Zork is THE definitive adventure game. Only the original Adventure program and the Scott Adams' series are comparable in challenge and complexity. It has the monstrous scope, fundamental tenets, and beautifully descriptive prose of Adventure, plus a complex enough "puzzle" structure to warm the heart of any Adams fan.

The scenario is familiar, but the specifics are totally new and different. Not surprisingly, one starts at a deserted house which leads (in hopefully short order) to a cavernous underground complex replete with varied and sundry treasures, a hungry Cyclops, an audacious Thief, a testy Troll, enchanted items (like mirrors and certain knives), an underground lake, dam, and river, to say nothing of the coal mine, chapel, maze, and on and on ad infinitum, even unto the Gates of Hell.

The split-screen, all-text, and silent display is neatly formatted and scrolls very well. The vocabulary is out of this world; by far the most extensive yet encountered. Compound and multiple commands are accepted and individually acted upon. For example, "Take all but shovel and pump. Enter the boat. Examine Scarab" is a valid, single command line. It will even answer a few abstract questions such as "What is xxx?" and "Where is yyy?" Through it all, the speed of the game is satisfyingly fast. Well conceived system commands permit diagnosis of your state of health, control over the degree of text verbosity, enabling/disabling a printer from within the program, and saving a game's status (only one) to a separate disk.

Zork will require at least the same amount of time (or more) than was required to achieve a perfect score in Adventure. For those of fainter heart and lesser patience, Infocom's well written documentation advises that a price list is available for various hints and maps. But whether you tough it out or not, the best news is that this is only Part II.

Overall rating : A+ Difficulty:BOriginality:A
Puzzle quality :AEase of use: ADocumentation:B
Text quality:AVocabulary:A+Holds interest ?:A
Graphics quality :N/ASave/restore:A+Value for money:A