Platform: DOS, Macintosh, Commodore 64, Apple II, Amiga, Atari ST
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…
Still my favorite language based game ever, this game 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.
Contemporary Rating: High. If you figure out the answer to a puzzle, the parser is not going to get in the way.
Cruelty Rating: Tough. While you can get rid of an item you need and the game won’t tell you you’re stuck, you’ll figure it out pretty quickly. Also, the game is short enough that even if you screw up it’s not really frustrating.