Review of "The book of Fistandantalus"

The book of Fistandantalus is an ADRIFT 3.8 interactive fiction game and is © 2000 by Andrew Wilson.

Review by David Welbourn (originally posted at IFDB)

ADRIFT 3.8 games tend to be forgotten and unreviewed, so I thought I'd give this one a try. Unfortunately, this game should probably remain forgotten. Let's run through a quick checklist:

Story? You're looking for a book of magic, but who you are or why you want it isn't explained. It was owned by the great mage Fistandantalus, but you learn almost nothing about him either except that he died of a curse about 1000 years ago. What kind of guy he was, what kind of magic he did, who knows?

Writing? Pretty poor with lots of misspellings. "There are many butiful tapastrys lineing the walls." Nuff said.

Setting? Well, the prologue said you were entering a tower, but there's no going up or down in this game. The rooms are connected end-to-end like a winding snake, so you have to go through a secret passage and several bedrooms before you can reach the kitchen. Almost no furnishings except old beds, trunks, and notes. Nothing whatsoever to suggest a magic user lived here.

NPCs? One. You can ask him about the book, but that seems to be it. Although he's the descendant of the mage and caretaker of the "tower", he seems to have no objection to adventurers walking through the place.

Puzzles? One half-a-puzzle, I guess, since it can be solved by NOT doing something, so you might solve it without even noticing.

Anything else? Winning doesn't end the game. The author apologizes that he didn't know how to code some things that he wanted to do. Yeah, I kinda noticed that, thanks.

In sum: it's a vague, nearly-illiterate, boring, linear, uneventful, unchallenging, poorly coded game. But at least someone's played and reviewed it now, so you don't have to!

Rating: ⭐️

P.S. Belatedly, I have just learned that there's a wizard named Fistandantilus in the Dragonlance series of books by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis. I must now presume that those books were the inspiration for this unfortunately tepid tribute game.

✍️🏻 See my handwritten notes.