♦ Livestream of the ZZT world "Weekend" by Nydark (2002) [https://museumofzzt.com/file/view/weekend/]. ♦
A strange game about a generic youth exploring a small town in search for entertainment. Your parents dragged you along on their business trip with strict orders not to leave the hotel. You aren't the type to listen to them. Instead, you get to wander around checking out the mall, the clock tower, the bank, school, beach, movie theater... all kinds of places trying to have the best possible weekend. All the while you need to be sure that you don't bump into your parents, and of course you need to make it back to the hotel room before they return.
The game is incredibly simple, with little to do beyond take a tour and read some text, with more complex interactive sequences being few and far between. Yet I couldn't help but be enamored by it. This game really does capture the essence of being a child taking a sight-seeing tour, with a touch of embellishment for gameplay purposes. (Getting fast food for lunch, sure. Stopping a bank robbery, not so much.) Weekend captured my imagination with the barest of content, leaving me wanting to see more.
It leaves a lot to be desired though. There are a few passage errors, and it seems the game isn't 100% complete with some keys appearing to be unattainable despite having finished areas behind their respective locked doors. Some passage errors will at times dump players in unintended locations, and the fun house (which was taken from an earlier game by the author) ends with the player spawning in the middle of the mall's roof, unable to move.
But what really got to me was the ending. No matter how cool your day may have been, you cannot escape fate and your parents will be waiting for your return to the hotel room. No matter what heroics or mischief you get up to, you're going to be grounded. At least try to make your day worth the punishment.
♦ Play this world directly in your browser ♦
♦ Originally streamed on September 1st, 2023 ♦