Download Return to Zork

More than 13000 old games to download for free!

Return to Zork

DOS - 1993

Also available on: Mac

Alt name
リターン・トゥ・ゾーク
Year
1993
Platform
DOS
Released in
United States
Genre
Adventure
Theme
Puzzle-Solving
Publisher
Activision, Inc.
Developer
Activision, Inc.
Perspective
1st-Person
Dosbox support
Fully supported on 0.65
4.2 / 5 - 41 votes

Description of Return to Zork

Infocom's first return to the famous Zork universe after a long hiatus is a funny adventure that retains much of the campy atmosphere that makes the original Zork trilogy a classic, but unfortunately falls victim to its own innovative adventure interface, unforgiving and illogical puzzles, and some very cheesy acting.

Okay, let's start with the good stuff. The plot is a typical treasure-hunting quest in the spirit of the original Zork trilogy, with a dash of some magic and evil woozle thrown in for good measure. While Infocom fans will mourn the passing of Infocom's legendary parser, RtZ tries to ease the pain by introducing an innovative point-and-click interface that allows a much wider of actions than other graphical adventures. Clicking on an object brings up a menu of possible actions you can perform with that object, and clicking the object on another usually brings up even more actions. The conversation interface is also innovative: every time you talk to a character, you can select the mood you want in order to set the tone and direction of your speech. Feel like some weenie is hiding something from you? Change to "angry" mode, and you'll intimidate him to submission. You can also ask people about any object in your inventory, or any photo you have taken. Sometimes doing so is the only way to obtain the much-needed clues for puzzles. Acting is downright horrible, canned, and cheesy, but at least you won't find too much of that in this floppy version, and all the characters and the overall atmosphere are in keeping with Zork's wacky, easy-going fantasy mythos. Although longtime fans will be disappointed at the absence of creative spells in the game, the sight of that famous white house is sure to elicit a chuckle or two and a warm feeling of nostalgia. Unfortunately, for all its designers' efforts to make RtZ a game worthy of the Zork name, all its good points crumble under the weight of the game's worst weakness: ruthlessly unforgiving puzzles. They are not just bad-- they are so illogical and obscure that sometimes you'll be solving a puzzle correctly without knowing why that particular solution works... even with a walkthrough in hand. One example of the game's puzzles will help illustrate my point: at the beginning of the game, you come across a curious plant ("it's a bonding plant," is all the game will tell you). Using the delightfully versatile interface, you can either dig it up, cut it with a knife, or pull it up. If you don't use the "right" way, the plant will die, but you can still carry it around. Now, woe be the time when you finally realize after progressing through half the game, that you actually need a live plant to solve one puzzle. There is no way to revive your plant, although there is a way to get a new one... the clue to which is hidden quite well. That's the problem with the game in general: clues are scattered in the most unlikely places, including minute references in the Encyclopedia Frobozzica, a thick fan-made book about Zorkian mythos included free with the game. Suffice it to say that anyone who's been spoiled by LucasArts' excellent cannot-get-stuck-or-die game design (and that's most of us) will likely get very frustrated playing RtZ.I must admit, however, that I had a lot of fun with RtZ even while I grumbled at its idiosyncracies... and that's probably a sign of how much I truly care about the game (and Zork in general). Despite all my nitpicking and grumbling, Return to Zork is a definite must-play for all adventurers, although they should brace themselves for some ruthlessly illogical and impossible puzzles. While not the best in the series, the game definitely succeeds in bringing the Zork universe to life, with the appropriate sense of silly humor that we all know and love. The game's many innovations and wacky plotline are enough to glue everyone to the screen until the very end. Just think of it this way: you know you're really going to miss Boo's incessant "Want some rye? 'Course you do" after your adventure is over [EG]. Remember: save often-- save VERY often. *

Note: To get the full breadth of how horrible the acting is in RtZ, try to find the CD-ROM version which features laughable digitized actors :) The game has two superior sequels, Zork: Nemesis and Zork: The Grand Inquisitor, the latter of which is one of the best and most faithful Zorkian games.

Review By HOTUD

Captures and Snapshots

Comments and reviews

Steve E 2016-12-15 0 point Mac version

I've enjoyed playing the GOG version of RTZ on my Windows 10 PC, and the floppy version online at "Play DOS games online". But if I want to play the Mac version downloaded from here, it looks like I'm doomed. I have an El Capitan Mac. Scumm doesn't recognize this Mac download at all. Then I tried Sheepshaver. RTZ will start, but then Sheepshaver asks for the Return to Zork CD, which Sheepshaver can't read. Then Sheepshaver asks for MPGS, which are there, but also unrecognizable. After a few moves, RTZ freezes up and I must force-quit Sheepshaver. Then I tried Basilisk II. RTZ is even less compatible with Basilisk. I get all kinds of fatal errors. There must be some way to play this Mac download, otherwise, would it be posted here? The Mac version has some nuances that are absent in both DOS versions. I don't need Boxer, since I have a PC. Is the only way to play the Mac version to find some vintage Mac computer from 1994?

Brian 2015-11-14 1 point DOS version

I got to the end of this and was one items short for the ending challenge (you know what I'm referring to. And I never finished. Time to get my kids playing it to beat it for me.

Phoenix 2015-08-30 1 point

Pure brilliance !! I have been hanging on playing this since I played it when it was first released, I forgot the name so I hunted down clues until I found the title & then to be able to find it & play it through dosbox is a dream come true......Nothing beats nostalgia I salute thee :)

york 2015-07-01 1 point DOS version

my brothers and i used to play this when we were young.fucking awesome. so happy to play this again.

greg 2015-02-28 1 point DOS version

videos seem to be missing or any way not playing

Chip 2015-01-18 1 point DOS version

ive played the first one many years ago

Dwardartex 2014-11-16 0 point DOS version

You know it's a great old dos game when the manual is larger than the actual game.

Thkaal 2014-08-27 1 point DOS version

Here's ta us.

Who's like us?

Damn few.

And they're aaaaaaaaaaall dead.

CDM 2014-02-19 0 point DOS version

I wrote a walkthrough for this game way back...I published it on the Compuserve thing that was pre-WWW...loved this game. :)

apalbr 2014-02-17 -2 points DOS version

I cant install this game :-(

Blondie 2013-09-14 0 point DOS version

Thank you for the free download. I have the old floppy disks but am missing disk 5 & 9. Thought I was lost, but now the game is found. I even have the original ZORK ANTHOLOGY THE 5 ORIGINAL TEXT ADVENTURES book.

Tails 2013-05-30 0 point DOS version

So happy to have found this game again, I loved loved loved it!

"Want some rye? Course ya do!"

Jack 2013-04-12 0 point DOS version

me and my brother used to love this game. I can't wait until the 3 minute download completes and i can play it again!

Oscar 2013-01-26 0 point DOS version

Great game! It works wonderfully.

Jake 2012-11-10 0 point DOS version

One of my childhood games!! I used to play this with my best friend every weekend (even after finally being able to solve all the obscure puzzles and finish the game). Cool stuff.

Write a comment

Share your gamer memories, help others to run the game or comment anything you'd like. If you have trouble to run Return to Zork, read the abandonware guide first!

 

Buy Return to Zork

Buy Return to Zork for a small price and enjoy a complete game with music, voices and videos! Most of the games available on GoG, Steam or Origin run instantly. Return to Zork is available on the following sites:

Download Return to Zork

We may have multiple downloads for few games when different versions are available. Also, we try to upload manuals and extra documentations when possible. If the manual is missing and you own the original manual, please contact us!

Just one click to download at full speed!

DOS version

Mac version

Similar games

Fellow retro gamers also downloaded these games:

Terms About Contact Link to us FAQ Useful links Contribute Taking screenshots How to play

MyAbandonware utopiaweb