I've recently been hacking away at a not-quite-clone of ZZT called "Zeta"; that is, an emulator specifically designed to only emulate the subset of PC/DOS architecture necessary to run ZZT and Super ZZT. Effectively, the goal is to "virtualize" the original ZZT binary, but in a modern environment and without the friction of using DOSBox and likewise.
Some of the highlights include:
- Automatic speed scaling - as the engine's structure can be assumed, we can figure out exactly when a tick has ended. This allows to run at significantly less than 100% CPU usage (for most games), making running ZZT viable on laptops and other lower-power devices.
- Small C11 codebase with a separated emulator core and frontend, leading to many opportunities for portability (the SDL and WebAssembly frontends are released, with an Android one in the works).
- Distribution and testing measures - distribute your ZZT game with Zeta to maximize user-friendliness, embed it on websites like itch.io to reach non-ZZT players, or use Zeta with KevEdit for quick testing on modern systems!
You can find more information, source code and downloads right here.