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Get ready for summer sequel: revisiting ‘Fool’s Errand’

Perhaps you are wondering why Infinite Lives is being updated with alarming consistency! It is because I have the flu and a fever, and I am in bed and bored.

But besides trolling the Internet for items of interest, and coughing, I’ve also been looking around for abandonware DOS games to install.

My current squeeze? 1987’s The Fool’s Errand.


Late last week, GameLife published David Kushner’s interview with Cliff Johnson, the designer behind Fool’s Errand. Its sequel, The Fool and His Money, is slated for release this summer. (If you absolutely can’t wait, you can play the demo now.)

The 1987 puzzle game seemingly builds itself around the Tarot—which itself has an inbuilt sequence and circular narrative—beginning with the Major Arcana and then moving toward made-up arcana like ‘the Humbug’ and ‘the Not-A-Merchant’.

Johnson has made Fool’s Errand and all its extras available as free downloads. While he himself prefers the Windows and Macintosh versions of the game, they might require a little finagling. Intel MacBook users like me might do well to install the much uglier, 16-color DOS version instead:

DOS version

3 responses to “Get ready for summer sequel: revisiting ‘Fool’s Errand’” »

  1. David says:

    You should make the effort to play Johnson’s other meta-puzzle game, the Mac-only 3 in Three. Its metapuzzle isn’t as good as Fool’s Errand (and it doesn’t have as interesting a story), but the puzzles in general are better and it has a great sense of humor.

    I’m a little biased.

    • Jenn Frank says:

      Absolutely—I’m already planning on it. Of course, I need to re-re-reinstall Windows on my Mac machine to play it. That’s why I skipped over better versions of Fool’s Errand for a DOSBox-compatible version. It’s hilariously near-impossible to emulate a Classic Mac environment on an Intel Mac (without also emulating Windows, that is). For instance.

      • David says:

        Hmm… I thought I had Basilisk II up and running on my Intel Mac, but trying it out again now, I’m having no luck. I’ll keep you posted if I get a relatively easy solution going.

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