THE THIRD COURIER
From your West Berlin apartment, you make computer contact with Mission Control in Langley and learn that two couriers carrying top-secret NATO defense plans have been eliminated. The third is missing. Rumor has it that the courier has made contact with the East and is willing to sell the NATO plans to the highest bidder. You, Moondancer, the free world's best secret agent, must find and stop him.
Accolade's The Third Courier is one of the most clever action/adventure games I've seen. From the moment you open the package, you'll be caught up in the intrigue of espionage.
The creative, well-written documentation—called Mission Overview—accompanies a map of East and West Berlin and a decoder slide rule.
After the easy, menu-driven installation, you select a cover. You can have up to four active agents on file at a time. Not only do you choose aliases for your agents, but you also fill in background information, such as a cover occupation. Agents are rated on physical strength, knowledge, intelligence, intuition, and health from this dossier. Your overall rating determines the points that you receive for collecting information, successfully avoiding a conflict, and fighting in a confrontation.
The screen is arranged into two sides. The right half contains the action, inventory, and place menus. Bar graphs show your current level of strength, intelligence, intuition, knowledge, and health. A compass indicates the directions you may move when on the city streets. An encounter box allows you to fight, chat, threaten, or run.
The left half of the screen displays the scene, whether it's your apartment, the interior of a seedy bar, or the street. Above this scene is a dialog box that displays conversations or indicates whether you've been hurt in a fight. Below the scene is a status box that indicates your location and whether you're armed or not.
The graphics are excellent. The scenes are clear and detailed even on a CGA monitor. And facial expressions of the people you meet on the streets of Berlin actually change slightly if they're displayed for more than a few seconds.
The colors are vivid as long as you remain in West Berlin. Enter East Berlin, and expect to see nothing but gray and black. The buildings and surroundings are drab, frozen in a World War II time warp. Don't forget your papers and don't cause problems at the border or you'll be thrown in jail for questioning. If this happens, expect to spend at least four hours there.
The Third Courier definitely exercises the gray matter. At first I wasn't sure just how to get the information to find the missing courier, but eventually the steps seemed so obvious I wondered how I could have gotten my first agent killed so quickly.
Before long, all of my active agents were able to think quickly on their feet. They had a feel for the city so they weren't assassinated while trying to find their way with a map, and they had enough intuition to know when to fight and when to run.
Keep track of your status as you travel about and search in The Third Courier.
If you enjoy mystery and intrigue, if intuitive games with great graphics and challenges appeal to you, give The Third Courier a try. This quality thriller is sure to captivate audiences.
IBM PC and compatibles—$49.95
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