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• Author: Marc Blank, Mike Berlyn, Poh C. Lim and Paula Maxwell
• Released: 1986
• Genre: Board game
• Difficulty: -

Most of you interactive fiction fans love the puzzles in Infocom's games. But many of you may not realize that puzzle-solving is also an important part of Infocom's first graphics strategy game, Fooblitzky. Here is a Fooblitzky-like logic puzzle; see if you can figure it out.

Imagine a town where stores sell only 12 items, and where the currency is "foobles." Now suppose a contest is held in the town, and 4 of the items are secretly designated "right items." Your goal is to figure out what the 4 right items are.

To help you out, city officials tell you the cost (in foobles) of the 4 right items. And every time you bring items to City Hall, you'll be told how many of the items you have are right. However, you won't be told which items are right. Given the following information, can you tell which are the 4 right items?

Items costing 4 foobles: banana, fish, hair spray, and screwdriver.

Items costing 8 foobles: light bulb, sardines, snake, and toothpaste.

Items costing 16 foobles: eyedropper, hot dog, pig, and saw.

Suppose you're told that one of the right items costs 4 foobles, one costs 8 foobles, and two cost 16 foobles. Assume that the two 16-fooble items are different.

  1. Player 1 goes to City Hall with a banana, a snake, an eyedropper, and a pig, and learns that she's carrying 2 right items.
  2. Player 2 goes to City Hall with a banana, a light bulb, and a snake, and learns that he too is carrying 2 right items.
  3. Player 3 goes to City Hall with sardines, a hot dog, a pig, and a saw, and learns that he is carrying 1 right item.
  4. Player 4 goes to City Hall with hair spray, toothpaste, and a saw, and learns that she's carrying 1 right item.

With this information, you should be able to deduce what the 4 right items are. (In a real game of Fooblitzky, you couldn't assume that the two 16-fooble items are different. Try deducing the 4 right items again, this time allowing the two 16-fooble items to be the same or different. Is there more than one possibility? Answers here.)

Figuring out the right items is just part of the fun in Fooblitzky. You can bump into other players to steal their items; buy or sell items at the pawn shows at discount prices; ride the UGH (the underground gliding highway) to move around the city quickly; hide items from other players in lockers; and so on. And the Chance Man can show up any time, sometimes to help you, and sometimes to hinder you.

Fooblitzky is a lot like your favorite board game: you play against your friends or family rather than against the computer. As in interactive fiction, there are dozens or hundreds of alternatives at every turn. And there are so many possibilities in Fooblitzky, no two games are alike. We've even put several variations into the program, so you can make the game easier, harder, or stranger.

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