ZZT is an action-adventure video game released by Tim Sweeney under Potomac Computer Systems (later Epic MegaGames) on January 15th, 1991. It received multiple official updates, the final one being ZZT 3.2, as well as a sequel - Super ZZT.
ZZT was originally distributed in a shareware model, with the first game world in the official series, Town of ZZT, being available without charge, and additional game worlds (Caves of ZZT, Dungeons of ZZT, City of ZZT) purchasable via mail order. On October 10th, 1997, the full version of ZZT was made available at no cost, albeit without the source code due to it being lost in a system failure. On March 15th, 2020, the release of the Reconstruction of ZZT effectively made the ZZT game engine, as well as its documentation and reverse-engineered binary-equivalent source code, available under the terms of the MIT license.
The full number of ZZT versions made available to the public is not known, as registered copies of ZZT would sometimes include silently added changes not made available in the shareware versions.
|Version||Compilation date||Release date||Available as shareware||Notes|
|ZZT 2.0 (Shareware)||December 26th, 1990||January 15th, 1991||Yes|
|ZZT 2.0 (Registered)||Unknown||January 15th, 1991||No|
|ZZT 3.0||late May, 1991||June 10th, 1991||Yes|
|ZZT 3.1 (September 1991)||September 14th, 1991||Unknown||No|
|Worlds of ZZT 3.56||October 1st, 1991||October 1991||No||Licensed by SoftDisk for On Disk Monthly #60 - September 1991.|
|ZZT 3.1||November 2nd, 1991||Unknown||Yes||First release under Epic MegaGames.|
|ZZT 3.2 (March 1992)||March 9th, 1992||Unknown||No||Included with ZZT's Revenge.|
|ZZT 3.2||May 21st, 1992||Unknown||Yes||Final official build.|
|ZZT 3.2 (Free)||-||October 10th, 1997||-||Equivalent to a registered copy of ZZT 3.2.|
- Sweeney, Tim. "ZZT Newsletter, Volume 1, Number 1, January-July 1991".
- News Update on epicgames.com as of February 14th, 1998.
- ZZT on epicgames.com as of February 14th, 1998.
- ASP Shareware Catalog for BBS users, 2nd volume, 10th edition. Published April 2nd, 1992.
- The "Thing" Has Happened! All Registered Worlds Released For FREE! on epicgames.com as of November 22nd, 1997.