Forest of ZZT

29.2 KB
2.50 / 5.00
(1 Review)
Board Count
61 / 61
Submitted By
2 years, 2 months ago (Feb 22, 2022)

Agent Orange came upon UndeadCaleb laughing at Forest of ZZT. He had downloaded it thinking it was a different game.

"Will you look at this junk? Such an ugly-ass title screen! And he rips off Monster Zoo! This newbie hasn't removed any of the yellow borders and doesn't even know how to use ZZT-OOP!"

"I see," said Agent Orange.

"I should've stuck to November Eve," grumbled UndeadCaleb.

Agent Orange downloaded Forest of ZZT and played it.

Some time later he came upon UndeadCaleb again.

"UndeadCaleb, I have the played Forest of ZZT you told me about."

"Real crap game, right?" said UndeadCaleb.

"It has a soul."

"What are you smoking dude"

"Well, answer me this. What is left of November Eve after you remove Parasite Eve?"

"Huh? Cameos...and crazy blends?"

"Now, what is left of Forest of ZZT after you remove the Super ZZT references?"

"Hmm... the game?"

And UndeadCaleb saw what Agent Orange meant.

FOREST OF ZZT (1994), not to be confused with the Interactive Fantasies release of the same name released in 1998, was found on FilePlanet and uploaded to in 2002. Little else is known about it. This game's ugly title screen is what drew me to it, but it does have things worth checking out.

While starting out in A forest of ZZT, the game rapidly sends you on a series of quests through different towns gathering orbs and canes at the request of various petty kings before it goes all Code Red and some unexpected new antagonists are introduced for the endgame.

It's a hot, confusing mess, but still an exciting hot mess that hurls you from village to village on quests for elementally-themed artifacts with some lore thrown in here and there. The player's quest will take them across mountains, caves, deserts, beaches and towers, avoid getting ripped off in shell games by hucksters, witness wizards turning barren lands into green forests with magic, stop an alien invasion and finally ascend into godhood.

I'm admittedly filling in the gaps with my imagination there, but ZZT always asks us to do this.

The author was clearly trying to make a big RPG with multiple towns, dungeons, NPCs, minigames to get money and some karmic bonuses, but lost patience or lacked the ability halfway through the game, and the 'game' part of things gets thinner the further you play. Simply put, there isn't that much to do in terms of action or mazes or puzzle-solving as the game progresses.

The author clearly tried with what they knew to build a world but their coding isn't up to scratch at times. This mostly translates to small bugs, but if you're unlucky, some objects can lock you out of the game at one point by not giving you gems (unless you cheat to give yourself more gems).

While the world of this game (or the gameplay itself) is not sufficiently fleshed-out, the author never quite gives up and sometimes surprises us with visuals and some odd twists in the setting. Stick around, and there are very good ZZT windmills (for 1994), an interesting attempt to recreate flashing neon light signs, a good-looking alien ship and a stab at alien architecture that mirrors Fred!

Give this game a try. Even as sparse and underdeveloped as it is, the author's ambition still shines through at rare moments which allow the empathetic player to appreciate what is being attempted. In spite of its 61ish-board length, it's a fast game to play through.

The lovely windmills halfway through the game are worth it.

2.50 / 5.00

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