird for the rest.

    That said, I love me some Double Fanucci.

  18. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    An adventurer is you!

  19. Spatch says:

    The Strategy Guide for this game would be sorely thin:

    1. pres butan (the computer will role dise for you)
    2. Win.
    2a. Or maybe lose.
    3. Return home (optional).
    4. Repeat until out of action points.

    There is nothing else to do. The only choice you make is which butan to pres in order to begin the combat: The Woods? The White Cliffs? It really doesn’t matter. Even your character’s spells don’t do anything; they’re just stat modifiers. It’s all just sort of… sad.

    Oh, sure, the game resembles KoL, LoRD, and PQ. What it does not resemble, sadly, is Zork, but honestly it’s clear the name is superfluous branding at this point. To say this is a wasted license is an understatement to be sure.

  20. Bill the angry Grue says:

    I love the art style. I love the monsters. I love the locations. I love the “feel”. Very well realized, but, um, activision….

    THIS ISNT ZORK!

    This is something….awful. This is some horrible, Frankensteinian aberration. This is heresy. This is a gut-wrenching vomit soaked, “find out you have cancer” thing to do to the zork series. W.T.F. ?!

    This is…so….*gasp* web-based. You’ve made a pretty decent web-based game, and given it the spiritual name of the most important game to EVER COME TO COMPUTERS. Do you see where I’m coming from? DO YOU SEE WHAT YOU’VE DONE?! Kingdom of loathing is a great web based game, and in all honest more deserving of the title zork. Have you guys ever played nethack? Adventure? MUD II? Do you even KNOW who Richard Bartle is?

    This is like a terrible thing to do with zork! Zork is a text-based game! text-based! that’s why WE LOVED ZORK because we could imagine stuff – you know – WITH OUR IMAGINATION THINGY!!!!!

    But text based games are alive and well – both multiplayer (in the MUD and MUSH community) and single player (in the interactive fiction community).

    PS: whoever thought of the idea of buying coconuts for fucking action points needs to be eaten by a grue. you know about that, right?

  21. baf says:

    Uhm… not to be trolling or anything, but was Zork as a franchise really held in all that high regard before this?

    This is definitely a generational thing, yeah. The original Zork is definitely held in reverence by those of us who were gaming back in the early 1980′s. The later graphical games based on the Zork license, less so.

    It’s a weird license anyway, because the original Zorks really didn’t make much of an attempt at world-building. They were eclectic jumbles jammed into caves, highly variable in tone. Other than the Flathead dynasty, nearly every distinguishing feature of the “Zork Universe” wasinvented for Beyond Zork, which is one of the later sequels and not the thing revered by the old-timers.

  22. Bret says:

    So, I got a plan.

    We break the developer’s lights, then run away.

    With any luck, they’ll be eaten by Grues.

  23. Lintman says:

    Doesn’t Kingdom of Loathing also limit you to x number of turns per day? I know it doesn’t try to get you to pay for more, but it was annoying enough to me that I gave up on it after the second day.

    As for Progress Quest-like behavior: Progress Quest is cute but ultimately pointless, but it struck me that some sort of minimalist RPG with an underlying real game engine, might be actually kinda fun. Perhaps KoL might fit that bill, but the turn limit just put me off.

  24. Filipe says:

    What threw me off were all the numbers. I thought this was supposed to be a casual browser game? Hit probability percentages are throw at me clumsily. Why should I waste my time pouring over graphs trying to find out the best stances and equipment? I expect that when playing table top, not in a browser game that only supposed to take 30 minutes of my time.

  25. DigitalSignalX says:

    There was a similar load out annoyance with The Last Remnant jRPG. Your char would look the same as you wander around, weapons tucked away invisibly, even if you’re armed with a big honking spear. Plus you’ll appear to be alone in an instance as you explore it, but the second combat starts suddenly you’re surrounded by all your unions of allies who appear out of nowhere. Hilariously stupid. That plus loading a new screen/camera/perspective delay every time you enter and exit combat got horribly tedious after only 30 min of play (once you got past the hour of cutscenes).

    Anyone who makes games, be it high budget multi-DVD or slim browser based; ALL need to player test this sort of shit out of existence.

  26. MarkN says:

    @Lintman

    KoL limits you to an initial 40 adventures a day. This can be boosted by eating and drinking (amongst other things) – so you can end up with 2-300 a day (which is hours of gameplay per day). But the crux is that everything that can be bought with real cash can also be bought with meat (the in-game currency). Once you know you’re way around it’s fairly easy to earn enough meat to buy plenty of adventure rich food and booze a day whilst saving up for other goodies without spending any real cash.

  27. MarkN says:

    Gah! No edit! “Your” not “you’re”, obviously.

  28. Andrew Plotkin says:

    KoL has a daily turn limit, yes. The play model differs from LoZ in two ways:

    - KoL gives you a constant stream of quests. You’re motivated to complete them because you want to see what happens next (and the writing is funny, too).

    - KoL *doesn’t* let you pay for more turns. The pay-for-perks system allows you to fight more effectively, not longer. You can find items in-game which give you a few more turns per day. If you skillfully optimize their use, you can multiply your play time (as MarkN says) — but not indefinitely. In any case, it’s a reward for hardcore players, not rich players.

    The first point weighs more strongly with me than the second. Make me *want* to play your game! I knew LoZ wasn’t going to be a text adventure, but I expected it to have a lot more narrative in its RPGness.

  29. malkav11 says:

    Yeah, the action point model is not even remotely new to webgames like this. But paying for more points is lame.

  30. joe says:

    i enjoyed the article and i’m sure you’re right about most of it

    but the model of 15 free minutes per day (pay for more) is very successful. look at all of the Motion Twin games (like http://joe2.mybrute.com or http://alphabounce.com). you get to play for 15 minutes every day for free, and you can buy extra turns. if you have 3-6 of these you play every day, that’s an hour of fun games for free, every day.

    and the short duration of free play drives people who really enjoy the game to pay for more turns.

  31. Tuor says:

    Gah. What have they done? To take a legendary game and trash it like this? Ah well, it’s not the first time this has happened and it wont be last.

    Rest in peace, Infocom. Don’t let this… thing disturb your slumber.

  32. Clovis says:

    KoL doesn’t just have items you can eat and drink. It has a really fun crafting system. Trying out recipes is fun because the results are so weird. A baker is you!

  33. solipsistnation says:

    I could write one of my usual giant forum rants about Kingdom of Loathing, and in fact I just almost did but deleted it. Lucky you! Start a thread if you want me to pontificate like a giant nerd at you.

    This article summarized much of what bothered me, even including some stuff that’s lame but that I hadn’t quantified yet. Items are an important one. If we’re going to compare to KoL again (and it’s an obvious comparison for lots of good reasons), KoL has a TON of items, which are interesting, fun, tradeable, often intensely bizarre (The Gnollish Autoplunger! The Tiny Plastic Sword, both a weapon AND a cocktailcrafting component!) and all of which have their own description and icon (there are some duplicate icons, but not so it’s intrusively obvious. and sometimes it’s intentional).

    Also, and this is more personal, KoL isn’t afraid to be, for want of a better word, “edgy.” LoZ feels, well, bland. Generic things to fight with “wacky” weapons, potions, scrolls, and whoo hoo, a frying pan! A bag of rocks! it’s WACKY! In KoL, if you drink yourself almost into a stupor, you get more turns! AND YOU MAY LEVEL UP FROM BOOZE. Sheesh, man. Try doing that in a game with any kind of backing from a company worried about image. The design of LoZ feels like it was focus-groupped and tested on a whole bunch of people until all the poky bits and interesting edges were rounded off.

    I’d love to see an interview with the creators, or a post mortem or something. If you read their blog, the postings are all so enthusiastic and cheerful! I don’t want to stomp all over it too much, since it’s obvious that _somebody_ is proud of their work. And hell, the art isn’t bad! It’s just unfortunate that there’s no game to speak of under it.

  34. solipsistnation says:

    Oh, and even if the game were any good, the super-shady “sign up for scammy referral deals for coconuts!” thing is awful. I can’t believe a legitimate company would associate themselves with that kind of thing. I mean, hell, not a week goes by on consumerist.com without somebody writing in to say that they signed up for one of those (sometimes on purpose because they were clueless and sometimes because they were tricked into it by other shady web companies) and are now dealing with credit card companies and chargebacks and straight-up fraud.

  35. Muzman says:

    We should combine LoZ and KoL if only to get LoLZ oK

    (/fully expects “Puns et al in the plants thread please” notice)

  36. malkav11 says:

    Actually, having just been sucked into a bunch of Facebook social networking games, it’s suddenly become clear to me what this “Zork” game is actually emulating. Not KoL and games of that ilk. Not free play MMOs. But the said Facebook social network games. These typically have virtually no direct player involvement in anything you do. The extent of your interaction is mostly spending game money, and picking where to go/which in game quests/missions/whatsits to expend your time units on, and if/who to fight. Oh yeah, and inviting friends. There’s something horribly addictive about them.

    All of them except the D&D one (presumably because it’s meant to get you into D&D, not micropayments) that I’ve fiddled with so far have some sort of “Elders” or “Sage” or “Cabal” that will sell you stat refills, extra pseudofriends, and the like for some sort of points. Now, these games start you out with a few points and typically give you more for certain ingame accomplishments (levels, achievements), but the quick and dirty way to get them in droves is to buy them straight up or do the skeezy ad offers.

  37. MrFake says:

    Is it horrible, or is it an avenue to introduce casual gamers to RPGs and, by virtue of the name, the history of gaming? What, if anything, are the casual gamers saying about this game?

  38. Annie Moose says:

    Well, in my opinion, what the casual gamers think doesn’t matter. The point is not that it’s a new game, the point is that it’s a new Zork game! A game interactive fiction fans have been waiting for for about twenty years! The Zork series is something we’re passionate about. Why do you think we break about every copyright law in the book just to play the game?! (I’m far too young to have actually bought the game legally, so what other option do I have?) So a new Zork game is huge!! And… they’ve destroyed it. Completely. This isn’t a Zork game, it’s un-funny Kingdom of Loathing with lots of Zork references. I’ll play it, but because it’s an online game, NOT because it’s Zork.

  39. solipsistnation says:

    Ooooh, it’s aimed at FACEBOOK-style gamers? Good lord.

    I block those instantly. They’re just data-mining apps.

  40. Tirian says:

    To be pedantic, the Infocom game that started pulling the Great Underground Empire into a coherent universe was Zork Zero, not Beyond Zork. Then the Activision team used that model and pushed it out further in some areas with Zork Nemesis and Zork Grand Inquisitor. (Let’s just pretend that Return to Zork didn’t happen.) As an Infocommie, I’ll proclaim that all of these games are quite playable, even though only the first was made by Infocom and can be played on a Z-machine. The original trilogy (and Dungeon before it) are charming but also have a pre-graphic and low RAM kludge factor to them, and as much as I love them I can’t fully fault a modern player who doesn’t get swept into it.

    I obviously have to agree that LoZ is not Zork at all; I haven’t seen anything Zorky at all besides the map and the references to Double Fanucci and the “FrobozzCo Magic …” prefix. It looks very much like a generic Progress Quest model made by developers who didn’t know whether the marketing people would eventually make a licensing deal for Zork or Clone Wars or the Powerpuff Girls.

  41. Jenni says:

    And hell, the art isn’t bad!

    How awesome must it be to be that artist right now? “Everyone liked the bit I did. Dunno what’s wrong with you guys. *walks away whistling*”

  42. mattack says:

    First of all, I have NOT played this new web game..

    A few things.. Your link to “the original Zork” is a link to a web-based version of Dungeon. Now, if you meant the original Zork, that is, what Zork itself was based upon.. then that makes sense. But the way you phrased it, I think it’s confusing, because it also sounds like you’re comparing *this* new web game to the “original” (i.e. real) Zork… which itself was based upon Dungeon.

    Also, “the loot you collect sells itself” isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In the PS2 “The Bard’s Tale” (which is itself a remake, reimagining, spiritual sequel, depending upon one’s point of view) of the original game, when you get better weapons, the old worse ones do indeed turn into money. That is actually a GOOD thing, IMHO. So this feature doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.

  43. Melf_Himself says:

    This game is absolutely awful, and nothing like the Zork series at all.

  44. solipsistnation says:

    @mattack: It’s not like an auto-upgrade thing. It’s just, I dunno, window dressing. Why bother pointing out that I’ve looted a gem when that gem is functionally and aesthetically equivalent to 10 gold (or whatever)? There’s no picture of a gem, no description of the gem, just “A Gem” in an inventory list (I think– inventory is a problem) and a message when you return to base that says “You sold A Gem for 10 gold.”

    Hell, it’s not even like it was some kind of fetch quest where somebody asked for 10 gems. It was just a word that turned into a number. Where’s the weight behind those words and numbers?

  45. PegamooseG says:

    First off… I enjoy various kinds of text games from the early Infocom games, to the King’s Quests, to the Monkey Islands, and event a Zork or two. Yes, Legends of Zork took elements from the world of Zork, but it lacks challenge. In the text games, I like trying everything under the sun to try to get that one step further in the game, even if that meant starting over a million times. It was part of the challenge, part of the fun. This… I found very frustrating. It’s like the game is so incredibly dumbed down that it’s like a slightly interactive advertisement for something I don’t want to buy into.

    Games like Kingdom of Loathing and Twilight Heroes, are what lit a fire under me to create my own, Urban Legions.

    Kingdom of Loathing is incredible. Since the day I stumbled upon it via Wikipedia (looking up “Trifids” of all things), I have been hooked and play it practically every day since. I love the sense of humor. I love collecting all the crazy items. After ascending about 8+ times, the quests are getting a little tedious. But, they add new content, which makes me want to play it even more. I haven’t even broken into the Hobopolis or PvP sides of the game, and it’s kept me entertained for 2.5+ years.

    Twilight Heroes… I played for a while. Then, I got stuck on one of the quests. After a while, it got repetitive and I dropped it (mostly). I go back every once in a while. It’s not a bad game. It’s as easy to pick up as KoL. It’s got a good sense of humor, and I’ve enjoyed playing it. Yet, it lacks something (for me, at least) to want to keep playing it. Maybe they’ve found that certain something that I lacked, and maybe I should pick it up again.

    Urban Legions… Why did I create this game? Because I told my friend about KoL, how much fun it was, and we both agreed it was something we should try doing ourselves. During the creation of the game, we broke away from several traditions, but kept various elements we enjoy from playing other games. One of the things we broke away from is character creation. All characters start the same except for their names. You enter a name and an alias, and you’re off and running. Stats? We limit it to Brains and Brawn. I mean seriously… How often do you roll for Constitution while playing D&D? We also wanted the game to play differently. The world is very much open ended. There is an over-arching plot that we continuously add to, but there are various side quests along the way. We are light years behind KoL in the amount of content, but of what we already have, we are already building a community of people who play on a regular basis and crave more (By the way… We love you guys and gals!). Like the others, KoL, TH, and LoZ, we provide a few turns per day with the options to subscribe for more turns per day or to buy a big block of turns that you can slowly whittle away. Sure, he and I would love to make enough money from this to one day quit our day jobs and focus solely on this and a few other projects up our sleeves, but the enjoyment we have of creating something that we are most proud of and trying to constantly out-do ourselves is also so incredibly rewarding.

    So, back to Legends of Zork… As I said, I enjoy playing these kinds of game, if not for seeing “what not to do”. One of the first things that irked me is the combat. I can’t control what my character does in regards to combat, so why even go through the motions of creating a character? The next thing that bugged me… I went to my inventory to see what I thought I gained, but didn’t. To get back into the game, the only way I could figure out was to go back to the map and into the location I was just at. This took another couple of action points to do. Seriously?! It takes an action point if I want to view my character and click ONE LOCATION on the map?! Are you fbleeping serious?! That right there should have been caught during beta. I can see “Exploring the Area” as one action point, and maybe healing at home, but picking which area you want to explore, especially when there is no easy way to go from your inventory back to where you just were?! After that, I decided to call it a day. I think I still have about 22 of my 30 Action Points left. Anybody else want them? Anyone?

    If ya’ll know of who else is out there in the world of browser-based games such as these, drop me a line. I’d love to check out the “competition”. And, if ya’ll would like to try Urban Legions, I’d also love to hear what you have to say aboot our game, both the good and the scathing.

  46. OriginalSnarf says:

    Re: PegamooseG
    “t’s as easy to pick up as KoL. It’s got a good sense of humor, and I’ve enjoyed playing it. Yet, it lacks something (for me, at least) to want to keep playing it. Maybe they’ve found that certain something that I lacked, and maybe I should pick it up again.”

    That something for a fair share of the long-term players is, believe it or not, the community. Did you look into finding a clan that fit your play-style? After 2.5+ years, I’m fairly sure you probably have, but it’s worth mentioning. It makes a huge difference to have /clan while burning through turns on the grind that is the level 11 quest. Meets become a real-life part of the game, which then makes coming back to the game more attractive.

  47. PegamooseG says:

    Re: OriginalSnarf

    For KoL, yes, I have joined a clan in my 2.5+ years. But, I haven’t used the Chat. I haven’t ventured into Hobopolis, either. That and eventually the PvP are somethings I still need to check out. Right now, I’m exploring the sea depths.

    The bit you quoted was in regard to Twilight Heroes. There’s something in that game (not KoL) that I found lacking.

    As for Zork… I’m tempted to in-game-mail a few of the people at the top of the food chain to ask them what they find appealing to the game so that they opt to purchase more turns. Maybe it’s the same thing that makes people on Facebook want to throw sheep at each other. (*shrug*)

  48. Kasumi says:

    I always enjoy your reviews. Especially the comments as they introduce me to new things. I am tired of big companies spending tons of money making great titles bland. Poor zork. I knew of kol, but not of twilight and urban legions. Now I am getting addicted to ul. :P

  49. boypage says:

    It’s simple. LoZ sucks.

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>