The gameplay is very similar to that of Wasteland since Fountain of Dreams was originally intended to be a sequel to this game. It is noted as being "very unforgiving" near the beginning, making it hard to start the game without dying.
The game is set in post-nuclear warFlorida, literally separated from the continental United States by intensive bombing during World War III that sparked an enormous earthquake. Central Florida itself was hit heavily with neutron and chemical weapons, in order to destroy the life there and preserve the technology. 50 years later after "The Change", life on the island of Florida is constantly threatened by the threat of mutation due to residual ionizing radiation and encounters with local ruffians known as the Killer Clowns, as well as three organized crime factions: the DeSoto Family, the Obeah Orders and the Bahia Mafia. The player controls a small band of adventurers who set out to find the purifying waters of the legendary "Fountain of Dreams" to stop the spread of mutation.
The game was originally intended as a follow-up to Wasteland, but neither Interplay nor any of the creative team that created Wasteland worked on it, the game engine is similar but actually created it from scratch, and in 2003 Electronic Arts dropped all claims that the game had any connection to Wasteland.Fountain of Dreams was part of the beginning of a trend at EA to produce in-house sequels to its previous titles.
Fountain of Dreams is said to have been a disappointment to Wasteland fans, as it was much shorter and smaller.Computer Gaming World described the game as "the leading contender for this year's Benjamin Franklin National Bird Award" and inferior to the predecessor, stating that it "incorporat[ed] all the worst features of that game, and not much of the good". The magazine noted that the game had no copy protection, "but then, a product like this probably doesn't need any".In 1996 the magazine ranked it as the 41st worst game of all time, stating "Wasteland got stupid as killer clowns, a silly plot and fear of Disney ruined the sequel."