Return to Zork (Activision, 1993)

Return to Zork ostensibly returns the player to the Great Underground Empire made famous in the original Zork series of text adventures. However, the GUE this time around bears little resemblance to the original one. That is the fundamental problem with Return to Zork--it simply doesn't live up to the legacy established by the original Zork games. As was typical for most no-typing games in 1993 (though Return to Zork has a better interface than most, the story generally serves the graphics and sound, instead of being served by them. As a result, the graphics and sound tend to feel detached from the story. Though this would be to any game's detriment, Return to Zork suffers more than most since its predecessors proved you didn't need graphics and sound to have a good game. The designers of Return to Zork would have done well to heed that lesson. As it stands, while Return to Zork might be a passable standalone game, as one in the Zork series, it fails to deliver.

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