Personal Computer Museum, Canada's Videogame Museum



SystemAtari 8-Bit
Floppy (5.25")1


Atari 8-Bit

Release Date: 1/1/1985
Manufacturer: Infocom
Donated By: Gregory William Crowell
Fooblitzky is a board game-style computer game published by Infocom in 1985 and designed by a team including interactive fiction authors Marc Blank and Michael Berlyn. It is unique among Infocom titles because (among other reasons) it was the first game Infocom released to incorporate graphics beyond ASCII characters. Like most Infocom titles, it was written in highly portable ZIL and made available for an array of popular computer platforms, including the Apple II, IBM PC, and the Atari XL and XE series.

Infocom marketed Fooblitzky as a "Graphic Strategy Game", and gameplay was compared to that of Clue and Mastermind. Two to four players travelled around the virtual city of Fooblitzky, spending "foobles" and attempting to deduce what four objects were needed to win the game (and then obtain them).

Players purchased objects in stores and could visit City Hall to have their possessions evaluated. Much in the same style as Mastermind, the player would be told how many of their objects were correct, but not which ones.

Perhaps because Fooblitzky was not a conventional Infocom release, the package did not contain the conventional array of feelies. Instead, each box contained four sets of laminated game boards and erasable markers which could be used to track the progress of a game. Two sets of documentation were also included: a set of "quick-start" guidelines ("The Bare Essentials") and a more detailed set ("Official Ordinances").

In an unprecedented move, Fooblitzky was available for purchase for the first six months exclusively to subscribers to Infocom's newsletter The New Zork Times.

Fooblitzky sold modestly and received mixed reviews. It has been noted that Infocom's strategy for producing multiple-format interactive fiction backfired on them in this case; by making graphics that could be displayed on any system, they were not able to exploit each system's particular graphical strengths. This resulted in relatively blocky, bland graphics that looked the same in every version.

In Zork Zero one of the possible magic words needed to win the game is fublitskee.

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