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BlackBerry Hacks by Dave Mabe

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Hack #36. Play Zork on Your BlackBerry

With this Java-based mini Infocom interpreter, you can play retro text adventures on your BlackBerry. You can even write your own games if you want!

"Open mailbox. Take leaflet and read it." Those are the sentences you need to kick off a game of Zork, which is, to many, the prototypical text adventure. You're more likely to hear these games referred to as interactive fiction these days, and although many things have changed since the days when Infocom and Adventure International owned the genre, these games are very much alive.

You'll find a thriving community of interactive fiction gamers and authors at the Interactive Fiction Archive (http://www.ifarchive.org/). On this site, you'll find hundreds of games, tools to create your own, and all sorts of information.

As a text-friendly handheld, the BlackBerry is the perfect platform for interactive fiction. There are a couple of ways you can play these games on your BlackBerry. Z2ME (http://gpf.dcemu.co.uk/) is a port of ZPlet (http://sourceforge.net/projects/zplet/), a Java-based interpreter for the Z-Machine, the virtual machine that Infocom used for their interactive fiction games (compiled games are said to be in the Z-code format and have a file extension indicating which version they were compiled for, such as .z3, .z5, and so on). Many modern interactive fiction titles use the Z-Machine, so you'll find plenty of games for it. Another J2ME Z-Machine interpreter is ZeeME (http://www.gizmo-a-gogo.org/ZeeME/index.html ...

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