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Wishbringer

by Brian Moriarty

Fantasy/Zorkian
1985

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Number of Reviews: 8
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1-8 of 8


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A fairly easy but fun adventure where every puzzle has multiple solutions. , May 1, 2019
by deathbytroggles (Minneapolis, MN)
Touted as an adventure game for beginners by Infocom and Wishbringer certainly fits the bill. I played this text adventure when I was fourteen and required no hints for the duration. But this romp is still enjoyable for people of all ages and abilities.

You play a postman with a directive from your boss to deliver a package to an old lady who lives at the north edge of town, and by 5 o’clock or you’re fired! Delivering the package is easy enough, but what’s in the package, as you later discover, triggers a series of events that unveils the dark secrets of your town, spilling it in darkness and terror. Of course, the fate of the town rests in your hands, but you must first discover what the hell is going on.

The wishbringer itself is a magick (sic) stone that can cast several spells if one is carrying the proper items. While the spells can help the beginner get out of some sticky situations, solving the puzzles without the aid of the stone yields better results (and more points!). The experienced gamer will likely never need the stone, but it does provide replay value.

As per usual with Infocom adventures the writing is top-notch and plenty of humor finds it way into the normally creepy ambiance. While Wishbringer offers no surprises, it should be a pleasant and rewarding experience for most players.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Infocom game for beginnners with a light world/dark world concept, February 3, 2016
This Infocom game is directed towards younger players but is appropriate for adults; in fact, the game is still very challenging. The fantasy elements are charming and fun (and sometimes pretty creepy): an army of boots, a witch who steals cats, ghosts who murder you...

All the puzzles can be solved with sufficient exploration and minor logic; I missed a few areas and items in my exploring, though, because the world is rich and beautiful.

As far as I can tell, the game is for beginners because there are only the n,e,s,w directions (no ne, se, nw, or sw); most puzzles have multiple solutions; most items are easily visible (except for the most important one); and death won't come unless you have been repeatedly warned.

The game is split into two sections; one where the player explores a quaint village with minor annoyances (such as locked gates and a poodle); and a second section where the village has turned dark and evil (with murderous ghosts and a hellhound).

As many have stated, this is a memorable game, more so than most of the Infocom games I have played, or interactive fiction in general. As usual, I played this game on the Lost Treasures of Infocom app on the iPad.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Gentle and clever, January 14, 2015
by Form 27b-6 (Southern California)
Wishbringer is a whimsical fantasy adventure of intimate scale. Your goal seems mundane at first; to rescue the cat. That is until you comprehend the true meaning of your journey through a very touching ending sequence.

Like Trinity, Brian Moriarty's masterpiece, the game prefers a loose narrative structure over a strong linear plot. This freedom allows the player to focus on other tasks when facing a particularly hard problem. The story is more suggested than revealed, through subtle, sensible prose. I can't help but to feel the obvious love of the author for metaphors, in a very similar tone than his other game.

Puzzles are clever and logical, offering a reasonable, still rewarding challenge to IF newcomers. I love the fact that there is multiple ways of resolving a particular situation. There is the risk of rendering the game unsolvable, but it is short enough so that starting over won't be a hassle. Here is definitely a game that can be beat without hints.

Wishbringer is without a doubt a terrific introduction to IF. It is relatively short, forgiving but not trivial, and its simple but meaningful story is written with style and economy.


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
For Me, Very Memorable, March 19, 2014
I first played this game with some friends back in the eighties shortly after it's initial release, continued trying to advance through it without the use of hints or walkthroughs here and there throughout the years, and have finally finished the story. Yes, it took me almost thirty years to complete this introductory-level work of interactive fiction. But, I'm pleased with myself for just being persistent, knowing that one day I'd get through it without resorting to hints and walkthroughs. And, I'm pleased and always have been pleased with the story that takes place in Wishbringer. For reasons I'm not exactly sure of this has always been one of the more memorable pieces of interactive fiction that I have ever played. Possibly, I guess, because it was one of the first that I ever played. Or, maybe, it was just so masterfully done, leaving lasting impressions on my IF-gaming mind, seemingly, forever? I don't know, but, for me, Wishbringer was very memorable.

Wishbringer is a fairly short story with some puzzles that you may or may not find to be a little difficult, a little frustrating. How short of a story is it? I didn't actually put it to the test to make sure but would guess that if you sat down with the exact commands to get you from start to finish that you could pass through the entire story in ten minutes or less. Just to give a general idea of the size of Wishbringer, for those looking for something a little shorter to get involved in.

If you're new to IF I definitely recommend Wishbringer. And just because it's considered to be an introductory-level game doesn't mean that you won't get stuck here and there, so keep in mind that everyone thinks differently and what may come easy to one person may not come so easily to another. Just stick with it. You may find that saving your spot and trying again later, with a fresh mind, is all it takes. Playing with a couple of friends who'll see things a little differently than you do sometimes is advisable as well.

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Not really Introductory without wishes, December 23, 2010
I read that you could complete this game without using any wishes. Sure its possible, but this is the type of game where one is put into unwinnable situations time and time again, so be sure and save multiple and many times, because everything has to be done in a particular order.

I guess I am a bit miffed that I had to use one wish because (Spoiler - click to show)I screwed up by starting last night on my ipad laying in bed and not fully exploring the city therefore never found the gold coin so could not buy movie ticket

I did enjoy the story overall, and if one uses wishes this game becomes very easy.

Edit: I revised my star rating to 4 because upon reflection, it does deserve it.

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Easy?, June 10, 2010
by tggdan3 (Michigan)
Perhaps this was total brain-fart on my part, but annoying is the word I would use, rather than easy.

This is one of those timed games (I supposed most infocom games were timed- either by lantern light or hunger or whatever), which is annoying enough. Then there's the first puzzle.

I'm a big fan of puzzle games, and I'd like to think I am somewhat good at them. Maybe I saw the introductory nature and took too much for granted, but even the in-game hints failed to get me past that damn dog. It wasn't until I saw the map that came with the game (which you don't get when you play online) that I saw how much there was to explore after the dog, and was able to decipher how to get past it. It doesn't help that the game kind of implies that you shouldn't be going into the area you need to go into in order to solve the first puzzle.

In true infocom passion, feelies were used and required. I love feelies, but I hate when they're required to solve puzzles, such as requiring you to look up the letter you're delivering to someone on paper to see what it says, because it's relevant. Back in the day that was what they used as copy protection. I guess I prever the sierra copy protection, where they ask you a question from the manual right up front, then let you continue with the damn game.

That aside, perhaps the game is better once you get into it. Unfortunately, that was something I couldn't do, which suprised me with how much I loved the Zork and Enchanter series, which this appeared initialy like it would be similar to.

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Good introductory game, August 3, 2009
by SharkFighter (Golden, CO)
Related reviews: infocom
I first played this game in the 1980s... 20 years later, it still holds its charm. This is an excellent introductory game for those new to IF, or a few hours of pleasant diversion for more experienced players. It's a whimsical story that will appeal to almost anyone. Still one of my favorites, with no puzzles that require non-intuitive solutions. If you missed this one, don't be put off by its introductory difficulty... spend an hour or two enjoying a game with puzzles that make you smile...

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful:
Easy, but too charming to discount, March 11, 2008
Wishbringer was part of Infocom's "introductory" line -- an attempt to bring a wider audience to interactive fiction by creating works that would appeal to those who had never played a text adventure before. Only a few introductory titles were produced, and this one is my favorite by far.

It is also the most effective. Unlike the other introductory titles (Moonmist and Seastalker), Wishbringer provides an easy-to-follow orientation to the IF interface in its opening sequence; the first tasks are going someplace, taking something, looking at it -- all of the basic commands experienced players take for granted. As with all introductory titles, the first few moves use an explicit prompt ("OK, what do you want to do now?") to hold the hand of those who are not sure how IF works.

This courtesy extends throughout the rest of the game. Puzzles are solvable in at least two ways: easy (using a wish) and hard (using your brain). Maximum points are awarded for solving puzzles the hard way, but those who just want to see the story advance will not regret wishing their way to the end -- though they may be prompted to go back and improve their score.

Part of the game's allure is its "once upon a time" tone, which is well-suited to freeing the imagination. This is enhanced by -- or perhaps the product of -- the enchanting writing style of Brian Moriarty (author of Trinity, which many people consider to be the best Infocom title ever). Most of the rest of its allure is probably due to the unforgettable platypi.

Those new to the game will likely have to do without its wonderful "feelies". The glow-in-the-dark Wishbringer replica was a little cheesy, but it was one of my favorites (second only to Planetfall's postcards, stationery, and Stellar Patrol ID). Even without these, Wishbringer is probably the ideal IF primer for young people and those young-at-heart.


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