Zork: Grand Inquisitor is a remarkably stylish game. That’s its strongest point - almost nothing in the game feels humdrum. It’s difficult to convey in writing (and the easy examples are mentioned in the AG review itself), but it’s one of those rare games where you often know how to proceed, but insist on trying other things just to see what would happen.
The puzzles are good. I do think the theme of magic spells could’ve been used more. Puzzles around spells are usually “where can I use this incredibly specific spell”, instead of “how can I creatively use this spell’s effect”. There are some exceptions (that make for good puzzles IMO), but for most part it’s about running around looking for a body of water to cast the create-bridge-over-body-of-water spell on. Unfortunately one of the best spell-related puzzles is marred by requiring a “view hunt” (the node-based equivalent of a pixel hunt) so it’s possible many players will have read a walkthrough by then.
Puzzle design is also somewhat problematic. There are some “rearrange the soup cans” moments, when you do something because it’s obvious you can do it, but the character doesn’t have a clear motivation. The most egregious example is making a cup of cocoa. The game clues about it in three different ways, as well as suddenly starting to supply inventory items towards that goal. However, until after you do it, you don’t really know why you’d want to make that cup of cocoa, you just do because it’s there and it’s obviously something you’ll need to do at some point in the game, so why not now.
The flow of the game is sometimes constricted by choke points that seem arbitrary. Moreover, the game is often linearized by it. At some point the plot becomes a standard three part fetch quest, but its parts have to be tackled in a specific order. Even then, the game is relatively short - might’ve even been less than five hours.
However, those issues only serve to keep the game from a five-star rating. Between the constantly amusing humour, wonderful voice acting, oodles of style and generally good puzzles, ZGI is still a clear recommendation for comedy-loving adventurers.
Time Played: 5-10 hours