ZZT is an action-adventure puzzle game developed by Tim Sweeney and published by Epic MegaGames for MS-DOS in 1991. ZZT was originally sold under a shareware model, but has since been released by the author as freeware. ZZT was so named so it would show up last in any game list. The game's appearance is similar to the Kingdom of Kroz, which predates it by several years, or Rogue, by even more. The game comes with three pre-made worlds which are a lot of fun, and introduce a lot of what the game engine has to offer, the real beauty of ZZT comes from the powerful script engine that allows you to create your own game worlds. When ZZT was at its peak of popularity, thousands of worlds had been made, many of which were very well crafted and went far beyond what the original Sweeny thought possible.
I encountered ZZT in a shareware bundle and found it to be, not only fun to play, but a lot of fun to script my own levels. I spent a lot of time designing new worlds and scripts, though I didn't finish any of them, and no longer have a copy of anything I created.
ZZT is now freeware. I have beaten the Town of ZZT episode.
Best Version: DOS
— This section contains spoilers! —
- The puzzles in the pre-made worlds are often very clever without being too difficult.
- The scripting engine really made the game, and offered thousands of extra hours for budding designers.
- Obviously, the all-text display kind of ruins any attempt at making attractive graphics, although people skilled in ANSI art have made some pretty interesting screens.
- Many aspects of the game engine were hard coded, like most enemies, the gun, torches, etc. This meant that a good portion of the game remained very similar in most custom maps.
ZZT is now freeware so this archive contains all of the shareware and registered versions I could find.