Designed by Cliff Johnson, one of the best puzzle designers ever, the concept behind Fool's Errand is so original that it defies categorization. Suffice to say that it is part devilish puzzle collection, part novel, part adventure and an all-around classic. |
While the game would deserve classic status on the merits of unique puzzles alone, it is the masterful blend of puzzles with an enchanting, well-written story (a medieval Fool who runs errands for people) that evolves, that makes Fool's Errand a uniquely original game. When each puzzle is solved, the player gains access to more story (with more puzzles to solve). In a master stroke unmatched in creativity to this day, Cliff even designed an uber- puzzle -- a big puzzle that can only be solved once all the smaller puzzles are solved and all the story pages are revealed. Solving this overarching puzzle requires careful re-reading of the game's story, as clues are hidden between the lines and old paragraphs take on new meanings.
Puzzles in the game are wonderfully diverse. Some, such as the card game you will play, are downright original, and even the derivative ones (such as the dozens of word puzzles) are hardly ever boring. Characters in the story, as if plucked from Alice in Wonderland, are fleshed out with great detail and confidence. There's really no fault I can think of in this game, except that you will be sorry to see it end when it does. See for yourself why I think this game deserves to be on every Best Computer Games -list; if you are even remotely interested in puzzle games, Fool's Errand is a must-have.
Note: In 2002, designer Cliff Johnson put up the superior Mac version for download at his website alongside the Windows one, to cheers of fans worldwide. You can download them from his site linked below. Thanks, Cliff! Also don't miss out on the sequel, The Fool and His Gold!
Reviewed by: Underdogs