Rating: 7/10. An amusing collection of wordplay puzzles
When talking about the old Infocom classics, I never hear anyone mention Nord and Bert. It's a shame, because it's good, quirky game.
Nord and Bert nominally has a plot about rescuing the town of Punster from wordplay related problems. But the plot is irrelevant. The protagonist isn't anyone is particular. The other characters are just simplistic props. This game isn't about the story, it's about enjoying the wordplay. And it succeeds at that.
The game is divided into different zones which are completely disconnected. Each zone has a different theme and type of puzzle. "The Shopping Bizarre" requires identifying homonyms to change objects. "Buy the Farm" is about cliched phrases. The very amusing "Shake a Tower" is about fixing spoonerisms.
For an Infocom game is feels relatively modern. It's relatively rare to put the game into an unwinnable state. Instead of directions, you navigate by typing room names, almost entirely eliminating the need to map. The disconnected zones simplifies things.
As the puzzles usually require identifying a single specific phrase, they can be very frustrating. Players should expect to consult a walkthrough or hint site. However, when you get into the groove and solve several puzzles on your own, it's very satisfying.
For fans of wordplay and people interested in seeing more unusual interactive fiction, Nord and Bert has much to recommend it.
For people who enjoyed Nord and Bert, I also recommend "Ad Verbum".