Activision purchase by Microsoft

I remember stumbling across the Encyclopedia Frobozzica a few years back and wondering: what is all this stuff?

It was all from Legends of Zork, which lived and died while I was dealing with health issues. Had no idea it had ever existed.

It is hard to imagine Phil Spencer even thinking about Infocom.

Ignoring that, I imagine any game they made would involve the talent they have. I guess they may have some older people on the bench who were involved in text or P&C back in the day, but by a presumably wide margin the talent to make quality IF is here, not there.

So Enchanter as a shooter or something. :woman_mage: I’m kind of joking, kind of not.

I don’t think Microsoft is interested in making games that can’t increase the perceived value of Gamepass. Platform diversity is desirable to them, but I think anything that isn’t fulfilling to play with a controller is out. All the way out, I think.

1 Like

I remember Legends of Zork vaguely - it blipped on the radar and I think I tried it. From what I remember it was it online and card based(?) I think you got a limited number of interaction turns per day but you could purchase more - it seemed to follow the paradigm of Fallen London.

Probably something along the lines of Zork Nemesis which was a graphical adventure with object puzzles. It was very dark and humorless and wanted to be Myst more than Zork.

Zork Grand Inquisitor was better tone-wise, and was a graphical point-and-click adventure (360 node-based exploration like later Myst again) with a sentient brass lamp narrating in a quasi-parser voice, which was pretty clever. It also employed some classic Enchanter spells and new ones…I think that’s the one where a spell name got sung in four-part harmony when you cast it?

You recommend Nemesis and Grand Inquisitor?

I’m sure I played those games, but I don’t recall anything other than one of them (perhaps both) treating the TOR CYOA books as canon.

I recently discovered PDFs of two such books, so it’s fresh on my mind.

I suppose something in the mold of the King’s Quest reboot a few years back might be a fit, too. I started it but never finished.

Oh, I don’t know. As a Spectrum fan, I really enjoyed Microsoft’s Rare Replay which included many 30 year old+ games. They’ve been fairly good about allowing fan projects using (or rather being inspired by) the Rare (Ultimate Play the Game) IP too, like the recent release of
Melkhior’s Mansion.

So, you never know.

1 Like

I’d recommend Grand Inquisitor which is actually fun and feels like the designers played and liked Infocom games and paid homage to them despite it being point and click. Nemesis was not enjoyable in my opinion.

Yay: $6 on Steam! Boo: Windows only

Yes, but for completely different reasons. Nemesis is, as Hanon says, mostly in the Myst vein. ZGI was a sort of adventure-game-spoof, but decent for that.

1 Like

Thanks! I’ve added both to my wishlist.

This is where ScummVM comes into play. It supports the ZVision games (Nemesis, Grand Inquisitor).


Zork was an easter egg in 2020’s Call of Duty 17 as a part of a pack of games like Pitfall 1-2 to convey the 80s theme.

1 Like

For those of you who like to follow industry stuff, the WaPo published an interview with Phil Spencer (leader of MS games division) this morning. Apologies to anyone who has read their free articles for the month!

He did express enthusiasm for bringing back dormant IPs, and specifically mentioned King’s Quest, Guitar Hero, and HeXen. I was a big HeXen fan back in the day.

Also: I forgot that King was an Activision property. So MS has picked up a massively profitable mobile company, too.

1 Like