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Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of It is a text adventure game revolving around puns and wordplays. Idioms and clichés have become real-world objects in the town of Punster, and the player has to sort them out in order to win. There are seven separate scenarios that can be played in any order, as well as the final one that can be accessed only after having completed all seven. These scenarios are:
  • The Shopping Bizarre: Products in a grocery store have been replaced by nonsensical homonyms (such as "chocolate moose"), and the player has to revert them to their normal form.
  • Playing Jacks: Equipped with an item called "Jack of All Traits", the player has to construct words beginning with "Jack" to solve puzzles.
  • Buy the Farm: Clichéd expressions must be used in their literal meaning while exploring a farm.
  • Eat Your Words: More literal idioms used in a diner.
  • Act the Part: The protagonist is teleported into a 1950's-style sitcom, where he must perform visual gags.
  • Manor of Speaking: The protagonist explores a strange house in a more traditional humorous Infocom-style manner.
  • Shake a Tower: Letters in expressions have to be re-arranged to create humorous new meanings.
  • Meet the Mayor: The final chapter of the game, mixing elements of the others as the protagonist faces the mayor of Punster.


Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of It Apple II What to do?
Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of It Commodore 64 The beginning, page 2
Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of It Apple II What now?
Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of It Atari ST Exploring the Manor of Speaking (Monochrome display)

Promo Images

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Alternate Titles

  • "Wordplay" -- Working title
  • "Eight Tales of Cliches, Spoonerisms, and Other Verbal Trickery" -- Tag-line

User Reviews

Mega fun wordplay DOS Tony Van (2855)
Funny, punny text adventure DOS Terrence Bosky (5459)

Critic Reviews

ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Amiga Jan, 1988 895 out of 1000 90
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) DOS Jan, 1988 895 out of 1000 90
Commodore Computing International Commodore 64 Jan, 1988 9 out of 10 90
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Atari ST Dec, 1987 7 out of 10 70
All Game Guide Macintosh 1998 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
SPAG DOS Mar 02, 1995 6.1 out of 10 61
Commodore User Amiga Dec, 1987 6 out of 10 60
Commodore User Commodore 64 Dec, 1987 6 out of 10 60
Your Commodore Commodore 64 Feb, 1988 16 out of 30 53
The Games Machine (UK) DOS Dec, 1987 41 out of 100 41


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By Infocom standards, Nord and Bert was woefully short on feelies. It contained only a booklet of nine comic strips drawn by Kevin Pope.


  • ACE
    • 1989/1 (issue #16): ACE Adventure Awards 1988: "Weirdest game of the year" (editorial choice)

Related Web Sites

  • 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 Nord and Bert.)
Contributed to by Quapil (5475), ClydeFrog (10533), Martin Smith (76050), Tony Van (2855) and Terok Nor (31119)