Mark Land

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Wildcard Stream Vol. 85 - Mark Land 1 and 2

In the land of Mark, the man named Mark is king. Some early adventures with some promise, but too many issues to really thrive.

Authored By: Dr. Dos
Published: Jun 30, 2024
Part of Series: Wildcard Streams
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♦ Livestream of 2 ZZT worlds. ♦

♦ Stream Contents ♦
• (1:38) "Mark Land" by Mark McIntyre (1994) []
• (17:28) "Mark Land 2: The Invasion of Dr. Bob" by Mark McIntyre (1994) []

Two early worlds by the prolific ZZTer Mark McIntyre. These are his earliest known releases, and it shows in the contents.

The first game has some strong influences from the original ZZT worlds, with players exploring the town, riding the elevator, and venturing through a park and jail. It's not terrible, it's just a fairly empty game that has no real story. You just kind of wander until you find a key and its associated door. The prices in the store are also pretty abysmal which makes resource management a bit of a challenge.

As a likely first ZZT release, it's a coherent enough start, but outside of the history lesson it offers, there's nothing too exciting here.

The sequel though, has far greater ambitions. For one thing, there's a story about Dr. Bob trying to stop you after you discovered his plans, with the game starting with a prison break as you're about to be executed. Once outside you again get to wander around aimlessly. This time however, there's a bit more to its gameplay with some boards that would fit in reasonably well in something like Town, if still a bit sparse at times.

It gets rough in some instances where the balance is really out of whack, with resource management remaining an issue. Combine with some boards asking players to grab a dozen identically colored keys and make constant back and forth trips past duplicators, and it's a bit too tough to enjoy from beginning to end. Still, a considerable improvement, with some fun to be had as you explore an early ZZT mall. A third game in the series was to be streamed, but we were short on time.

♦ Play these worlds directly in your browser ♦

♦ Originally streamed on June 23rd, 2024 ♦

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