Each item, including a snow globe and a rather unfriendly skull, whisks you off to another realm ... well, perhaps "experiment" is a better word. Though the three (and a bit) quests follow a structure that'll be familiar to you, they offer some interesting diversions from the core gameplay. Within the snow globe, which is oddly devoid of both snow and color, you'll find that enemies exhibit weakness to only some of your offensive abilities, be they magic, melee or ranged attacks. It's a crude color-matching gimmick, to be sure, but it encourages some variety in your tactics. After all, by now your hero should be (gaming parlance alert!) maxed out.
Another quest sees you hopping in and out of monstrous costumes. Aside from the comedy inherent in prancing through town as a Balverine afterward, there are some interesting side-effects. As a Hobbe, for instance, you're able to activate ghostly versions of your brethren (and different types, too!), sending them ahead to overcome obstacles. The brief puzzle element feels undercooked, but it's a pleasant palette cleanser nonetheless.
If you've skipped ahead to this paragraph, you'll note that I've yet to mention the "See the Future" quest. What could have been a tantalizing quest far removed from the rest of the game instead turns out be little more than a brief and barely interactive cutscene. The vision you're given is so slight and anticlimactic, you might wonder if a static screen declaring, "Fable 3: Coming Eventually!" might not have been more effective. The consolation prize (two to three hours later) comes in the form of the fun but underwhelming Colosseum, a brawling arena that can be stripped of most of its prizes within minutes.
Still, there are other prizes on offer outside of Murgo's cursed items. If you've always wanted to extort the town's people as The Joker -- oh, sorry, the "Psycho Jester" -- there's something here for you. New outfits, hairstyles, collectibles and adorable Dalmatians? They're here too. Perhaps it's best that the future doesn't offer as many gifts as the present. And at a very reasonable price of 560 MS Points ($7), it's nice to know that Lionhead's less of a swindler than Murgo.