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Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of It

by Jeff O'Neill

Wordplay
1987

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Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
(12)
4 star:
(19)
3 star:
(13)
2 star:
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Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 47
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
A spotty Infocom game with great highlights, June 16, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 2-10 hours
This is an interesting game. With wordplay games, the question is, how can you make a game about wordplay that lasts long? One answer is to follow Emily Short's example and just put tons of content into a game (Counterfeit Monkey).

This game achieves its length through unfairness. Parts of this game (it's basically several mini-games put together) are wonderful: Buy the Farm was particularly good, as was the Shopping Bizarre. Those two would make a wonderful game pulled out on their own, one relying on American English sayings and the other on homonyms.

Some parts of this game don't make any sense. I didn't understand In a Manor of Speaking (which btw is also the name of a great Hulk Handsome game) at all, and looking it up, I still haven't found a good explanation at all. I believe having the Doldrums was a mistake, because it made you think everything else had a gimmick (like Gary Larson's infamous Cow Tools cartoon).

But if the game wasn't unfair, it wouldn't last very long. The only way I've seen fair wordplay games achieve length is through tons of content, like I said. Andrew Schultz does this with exhaustive code-enhanced wordspace searches. Shuffling Around is a good example of this.

I also like the Act your Part session. It was nonsensical, but I was able to get a lot of points just doing dumb stuff.

I played the version released by Zarf who was re-releasing Jason Scott's releasing of previously unreleased Infocom releases.

- Nomad, May 3, 2019

If you love perd wuzzles, then yule love this!, April 28, 2019

by deathbytroggles (Minneapolis, MN)
Have you ever wanted to get a nice juicy steak, but all you had was a stake? Have you ever wanted to literally kill two birds with one stone? Or have you come across a pretty girl and it made you long for a gritty pearl? Then you should definitely help out Nord and Bert, because they truly can’t make hails or teds of it. Wait, um…

My favorite language based game until Counterfeit Monkey was released, Nord & Bert has you playing with homonyms, spoonerisms, idioms, and other plays on our language and culture in order to help save the town of Punster from total chaos. There’s a story, but it’s there to serve the puzzles. Just dig in and get your lexicon dirty.

The game designers smartly realized that most gamers would not be intimately familiar with every phrase, idiom, and slang the game is riddled with; thus, an in-game hint system is a welcome sight. Despite the occasional frustration that ignorance creates while playing, the game can be funny and very satisfying when you do advance on your own intellect. Nord & Bert is a must-play for those who love word puzzles. Hardcore adventurers may want to look elsewhere. Naturally, non-native English speakers would struggle here, as well as at times non-Americans.

- BitterlyIndifferent, July 3, 2018

- stet, November 21, 2017

- NoiselessPenguin (London, UK), April 23, 2017

- Audiart (Davis, CA), February 24, 2017

- Thrax, March 11, 2015

- Sobol (Russia), September 12, 2014

- Captain Sidekick, May 2, 2014

- shornet (Bucharest), March 23, 2014

- lisapaul, January 9, 2014

- KidRisky (Connecticut, USA), December 19, 2013

- KGH (North Carolina), June 10, 2013

- pcbrannon, February 23, 2013

- Christiaan, November 14, 2012

- Puddin Tame (Queens, NY), October 28, 2012

- kala (Finland), May 26, 2012

- Hywel Dda, February 11, 2012

- Nav (Bristol, UK), November 25, 2011

- Jeff Zeitlin (Greater New York Area), September 6, 2011

- akascully1, August 26, 2011

- Sam Kabo Ashwell (Seattle), August 2, 2011

- André St-Aubin (Laval, Québec), May 31, 2011

- Rotonoto (Albuquerque, New Mexico), May 16, 2011


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