From TheAlmightyGuru
Jump to: navigation, search

ZZT - DOS - Screenshot - Title.png

MS-DOS - Screenshot - Title.

Developer Tim Sweeney
Publisher Epic MegaGames
Published 1991-01-15
Platforms DOS
Genres Action adventure, Active puzzle, Exploration, Metroidvania, Puzzle
Themes Adventure, Fantasy
Series ZZT
Distribution Commercial, Freeware, Shareware

ZZT is an action-adventure puzzle video game developed by Tim Sweeney and published by Epic MegaGames for MS-DOS on 1991-01-15. 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.

The game was originally released a shareware, but has since been released as freeware.


Won?Yes. Town of ZZT.
FinishedLate 1990s.

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.


Video Game Review Icon - Enjoyment.png Video Game Review Icon - Control.png Video Game Review Icon - Appearance.png Video Game Review Icon - Sound.png Video Game Review Icon - Replayability.png
6 5 2 2 2

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.


  • Nothing.





Longplay - Town of ZZT.
Longplay - Caves of ZZT.
Longplay - Dungeons of ZZT.
Speedrun - Town (with cheats).

Play Online



Strong female character?FailMost characters are so abstract they don't even have a clear gender.
Bechdel test?FailI don't think any women ever talk to each other.
Strong person of color character?FailSince they're just a bunch of smiley faces, nobody has a race.
Queer character?FailThere are no queer characters.


ZZT is now freeware so this archive contains all of the shareware and registered versions I could find.


Link-MobyGames.png  Link-Wikipedia.png  Link-GameFAQs.png  Link-ModdingWiki.png  link=https://tcrf.net/ZZT tcrf.net/ZZT