The game was originally distributed as shareware. It was later expanded to consist of seven episodes, with only the first episode distributed as shareware, and the rest available commercially. The episodes are:
- The Original Kroz Trilogy:
- Episode 1: Caverns of Kroz (1989, Big Blue Disc #35) (aka Kroz, aka Caverns of Kroz II), containing 40 levels
- Episode 2: Dungeons of Kroz (1989, BBD #29) (aka Kroz II, aka Dungeons of Kroz II), containing 30 levels
- Episode 3: Kingdom of Kroz (1987, BBD #20) (aka Kingdom of Kroz I, aka Kingdom of Kroz II), containing 25 levels
- The Super Kroz Trilogy:
- Episode 4: Return to Kroz (1990) (aka Shrine of Kroz, aka Castle of Kroz), containing 20 levels
- Episode 5: Temple of Kroz (1990) (aka Valley of Kroz), containing 20 levels
- Episode 6: The Final Crusade of Kroz (1990), containing 25 levels
- Episode 7: The Lost Adventures of Kroz (1990), containing 75 levels
Although Kingdom of Kroz was the first episode released, Dungeons of Kroz was the second and Caverns of Kroz the third, they were later marketed in the opposite order.
In 1990, an enhanced version of Kingdom of Kroz was released as Kingdom of Kroz II, which became the shareware episode of the series. Kingdom of Kroz II was quite different from the original version, and incorporated 21 different levels, many of them from later games in the series, especially from The Lost Adventures of Kroz. The original Kingdom of Kroz I stopped being distributed as shareware, but was still available commercially. For a time, the series consisted of seven commercial episodes (including the original Kingdom of Kroz I), plus an enhanced version of one of them (Kingdom of Kroz II) distributed as shareware. During this time, to be able to buy the commercial episodes, the shareware episode had to be registered first.
In 1991, the other two episodes of the first trilogy were enhanced to their "II" versions, and the original Kingdom of Kroz I stopped being available, being replaced by its enhanced version.
Episode 8: The Underground Empire of Kroz was planned to be released in March 1991, but it was cancelled.
The original Kingdom of Kroz was written in Turbo Pascal 3.0; later games were written in Turbo Pascal 5.0. At one point in time people could buy the source code of Kingdom of Kroz for $190, Return to Kroz for $350 and The Lost Adventures of Kroz for $950. Later the source code of Kingdom of Kroz II was for sale for $400, Return to Kroz for $300 and The Lost Adventures of Kroz for $500.
The games were discontinued in 1999, and are no longer sold by Apogee. In March 2009, the whole Kroz series was released as freeware by Apogee. The source code was also released under GPL.
This Video Game contains examples of:
- Bottomless Pit: Worse than lava, if the player falls in, he instantly dies. Slightly averted in later games, where a side-scrolling falling animation was added. There was a bottom to the pit, although it was still fatal.
- Excuse Plot: The player character goes to the Kingdom of Kroz trying to get the priceless Amulet of Kroz.
- Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: Any key can be used on any door and disappear after use.
- Invisible Block: All over the place.
- Luck-Based Mission: Teleporting places you on a random point on the map, which may or may not help you. Whipping crumbled walls only works a fraction of the time, and a bad run with the RNG can mess your game up.
- MacGuffin: The player character is trying to get the priceless Amulet of Kroz.
- Perpetual Smiler: Your avatar is the character mapped to 1 in the ASCII set, which is displayed in MS-DOS as a smiley face.
- Prequel: Dungeons to Kingdom and Caverns to both of them. Although it is unclear if it was intended this way from the get-go or a retcon.
- Sdrawkcab Name: Kroz is just Zork backwards.
- Shout-Out: The title is one to Zork while the Excuse Plot is one to Rogue.
- Treasure Hunter: The player character is this.
- Unwinnable by Design: It's very easy to get yourself into a position where your path to the exit is blocked by monsters that can't be evaded or absorbed, or too many walls to whip your way through. Since your inventory is carried over from level to level, you might even begin a level without the resources to complete it.
- Updated Re-release: The "II" versions of the original trilogy ported them over to the newer games' engine, tightening up performance, timing and controls, added new levels and slightly reworked some of the old levels.
- Whip It Good: The character's Weapon of Choice, represented by a "J" character. Can only be used once for some reason, but replacements can be found strewn throughout the levels.