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A2Z Machine

This is the information page for the A2Z Machine, a microcontroller gaming system where you can play interactive fiction games like Zork. It uses an Adafruit ItsyBitsy M4 Express device connected to a computer and using a terminal emulator to play the games. Other Adafruit M4 Express boards may also work but have not been tested.

Features of the A2Z Machine include:

  • Play interactive fiction games based on the Z Machine standard
  • Retro color themes
  • Unix-like ncurses support
  • Thumb drive like feature, allowing drag and drop of Z Machine game files and saved games.
  • Save and restore games using the Quetzal file format (platform independent format supports files saved from other platforms)
  • No additional hardware or soldering needed when using the ItsyBitsy M4
  • Uses the default settings of PuTTY

The Z Machine is a standard for playing interactive fiction games. It was originally created by Infocom for use in computers in the 1980’s like the IBM PC, Commodore 64 and the Radio Shack TRS-80. It allowed Infocom to easily port their games to many different platforms, since the game data read by the Z Machine was the same on all platforms.

Infocom display at the National Videogame Museum (, Frisco, Texas.