You have to go back a long way into the annals of Macintosh gaming to recognize the name of Cliff Johnson, though it’s one of those names the word “legendary” is often attached to, and rightfully so. Johnson is the puzzle master behind The Fool’s Errand, At the Carnival and 3 in Three — puzzle games that debuted when color graphics support was only an option on many Mac models. These games featured charming bitmapped graphics and some of the most deranging, brain-twisting puzzles ever found on a Mac. Now Johnson is back with a sequel — The Fool and His Money — and his Web site is counting down the days until its release this December.
Although Johnson hasn’t released a Mac game since the early 1990s, he’s hardly been sitting still. Johnson worked on several releases for Philips’ CD-I platform in the mid-90s. Later he worked as a consultant for several game publishers, and in 2002 collaborated with celebrity magician David Blaine to create a puzzle for Blaine’s “$100,000 Challenge.” Johnson has been slowly raising awareness about his older games in recent months by re-publishing them himself for Mac and Windows computers — though the old Mac games only run on Mac OS X using “Classic” in 256-color mode. He’s been working on the all-new A Fool and His Money since 2003, and will release it in about a month and a half if everything goes according to plans.
Johnson has posted a teaser Web page offering visitors to his Web site a few tantalizing details of The Fool and His Money, and is currently accepting pre-orders for the game. As a special incentive, those who pre-order the game will have their names inscribed in “The Compendium of True Believers” inside the game itself. System requirements call for Mac OS 8.6 – X.