Use ScummVM last update: There are many options for playing your copies of Zork interactive fiction on almost any operating system.
Infocom - Zork Downloads - Download and Installation Instructions
Below are links to some solutions, grouped by operating system. Were these guides helpful? If so, please make a donation to help pay our hosting bills! Click to toggle visibility. Guides are public domain unless otherwise specified. Contact Kevin at zorkguides gmail.
Updated link for Windows Frotz since old one was broken. Added links to Zork Quest: Adjusted page layout. Cleaned up phrasing. Fixed some HTML validation errors. Changed colors and styles to better match rest of the Zork Library.
Reorganized interactive fiction interpreter links to better feature options that are more common and better supported. This leaves only ScummVM instructions for desktop operating systems since it's the easiest and best supported option, and to avoid confusion from too many options. Make some lists horizontal to save space. Remove link to Mordack's Zork Nemesis guide since it's no longer available. Removed comments about help with new guides since ScummVM covers all the graphical games now.
Removed links to Virtualization since they're not as needed or feasible these days. Added links to Archive. Specified games at ifiction. Fixed grammar mistake. Removed KIF since it likely doesn't work on current Kindles. Decreased size of "last update" text in tables. Added mention of Windows Removed links to Zork Online, thcnet. Removed links to Zoom for Windows and JFrotz because they are unavailable. Updated link to Twisty to use current project website.
Fixed Frobnitz link. Reorganized Palm and Windows IF links. Added Gargoyle to Mac IF links. Added link to jsmachines' Zork. Added mention of GOG games supporting Windows 8. Fixed broken link to Frobnitz for Palm. Revised wording in several sections.
Added note about checking that cursor. Added info about Zengine and work in progress guides. Added mention of Windows 8. Added reference to Zork Nemesis guide about the program Turbo and using it to slow down Zork Nemesis to avoid crashes in certain sections. Fixed guide to installing Zork Nemesis when you can't run the installer. Some files weren't being copied in right. Thanks for Evan for the fix. Various minor HTML fixes.
Marisa-Chan's Zengine is a better option. Added VMWare and Parallels to list of virtualization programs. Added Frotz. If you can get a Z-Machine running on a given system, you can basically load any Infocom game into it. This means it's pretty appealing for aspiring programmers to tinker with… and it also means that once you get Zork running, you can play a whole lot of other classics.
Welcome down the rabbit hole. The one drawback here is that technically , Zork isn't freeware. Creating a Z-Machine emulator or simulation is totally legal, but the code for individual games has never been released into the public domain. That said, the series' current owner, Activision, tends not to make a big deal about the game's distribution if there's no profit motive involved.
How Can I Play It?: The Zork Trilogy
That feels true to the series' origins as a collaborative, non-commercial project. It's always nice when corporate ownership doesn't completely smother the classic hacker mindset. The great thing about Z-Machines is that, having been designed to run on computers running with single-digit kilobytes of RAM, it's no trouble at all for modern web browsers to run an interpreter in Flash or HTML 5 or whatever.
- There Is A Surreal Cyberpunk Adventure Game Built Into OS X That You Never Knew About | Cult of Mac.
- Installing and Playing Zork Games on Modern Operating Systems.
- There Is A Surreal Cyberpunk Adventure Game Built Into OS X That You Never Knew About.
A quick search for "play Zork" on Google will turn up pages of websites where you can play seamlessly in the page and even save your progress between sessions. Personally, I recommend going to the Internet Archive aka archive. You can find the Internet Archive's Zork page here. If you prefer playing offline, you have access to no end of Zork-friendly interpreters. You can find a massive list of these engines at the Interactive Fiction Archive. Of all these interpreters, Frotz seems to have the best reputation. It's available for an absolutely ridiculous array of systems, though some platforms — such as Mac OS X — are woefully out of date and probably won't run on current versions of the operating system.
Play an 'old-school' adventure game
For Mac users, Gargoyle comes highly recommended by IF literati. Up until about three days ago, the best way to play Zork on iOS was with Lost Treasures of Infocom , a collection of nearly two dozen Z-machine games supported officially by Activision. Unfortunately, that support ended a while back, and the launch of the bit-only iOS 11 this week means Lost Treasures is no longer officially supported — it's very likely mired forever in the bit realm. Luckily, iOS users also have Frotz , which does support the new bit operating system. There's a version for Android , too!