The Kingdom of Kroz was part of the KROZ series of games produced by Scott Miller of Apogee Software (makers of the Commander Keen series and Castle Wolfenstein).

Originally released for the PC in 1987, the game featured 16 color ascii graphics. Pushing the limits of text-based graphics, it propelled Apogee (excuse the pun) to a point where they could release Wolfenstein, the first first-person shooter to become highly successful, several years later.

The basic premise of the game is that you are trapped in a dungeon with many puzzles, monsters, but littered with prizes, such as gems as well. Using only your trusty whips (one time use whips at that) you had to maneuver your 'smily face' character through each level to the exit. Along the way you could collect teleports and keys to help you avoid the monsters rather than fighting them.

Released as shareware, I can vividly remember playing it after downloading it on our 2400 baud modem and being quite entranced by it. Incidentally it was one of the best shareware games of its time. It won second place in Softdisk's CodeQuest '87, a national programming contest, and was one of the few shareware games of the time to actually make money. The third in the KROZ series, it was the only episode released as shareware, and thus was the most well-known. Without its success it is quite possible FPSes would not exist as we know them today.

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