7:51 PM

Road Trip: Frotz

For a blog that is named Text Adventure, this post can’t be more relevant with it also being the first for our portable/mobile games column Road Trip.

Frotz, is a Z-machine interpreter (z-code files are essentially story files) for playing text adventure games such as Zork (which happens to stand for the Z in Z-machine). Z-machine games should not be confused with SCUMM (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion), which is a graphical system similar to Z-Machine games. The Frotz application can be downloaded to a PC or in the case of this column on to your iPhone or iPod touch so you can play on the road.

Frotz for the iPhone is free application, which comes pre-loaded with a dozen or more text adventures, including the original M.I.T. version of Zork. The application also provides a link to a database where you can download more story files. The quality of the games will vary from game to game since most of them are fan creations. As far as the interface goes, Frotz is very well tailored for portable gaming. By tapping the screen the keyboard will pop up allowing the user to type in the common words and phrases used text adventures (ie. take key, examine desk, etc.). Short form for key words is also used such as “I” for inventory. The built in dictionary will also complete the spelling of words based on the initial letters used. The ability to save your game is thankfully available.

In the future, I would hope to see an update allowing for graphics and sound, potentially paving the way for Infocom’s library to be brought to the iPhone. This on my part is wishful thinking however. At any rate give it a try, you can’t go wrong with price.
- Schu

Comment (1)

just added it to my touch !

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