Fable is a fun, light-hearted adult fairytale with a sense of humor. It's from the UK,developed by Telstar and distributed in 1996 by Sirtech. It carries a rating of Teens (13+), for "suggestive themes." I found the suggestive themes to be just that -- mildly suggestive and gentle double-entendre language plus some scantily-clad women, but nothing explicit or that I think would be offensive to most people over 13. I definitely wouldn't want my 6-year-old grandson to play it, even though he would surely be attracted to its appealing cartoon-like appearance.
I think of this game as a cross between Kings Quest 6 & 7, and The Longest Journey.
The plot involves our young hero, Quickthorpe, who's sent off by a villge elder to find the four jewels needed to restore his village in the aftermath of a long-ago betrayal
With its high-quality 2-D animations reportedly done by a former Disney artist, and its sense of humor about itself, it's definitely a close cousin of King's Quest 6 and 7.
There's a long, beautifully done introduction explaining the situation, that's very reminiscent of the long historical explanations in The Longest Journey. Some fairly long-winded explanations of the long-ago catastrophe, especially near the end of the game, also brought to mind the wealth of "historical" storytelling in TLJ. Many of the locations look just like TLJ locations would have looked if they were done in 2-D, and Quickthorpe's personality and sense of humor remind me very much of April Ryan, as well. So Fable looks to me like a very near ancestor of TLJ.
The game interface is easy to learn and easy to use, once you've got the hang of it, which shouldn't take more than a half-hour or so. As I recall, everything can be done by left-or right-clicking with the mouse. Movement is point and click where you want to go. If you're traveling offscreen, you'll wind up on a map. Just point at where you want to go on the map. But if there are locations between where you are and where you want to go, you'll have to stop off at all the intermediate stops before reaching your destination.
The inventory and options menus can be accessed either via the keyboard or by repeatedly right-clicking on Quickthorpe till the desired menu is indicated by a convenient subtitle. Repeated right-clicking on hotspots other than Quickthorpe will cycle you through a host of possible actions, all very conveniently subtitled, so you'll have a good idea of what to expect when you finally choose an action by left-clicking. Though all this left and right clicking might sound intimidating, it's actually no problem at all once you get used to it, which doesn't take very long.
You'll collect a huge inventory of items, many of which you'll never use. As far as I could tell, that should not be a problem.
There are many spots in the game where you can get killed or stranded without warning, so it's wise to save your game often. I think it's a good idea to save them in various slots, too (I think there are about 10, but they can be written over), since your last save may have been beyond a point-of-no-return for completing the game.
It took me about 15 hours of gameplay to complete the game, but I'm sure that a player who doesn't look around at everything or try all possible scenarios, as I do, could finish faster. There's a small maze which shouldn't take too long to figure out, but I used the excellent walkthrough on Gameboomers for it. If you do use the walkthrough, be sure to visit the chamber that the authors give directions to, but don't actually visit. You'll be treated to some interesting alternate endings, and even more "history" of Quickthorpe's village.
Fable worked excellently well for me in Windows ME, with one small glitch -- it wouldn't launch the game from the auto-run screen that pops up when you insert the disk in your CD-ROM drive. So I had to close out of that screen when it popped up, then launch the game from its icon in the game folder. This is no problem, especially if you create a shortcut to it on your computer "desktop."
All in all, Fable is a very pleasant little game.
[This message has been edited by mom10989 (edited 06-07-2001).]