I recently played again The Fool and His Money. I think it is a work of art, up there with Guernica, Infinite Jest and Chinatown.
The art, the sounds, the words.
I just wanted you to know that I really, really, really loved “The Fool’s Errand.” I was about 12 or so when I started playing it, and kept playing it through high school. At some point, I couldn’t finish it, because my mac had a glitch that made everything freeze up when I tried to play the hermit. A couple years ago, I downloaded some sort of shell that let me play it in windows, and finally (like 2 decades later!) was able to complete it. It totally made me teary when I finished it. When I was 14, I was in love with your character of the Fool. I wanted to run away with him. Even as an adult, and a gamer of all sorts, your game(s) spoke to me in a way that really, other games haven’t. I think that’s why I got teary when I finished playing it -- it wasn’t just that it was a lovely, perfect, bittersweet ending (which it was), but that, for me, it was also the end of an era. An end to the game that I’d played, both thoroughly then belatedly, for over 20 years. An end to dreaming of running off with the Fool as I did when I was a young woman. I have never encountered any other game that has touched me so much, or stuck with me for so long, as “The Fool’s Errand.” So thank you, truly.
The puzzles, as always, are challenging in just the right way. Moreover, the graphics are gorgeous, the sound effects charming, and the whole enterprise worth waiting for.
Congratulations on completing and releasing The Fool and his Money! The new game has been lots of fun, and I’ve managed to complete 15 bewitchments in the first month.
The Fool’s Errand was from an era where hints and answers were not readily available on the Internet, and we were left to puzzle through the game mostly on our own for months or even years. I kind of miss that experience, so I’m going to try to solve The Fool and his Money on my own, though it will take a while. (Hopefully I can complete it without giving in and seeking help!)
Again, thanks for persevering and delivering such a polished experience.
I have been slowly making my way through the puzzles. This will be invigorating mental exercise for a substantial amount of time. Thank you for your efforts.
In 1989, I was adjusting to life in Japan. A co-worker had a copy of The Fool’s Errand installed on the office Macintosh, and I used to sneak into the office on weekends to play it. I later bought At the Carnival (OK) and 3 in Three (brilliant). Glad to see you were able to revisit the Fool after all these years, the wait was worthwhile. Cheers.
Awesome! Time to cancel my life for the weekend - and many to come I’m sure. I’ve been hoping for this since I was about 12 :P — Thanks Cliff, for everything.
MANY congratulations Cliff, for sticking with it through thick and thin (The thick as very thick and it doesn’t get any thinner!) Forgive me now for the many curses that will be uttered in the following months, I do not mean them, well... I will at the time but forgive you.
I have finally picked my way through The Fool and his Money. I would like to thank you for the experience, I have enjoyed every minute of the 40+ hours it has taken me. You have created a masterpiece and deserve all the credit you get.
I was really really psyched to play this game. I was 13 in 1987 when I first read about The Fool’s Errand in MacUser magazine, was moved to buy it from the glowing review, and totally loved it (as did my mom, who is similarly excited to hear about the sequel).
If this game gives even me even a tenth of the enjoyment as the original (with *knocks on wood* no more than an equal amount of the frustration ;-) ), it’ll have been money very-well-spent. Thanks, Cliff, for sticking it out and finishing the sequel!
My most heartfelt congratulations on your accomplishment.
I got the new Fool up and running on my desktop -- congratulations on a really beautiful product!
Best wishes for your post-marathon recovery, and my heartfelt gnashing of teeth.
I am absolutely loving The Fool and His Money, despite the frequent hair-pulling moments. I have to say that it was well worth the wait, and I’m glad to see that you’re getting some excellent reviews. So, when are you going to start on the sequel to 3 in Three? >:-}
Thanks, Cliff! Can’t wait to play this game. I played the first one back when I was in college about a decade ago. And yet still to this day I talk about it whenever someone says they like puzzles. It’s one of the best games I’ve ever played in any genre, and it’s had quite an effect on how I think. That puzzle you made where the solution requires using the menu was probably the coolest puzzle I’ve seen in my life — so glad you were able to finish the sequel.
I forgot how evil you are. Thanks!
You are a genius, and I have to tell you that one of the things I look forward to the most on this four-day weekend is the chance to devote some serious time to your lovely masterpiece, though it does make me painfully aware of my diminished faculties!
You outdid yourself this time. Either I got dumber in the past 25 years or this one is a lot harder. I will be utilizing the hint page quite a bit (but I will try and fight the urge as much as possible).
Thanks again, Cliff. The game has the same feel as the original.
This is indeed the game we’ve been waiting 25 years for, and a worthy successor to The Fool’s Errand. You are so good at giving clues in unexpected places. I love those little discoveries. The artwork is beautiful. It totally succeeds at retaining the feel of the original while modernizing it. I’m 100% satisfied with the puzzles, graphics, sounds, and hints.
I am certainly stretched, twisted, befuddled, confounded, and stupefied. But through it all I keep coming back, these conundrums haunt and beckon. It is as it has always been, a beautiful art and stunning complexity that at its heart is simplicity itself. I love the convoluted tale, how much emotion a movement of the head can convey, the classic timeless watercolor wash of the presentation. That it won’t end, that it twists around itself, that the journey is the hard part and the just reward.
Cliff, you gave me so many hours of joy with your previous games, of a generosity and depth that is sadly rare. Thank you.
I was hoping to write to tell you I’d finished The Fool and His Money, but no!! I just want to say that I’m having a wonderful time. It is beautiful and fantastic -- as much fun as I remembered but with all new ways to look and see and play. Thank you so very much!
I am glad to see that all your tireless hard work has finally paid off!
Don’t be fooled. This is not your average modern “casual” puzzle game. This is, like the original, one for the ages. The best game you will come across for a long, long time. There are hundreds. Hundreds. Of puzzles. It took me a month. A month. To complete.
I’m looking forward to the game, as someone who played all your others as a kid!
I love this game! The feeling of vast space in it, and interconnectedness, and surprises yet to come, makes it very enticing to me.
But these puzzles are not frustrating in a bad way. They don’t make me rage-quit. They make me WANT to solve them myself, spending several hours on one puzzle before I call it quits. And that is why Cliff can claim to have made the best puzzle games ever. He makes me want to invest the time necessary to solve them myself. Until I learn that the solution is something I’ve never heard of before.
I want to thank you for persevering and finishing this game. Like many others, I loved the first one and eagerly awaited the second. Recently I severely injured my arm and find myself with a lot of down time on my hands (or hand) so I have been spending many hours yelling at my computer screen as I toil through your puzzles. My brain doesn’t seem to function as well as it used to when I played The Fool’s Errand or your puzzles are more diabolical.
I’m VERY excited about this! Cliff Johnson’s original puzzle games were defining moments of my childhood. I remember winning The Fool’s Errand in junior high school, and the ending was SO GREAT, I rode that surge of joy for a week.
I’ve been looking forward to this game for so long... I’m so glad to finally see it finished.
To quote an AI... Great Success! I sincerely hope you make more games, not in just this series... but all of them. Keep the faith, your fans are legion and we will keep playing your games until we’re dead.
My daughter saw the new game last night and was amazed. She wants to help me with it now. :) It’s sweet to see her try to help. She’s only 9, but she’s already getting the hang of it.
Amazing -- simply amazing. It’s real, it’s here, and it’s worth every penny. The puzzles just keep on coming; they’re challenging and addictive. I’ve been up until 3 a.m. two nights in a row since buying it Friday, and there’s no end in sight.
Cliff! Congratulations on finishing the game. Our long global nightmare is over. Also, it seems like the copy I downloaded was covered in blood sweat and tears; is this normal?
I’m having a lot of fun with this game. It’s difficult, but not frustrating.
I am one of the True Believers, one of those who pre-ordered the game, and I did so when I found out about it, several years ago, and I have never regretted it. Sure, with all the postpones I have truly wondered if the game would ever be finished, or if it would become another Duke Nukem Forever, but I have always believed that this was being worked on.
Congratulations again, I am so excited to be losing myself in this game, and sharing it with my kids, who are about the same age now as I was when I first played The Fool’s Errand.
Now I just need to wait for the work day to end. Or do I...
I love the size and scope of this! It’s a real joy to do, and lives up to all expectations.
Glad to say that I pre-ordered when it first announced it was coming out, and while a friend of mine who always pre-orders console games mocked me mercilessly for the near-decade wait, I got the last laugh. It was well worth it; the puzzles are hard, but I’ll be entertained for quite awhile.
As one of the first fifteen people to order this game way back in the midst of time, I have been waiting as long as anyone else for it. And yes, it was worth it. Weirdly - as has been noted elsewhere - it not only feels as though it could have been released in 1987, in that there is very little technical advance, it doesn’t matter in the slightest, because this is a game for the brain, not the reactions.
Cliff gave those of us who worked for it the Gift of Wisdom. Now we have another challenge. The timing is perfect. Who knows what The Fool and his Money might spell for the True Believer? I suppose we will find out. Godspeed to you Cliff Johnson.
Congratulations! Only a few puzzles in, just as hard as I remember the first, and so beautiful!
After much waiting the much awaited awesome game… at least the previous fool game kept me busy all summer figuring things out… Awesome graphics, great story -- if only I could ever get handle on the story or what to do for the various sections… they seem so unfathomable… completely different for me this time… Maybe I have now dementia… But loving it. Only hint I would like is to whether folks find it more difficult, simpler easier for the same!!!! Peace and thanks again. Al your games have always been great! just perhaps not so impossible (gasp)
I remember playing The Fool’s Errand, At the Carnival, and 3 in Three as a kid... and I feel like a kid again playing this.
Love the game; a very worthy sequel!
Downloaded, unpacked, started playing. I am... confused. So much waiting and the game finally, really has been released. It almost seems like a dream.
Congratulations on a great game! I have solved less than 10% of TFaHM so far, but I’m sure this game will be one of the greatest puzzle games of all time.
Thank you for another fantastic puzzle game.
Well, I have to confess I had turned into a “true doubter” but am delighted that you finished the game and that it actually works on my ancient computer (which I didn’t even have yet when I ordered the game). Having a good time with it so far. Worth the wait!
We are now very puzzled, and loving it. Thanks so much for this game - the whole family is enjoying it.
It took me a month, but I finally finished The Fool and his Money. It’s a terrific game and I want to thank you for persevering in completing it.
I’m looking forward to my productivity levels taking a nosedive.
I’m looking forward to the game - still remember the many happy hours I spent with The Fool’s Errand :-)
Thanks so much for The Fool And His Money. It has been driving us to distraction, and distracting us from and during many important tasks (though thankfully not driving). I shake my fist at you and curse your name! (but gratefully)
I am a huge, huge fan of your puzzle games. The Fool and his Money is as excellent as anything you’ve ever done and is proving extremely detrimental to my studies. I hate you. (-wink-)
What an effort! You should be very proud!
I have several times played the three first games, The Fool’s Errand, At the Carnival, and 3 in Three, always giving up at some point. Everyone of them was a masterpiece, and so is this one. And because of this game, I have installed the other three as well.
This is literally a one-man operation. Something really cool knowing it’s just one person on the other end. Great game so far - definitely kept the original unique style which is I’m very happy about.
This is the game I’ve been waiting to play since... whenever it was I placed the pre-order.
Not the game I thought it would be, but the one I hoped it would be. As in, just about impossible.
My wife went from anagramming over my shoulder to starting her own file (a welcome addition!), and although I offered to download the previous games after she got hung up on the puzzle that referenced the Book of Thoth, she refuses to quit until she gets that painting to make a proper letter H.
You’ve snared us both. My offer for maple-bacon cookies still stands if you want some holiday snacks!
I really liked how it all came together! I think the plot was much more well developed in this game compared to the first one, and actually had me guessing at who the good and bad guys were.
The game was well worth the wait! I will admit that I used the hint book in parts, but I loved the challenge and the way Ken Franklin laid out hints was very nice! I didn’t encounter any bugs in the game whatsoever.
Felt like I fell in love with The Fool’s Errand a hundred years ago, so this should be fun!
The main draw for me has been what is always was; the puzzles. I LOVE wracking my brain and figuring out crafty things. Dear lord, I almost had a conniption fit over Ingram, Iacobbe and Ivers’ Inventory puzzles.
These games you made, for me, all come from an era of smart games. Games where it teaches you, without actually teaching you. I may sound odd for saying that, but I miss that within games.
I greatly appreciate your attention to detail. It really is the little things and small touches that elevate your work to that certain level that reassures one that true imagination and creativity are alive and well in the world. Beyond the puzzles, thank you especially for this.
Delighted and enraged by the game so far!
I’ve been playing TFaHM for a few days now and experiencing some happy flashbacks to when I played TFE back in 1989. Except either the puzzles are much harder or my brain has atrophied in the years between then and now. Or possibly both.
In any case, my heartiest congratulations for finishing the game!
And you can’t imagine how difficult it’s been to resist the temptation and skip right to The Finale right now. I am going to solve every dang puzzle and earn my way there! I still remember how proud I was when I finally dusted off our old Macintosh SE/30 and played The Fool’s Errand from beginning to end while home from college, and I don’t want to cheat myself out of that pride this time around. But my goodness, it’s going to take a while.
I’m delighted that TFaHM his finally seen the light of day! Thanks a lot for this! It sure was worth the wait. As I expected it has already taken a toll on my productivity.
I’ve spent many an hour befuddled by your puzzles, and congratulations! I admire your dedication for sticking with the game after all these years. Thanks!
Congratulations, a million, billion times.
I Just finished two of the first puzzles. I had hopes, but did not expect, that it would bring back some of the original experience and feelings I had when playing TFE on my old Mac SE for the first time. That mysterious ambiance and unforgettable unique mix of presentation, story and riddles that the old games had. After all, it was very different times back then, time has moved on and so have I.
However, it’s all there and more. It is superb. You did it.
But I’m older now. And wiser (or so I tell myself).
This time I will not let it keep me up into the early mornings to “Just finish one more”. I will pace myself and sip just a little at a time like a good old wine. I have decided that not more than one Puzzle a day should keep the doctors away.
Now I will go and try to finish just one more for today... Thank you so much.
WELL DONE! I am proud to have remained a “True Believer” throughout all these years, and proud of you. I hope you feel mainly relief and pride and not so much post-project emptiness. Take a holiday, you deserve it :)
I’m writing articles for a German language quarterly retro gaming magazine, and I’d like to write about The Fool’s Errand and The Fool And His Money for the upcoming (Christmas) issue if you don’t mind. I always thought that The Fool’s Errand deserved more exposure and the journey of the last few years was an interesting one; this is the perfect opportunity.
I really like the “sentence” puzzles where you put the letters in order to spell out a phrase or sentence. I also like the switch two letter puzzles. And I really, really, like that there are sometimes multiple puzzles on one screen - though it took me a minute to figure it out the first time I ran into it.
The most frustrating thing that I’ve run into so far are the Tarot card games. I’ve played through the first two. The “Help” button doesn’t really give you enough information to know how to play, much less have a chance to win. As a result, you have to spend a great deal of time losing games and resetting in order to figure out the card combinations and ranks. These games are much more complex than the Tarot game in TFE, and really need a little more in the way of help for the player.
[As in TFE, part of the challenge is to determine the rules of the Game.]
One thing I absolutely loved was meeting the “bad yam” boys again. I hope to see more of my old friends in the later puzzles.
Thanks a lot Cliff. You have made me one happy fool!
I just wanted to THANK YOU for this wonderful and outstanding game.
I’ve just started playing it, and got absolutely nowhere the first couple of hours. But then I realized that you had probably left a small nudge/hint in the text (the HELP) for every puzzle. And so I finally got going.
It took me quite some time to solve just a couple of your puzzles. Now I realize that it will probably take me at least a year to play this game to the end. Most likely even longer.
You are a GENIUS! It was indeed well worth waiting for!
Two puzzles in and I started cursing your name. It’s glorious!
Thank you for the many happy hours I will have playing the new Fool.
Loving the game so much. Especially the letter auctioning, can’t get enough letters!
This is great. I sent the link out to my family and friends that were teasing me about the game with the subject line “I win”.
The game is great. I have been playing since Friday night. I had to run to the store to get more shasta and bagel bites.
Thank you for this fantastic game.
Congratulations Cliff, you made it my friend through thick and thin, our faith was not misplaced, my mocking family are silenced! If your ears get hot over the next few months & years, it is me with stress induced tourettes, cursing your very warped and twisted mind that created this brilliant game. Thank you, I now disappear in to the land of a fool!
Excellent. Thanks for this. Now that it is no longer your headache, I look forward to making it my own.
I’m hating you already! I couldn’t be happier!
I just wanted to say that you have at least one big fan in Sweden. My dad got The Fool’s Errand when I was maybe 8 years old and I was completly enthralled by it. My English was not very good at the time and the game was way too hard for me but I completely loved it and I consider it one of my favorite games of all time. Ever since then I’ve replayed it maybe every 7 or 8 years.
Being swamped by people digitally stuffing money into your pants is (hopefully) a good problem to have.
Best wishes from an excited fan of your work
Yayyy! When is the next one?
Dammit! And here I am out of town! Great work sticking with it!
Thank you for all your labors. May the launch shower us all in the champaign of joy of problem solving!
Well, there goes my productivity for the foreseeable future.
Thanks again for magic spanning a quarter of a century - please don’t stop now!
Thank you -- Looking forward to the torture.... : )
The mayor of New York is shutting the subway down, parts of the city are being evacuated, and I just want to sit in my apartment and quietly play my puzzle game I have been waiting 10 years for while the apocalypse devastates everything around me.
Just wanted to let you know that when The Fool’s Errand was released I stayed up all night playing it and then went to work (teaching Secondary School Math), taught the whole day and raced home to continue the game. My students thought I was nuts until some of them played the game and understood.
Many, many thanks... Time to play.
So glad to see your labor of love finally out. Am playing with Elizabeth via Apple TV. Set the screen to 1024 x 768 and then project onto our 57" TV. Works extremely well! Hope you are well and taking a long vacation :)
One thing I find interesting is that I can sit my 9-year old daughter down in front of The Fool’s Errand or 3 in Three, and there are some (in fact many) puzzles that she can do.
I’m not sure she could do any of the puzzles in The Fool and His Money other than, perhaps, the jigsaws. I think it’s fine that this is the tradeoff that you made - you’ve basically shrunk the breadth of your audience (perhaps?) in order to increase the depth to which you serve the people who are already puzzle addicts.
But, it does make me a little vin triste because I think that The Fool’s Errand was something of a gateway drug for many people who didn’t know they liked puzzles, and I don’t see The Fool and His Money doing the same thing.
All of that being said, I personally am happy to have the game as it is now, and would rather you released it as it is than for you to take another 5 years to make it all things to all people!
WELL DONE! I am proud to have remained a “true believer” throughout all these years, and proud of you.
I hope you feel mainly relief and pride and not so much post-project emptiness. Take a holiday, you deserve it :)
Thank you so much for this game! I have, as your Compendium recalls, been happily waiting for it for a decade now, and am feeling amply rewarded.
The timing turns out to be unexpectedly happy, as I suddenly have 2 days off work this week, in case the university is hit by the impending storm.
I was getting upset about the picture-assembly puzzles that get invaded by pirates (I’m just not that young or quick any more), until I figured out the clever avoidance trick. Aha!
I’m currently in the midst of figuring out hands in the card games, and going happily nuts doing it. Thank you again! I hope you’re drawing a good deep breath and treating yourself to plenty of naps these days.
A True Believer.
I am so excited to be able to download The Fool and his Money - I hope Hurricane Sandy keeps me stuck inside for a long time.
Congratulations on completing the game, must be a relief for you!
Wow, congratulations! Right in time for me having lots of fun. Thank you for all the hard work, Cliff.
May fools inherit the Earth.
Congratulations, Cliff. I know it’s taken a while, but I never lost faith. :)
Yaaaay! Thank you! Although I may be writing later to say I hate you... ;)
CONGRATS! Thrilled to receive the game, you must be over the moon.
Just downloaded it. I thought I’d never see the day. Thanks, Cliff, for all the work and the persistence through—I know—some really hard times. Many congratulations.
My heartiest congratulations to you, sir. The journey has been long, but the destination is proving quite delightful.
Congratulations! It’s been a long time coming and I look forward to many enjoyable puzzling hours (or should I say months!) Thanks for all your hard work!!!
Yay!!!! Thank you for creating this game.
Thank you, Cliff. Thank you so much for giving yourself to this project for so long. I will be curling up with my sweetie later tonight, and we will open The Fool and his Money together, and we will explore this new game that you have created... we will laugh, and we will curse, and we will enjoy the dickens out of it!
Congrats Cliff, I can’t even imagine how thrilled/excited/nervous/relieved you must be feeling.
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! I just downloaded the game and am excited to jump into your world later tonight. I send virtual roses and a virtual telegram on your opening night! :)
THANK YOU!!! There go all my previous weekend plans, but thank you!!! Now, go take a well deserved rest and then start dreaming up the next game! : )
Congratulations Cliff. I didn’t doubt you.
I have to admit I had actually given up on this day ever coming. Glad to be mistaken!
Just in time for the weekend. Let’s hope Hurricane Sandy doesn’t kill my power early! Thanks and congratulations on finishing!
Thanks. Nine long years I’ve been waiting since I pre-ordered. Three puzzles down ... !
Congratulations! This is wonderful :) Can’t wait to play later tonight!
I’m sort of in shock right now.... I guess as much as I wanted to persevere as a True Believer, occasionally the thought would creep into my head that someday I would receive a message from you that said “You are the Fool and I have your Money...”.
I ordered years ago. Congrats on doing the near-impossible.
Dude, congratulations!!!!!!! Of course, I haven’t yet opened it, so I don’t know if you’re just pulling our collective leg or not. :-)
Congratulations Cliff! Take some well-earned time off while we spend the hours upon hours at the computer for a change.
Congratulations! Watching this move along its path has defined “labor of love” in my eyes.
Cliff, thanks for remaining dedicated to the game. I’m gonna enjoy playing it.
Congratulations at the release, sir! I know what I’ll be doing this weekend!
I know it took a decade. I know it was frustrating in a zillion different ways. But for me, the payoff is watching my son spend his entire day working on the puzzles. It’s especially gratifying because he’s been sick this week, and just sort of moping around the house because he felt so bad. Now he is completely absorbed in the game and not even thinking about how he feels.
Looking forward to hours (days, weeks) of enjoyable frustration. I know it was worth the wait.
First of all a BIG THANK YOU for finishing the game. I downloaded it this morning. It has been a very long wait, but definitely worth it! Best of regards and congrat to you!
Can’t wait to start digging in!
Congratulations seems like too small a word for this occasion, but congratulations anyway!
I am SO excited. It’s been a long time, but I love it. Awesome Game, Great Job! I may need the hint book sooner than later... but I’m pretty proud of how far I have gotten without one. Thank you so much for staying with this and not quitting! This is so exciting.
Congratulations on finally finishing the game, nice now as it gets colder again outside to sit comfortably and warm behind the computer spending long nights solving the puzzles in your game.
Huzzah! Hallelujah! Three cheers! And all that! Go have some fun.
Congratulations on the final launch of the game. It was worth the wait. I wish you much success with the game. I was honored to be allowed to be part of the process.
Congratulations, CLiFF. Totally awesome to see the game released. It was great fun to be part of the end game. Now I just have to finish the game. I’m going to savor every remaining moment!
Woo! Woo! Congrats.
Hard to believe. It has been a wild road. We have been rooting for you - The True Believers.
“Therefore, I declare the Game... finished.”
One simple sentence… a decade’s worth of work! I got teary-eyed just SEEING those words! Can’t imagine how you must feel.
I for one am going to lift a glass in celebration.
I’m writing you from Combat Outpost Herrera, vicinity of Jaji, Afghanistan. Despite all expectations, the download for TFaHM made it through the firewall, so I have been whiling away the night hours cursing and clicking “reset” over and over.
You know, “The Wheel of Fortune” was always my favorite puzzle in The Fool’s Errand, and so I’ve been ecstatic to see so many variations on Tarot represented, but it’s been a devil of a time figuring out how the cards are categorized in each version!
(That’s always been half the fun, of course.)
At any rate, I just beat Wyck (Imperial Tarot), and I howled with laughter when the remainder of that chapter was revealed to me. The bit where the High Priestess and the Fool go back and forth about whether she tried to destroy him with the Eye of Thoth or the Eye of Ra.
I remember, when I sent you my picture of the tattoo, how you had mentioned to me that both Eyes would feature in the story.
I just didn’t think you’ class=PId break the 4th wall so cleverly!
I really am enjoying this game. Well worth the wait.
gets the last laugh
and waves to his doubting
family and friends
who did not believe.