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Your Kobo eBook Reader Has Been Eaten By a Grue

046_grue[1] There’s an odd joke in device hacking circles that used to be asked whenever a gadget was first hacked to do more than what the manufacturer intended: Can it run Doom?

I have yet to see that old 3d computer game running on a Kobo ereader (though it has shown up on the Pocketbook 360), but today I have another game to share which will probably be more fun to play on the Kobo Glo’s ink screen: Zork.

A hacker (going by the handle of BigBoot) over at MobileRead has posted a version of the Frotz emulator which has been modified to run on Kobo ereaders. This emulator can be used to run the old Infocom games (as well as other Z-machine games) like Zork.

For those who have not heard of Zork or Infocom before, let me share a little history. There was a time before 3d computer games like HalfLife, before 2d games like Commander Keen, and even back before the time when playing ticktacktoe against the computer was new, when computer games consisted were played by typing words into a command line.

That type of game was called interactive fiction, and it was a precursor to the fancy ebook apps you are familiar with today. And now they can be played on Kobo ereaders.

BigBoot reports (and other members have confirmed) that the app works on Kobo ereaders and that it requires the Kobolauncher app. It looks something like this when in action:

Over the past few years Kobo’s ereaders have been variously turned into Android tablets, turned into Linux tablets (running Debian), and modded with solar panels. And now you can use your Kobo ebook reader to be eaten by a Grue.

Have you tried this? what do you think?


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Greg Strandberg December 20, 2013 um 5:50 am

Don’t have much to say other than the box for Zork on the Tandy-1000 looked real cool.

Whateveragain December 20, 2013 um 7:14 am

The Nook ST can run Quake 3 😉

Nate Hoffelder December 25, 2013 um 8:46 am

I forgot about that.

Still, I’m a traditionalist; I believe the first port should be Doom.

Juli Monroe December 21, 2013 um 11:02 am

I’m feeling dated now. I knew what the headline meant immediately. But I have no interest in being trapped again in a maze of twisty passages, all alike, so I’ll pass on this one. 😉

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