From Author's Website
Written by Adam Cadre. Winner of four Xyzzy Awards, including Best Game of 1999.
You are Primo Varicella, Palace Minister at the Palazzo del Piemonte. This title is unlikely to impress anyone. Piedmont is the laughingstock of the Carolingian League, and the Palace Ministry has devolved into little more than a glorified (and not even especially glorified) butlership: your duties include organizing banquets, overseeing the servants, and greeting visitors. It is safe to assume that the War Minister and the Coffers Minister lose little sleep over your presence in the King's Cabinet.
But Charles Martel was a Palace Minister, and he turned back the Moors at Tours lo these many years ago. His son Pepin was a Palace Minister, and he became King of the Franks. It is not unprecedented for Palace Ministers to make something of themselves. One might even say it is tradition. All you need is an opportunity.
And that opportunity is now.
Varicella is an ingenious interactive-fiction game in which you play a scheming government official who must coordinate your machinations with dozens of essentially real-time events. The game is unusual (at least in the modern era) for requiring knowledge of past plays in order to successfully solve the overall "puzzle."