Zork II: The Wizard of Frobozz
for PC (DOS)

Company: Infocom
Year: 1982
Genre: Adventure
Theme: Sword & Sorcery / Text-based
Language: English
Licence: Commercial
Views: 13658
Review by Teset (2012-03-09)

Zork II: The Wizard of Frobozz is the sequel of the successful text adventure Zork. Like its predecessor, it is a pure text adventure and it was first published in 1981, the PC port following in 1983.

The game begins where its predecessor ended. The game introduces the 'Wizard of Frobozz', the main antagonist, who turns up again and again throughout the game and who has to be defeated eventually. To this end, you have to collect treasures and solve puzzles just like in the first part. By adding the wizard, though, there is now also a global goal which stands above the pure treasure hunt.

The wizard appears again and again in the game to put spells on our hero. This interaction with the player is an improvement compared to the predecessor. The world does not consist of a system of tunnels anymore and the different locations have been described better, making the world seem more alive. Many randomised elements add to that impression.
Apart from that, the text parser, too, has been improved from the original and the typical humour found only sparsely in the first part makes another appearance again.

However, the difficulty of the puzzles has been increased, too. In some cases, it is just not fair anymore, some puzzles have to count as unsolvable without help. Two puzzles in particular have become quite notorious.

The game shares many weaknesses with early text adventures. The hero will die quite a lot, so you have to save often. On the other hand, you can also get into situations where the game has become unsolvable without you noticing it. Like in the predecessor, you can also get lost quite easily.

In spite of the inclusion of the wizard, there is still no real story in the plot. The game also has got too many randomised elements which don't make it come alive, but only serve to make it more confusing.

Zork II is the most difficult part of the Zork trilogy. It is considered by some fans to be the best part. So it is easily recommended to everybody who enjoyed the first part. For other text adventure fans, there are more current and better alternatives, though.

Translated by Mr Creosote

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