Z-machine – a virtual machine created in 1979 by Joel Berez and Marc Blank and used by Infocom Company which created games in the genre of “Interactive Fiction”, roughly saying – text quests games and then with the help of emulation transferred them to different computers of that time. Among the well-known games of that era are: Zork, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Bureaucracy, leather Goddesses of Phobos, A Mind Forever Voyaging and many others. From the most recent ones (amateur games) should be mentioned Curses, I-O, Photopia, Varicella and many others. To make sure that these games could be run on many platforms, Infocom has created the Z-Machine that allowed to use standardized “history files”. The release of text quests games in Infocom was stopped after the company was acquired by Activision.
Infocom Quests are considered classics of the genre and period of Infocom activity is considered a “golden age” of Interactive Fiction. Apart from Infocom, in the development of text quests games were involved such companies as Adventure International, Magnetic Scrolls, Level 9, Legend Entertainment, Topologika and others.
Nowadays Z Machine Infocom roms games are mainly created by enthusiasts and they often exceed Infocom creations. Each year the competition is held, revealing the best authors. The most popular of them – Interactive Fiction Competition – held annually since 1995. Z Machine Infocom emulator can be downloaded for free along with the roms games on this page.