Posts Tagged ‘Sid Meier’s Covert Action’

Sid Meier’s Covert Action Review

Covert Action Featured

Covert Action Boxart

Developer: MicroProse
Publisher: Tommo
Platform: PC – GOG*

Sid Meier is still a pretty well known name in the gaming world thanks to Civilization and Pirates! But that’s far from the extent of his development history. One that seems to have been forgotten by many is Sid Meier’s Covert Action from 1990. Considering how neat it was, I can’t figure out why it doesn’t receive praise today.

The player assumes the role of a CIA agent (Maxine or Maximillian) and are tasked with uncovering criminal activities on a global scale. To be a good agent, you must discover clues and track down people before they can orchestrate their plans or run away. Interestingly, Covert Action utilizes two very different types of gameplay to make this all work.

First there is the information-gathering which primarily takes the form of wire-tapping and decoding documents. Decoding itself is a fun little minigame. You can take information to have it analyzed or see what your pals at the CIA have to offer. Gathering info often requires your agent to get into dangerous circumstances. Basically, they’ll have to infiltrate enemy headquarters.

Covert Action Screenshot

Checking out enemy buildings is where the game transfers to a top-down perspective. You must explore the many rooms of buildings and hopefully hack into their machines or open their safes. Enemies will meander about and even set off alarms if they spot you. Thankfully, a minimap lets you know where enemies are so you can get the upper hand.

There is a lot about Covert Action that seems tremendously intriguing. It does show its age and isn’t going to light up many modern gamer enthusiasm, though. Shooting is fairly clunky and hideouts always seem too vast and maze-like. Also, the reward of going to the beach after catching a crook is ridiculously hokey. Oh, did anyone mention the appalling artwork? Despite all this, I can’t help being lured back in for more Covert Action cases.

Score: 3

3 out of 5 alpacas

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