Fine example of interactive fiction
The Zork series of interactive fiction
by Infocom is legendary in the games industry for its advanced narratives and interfaces which made it ahead of its time. Enchanter was intended to be the fourth in the Zork franchise but instead forms the first part of a new trilogy, with the sequels being Sorcerer
. Story-wise (which, let's face it, is everything in a text adventure), Enchanter is nothing original but manages to be incredibly strong and compelling nonetheless, and weaves a complex and fairly epic fantasy tale. The evil warlock Krill seeks to spread chaos and destruction but none of the more experienced enchanters are brave enough to stop him. Instead it falls to the player to step up and make their way to Krill's castle and bring an end to his plans. This is done in typical text adventure fashion, where written descriptions create a mental picture of the environment for the player and with various commands input to explore, collect and use items, and interact with other characters. Enchanter's system is particularly sophisticated for its time, and understands over 700 words, making the game highly challenging to complete. One of its particular innovations was the spell system which required players to learn and memorise spells and while it is slightly cumbersome to start with, it soon becomes second nature to use. Enchanter is well up to the standards of the previous Zork games, with an excellently written, if somewhat cliched, narrative, decent puzzles and plenty of text-based exploration. It is more serious than its predecessors, and lacks the overt humour, but remains an excellent introduction to the joys of interactive fiction.