Description official descriptions
In this game, the player controls a postal clerk in the small fishing village of Festeron. The postmaster, Mr. Crisp, orders the player to deliver an envelope to the owner of Ye Olde Magick Shoppe. However, this seemingly innocent task inexplicably leads to a strange phenomenon: as the hero steps out, he finds that Festeron has been mysteriously transformed into a dark, ominous town called Witchville. Even cute little poodles have turned into hellhounds! Finding the Wishbringer, a stone that grants seven wishes to those who possess the right objects, seems like the only solution - or is it?
Wishbringer is a text adventure set in the Zork universe. The player types in commands to navigate the character, interact with the game world, and solve puzzles. The game has a rather open-ended structure, with many situations possessing several solutions; the player can opt for a "magical" approach to the tasks, using the titular stone, or attempt to solve the game in a more straightforward way.
Credits (DOS version)
Average score: 82% (based on 9 ratings)
Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 47 ratings with 1 reviews)
Put simply, it's very friendly and pleasant, without feeling like it's "hand-holding". Being a puzzle-based IF newbie, this was the first Infocom game I won, and as such the puzzles were logical, fun, and satisfying.
There's actually multiple ways to get through most of the puzzles--you can either use the Wishbringer stone or get through it using other means, which makes the game very friendly for newcomers.
The writing was also well-done and engaging, although at times some of the fantastic elements seemed a little random; but then again, the Zork universe (which the game is set in) is pretty random, so go figure. Still, overall the story and characters are quite memorable.
The encumbrance system for your inventory is very realistic, but it only serves to complicate the gameplay; you can't hold many things at once, so I constantly found myself having to stash things in rooms, restoring a game every so often when I was cut off from an item I needed.
Unlike most modern adventure games, just because you're still alive in the game doesn't necessarily mean it's possible to win it; however, as long as you pick up anything that's not nailed to the ground, and as long as you save your games regularly (and under different names), you're good to go.
The non-Wishbringer solution to one of the early puzzles involving a troll is very unintuitive, in my opinion, and even the Wishbringer solution is a little non-obvious. It's unfortunate that the only frustrating puzzle in the game (for me, at least) was near the very beginning.
The Bottom Line
Of the other attempts at puzzle-based interactive fiction I'd made prior to this game, Wishbringer was by far the least frustrating and the most enjoyable. I'd definitely recommend this game to anyone who hasn't played puzzle-based interactive fiction before.
DOS · by Foopy (10) · 2004
The interesting thing about the Wishstone that separated it from other glow in the dark goodies of the day is that it actually glows purple - quite unusual! (and, as a side note, I still have mine and 15+ years later, it still glows perfectly)
Related Sites +
At this site you can find information on ALL of Infocom's interactive games, Infocom related articles, sample transcripts, InvisiClue hints, walkthroughs, maps and information on buying Infocom games today.
The Commodore Zone
All about the game, with introduction, images, related links and comments area.
The Infocom Gallery
High-quality scans of the grey box package and manual of Wishbringer.
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Brian Hirt.
Amstrad PCW, Commodore 128 added by Trypticon. TRS-80 CoCo added by Slik. Apple II added by Droog. Atari 8-bit, Amstrad CPC added by Kabushi. Amiga, Macintosh added by Terok Nor. Tatung Einstein, TI-99/4A added by Игги Друге. Commodore 64, Atari ST added by Belboz.
Game added March 10, 1999. Last modified January 23, 2024.