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 whip
s (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 teleport
s 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 FPS
es would not exist as we know them today.