Sunday, January 24, 2010

Infiltrator - 1986

Another game which I never finished was Infiltrator, released in 1986. I'm pretty sure this game used a printed code book for copy protection, with black writing on dark purple paper, so that it wouldn't photocopy.

The game consisted of a short flight through enemy airspace in a helicopter, where you could choose to fight or fool enemy aircraft. After landing outside the enemy camp, you walked through the gates and had to avoid enemy guards. If questioned, you could show some fake papers or use a can of sleeping gas. Sleeping gas, handy stuff that!

I don't remember the point of this game, I think you had to go and take out some big boss or some such. Gameplay basically involved exploring buildings and avoiding getting caught by wearing enemy uniforms or using the sleeping gas. There were no guns or combat, just lots of sneaking around and hoping you didn't run out of gas.

Why didn't I finish this game? It used a very poor game mechanic, the count down timer. When the time runs out you had to repeat the whole flight/land/sneak/gas sequence again. This is a miserable way to add difficulty to a game. After the umpteenth restart, all fun evaporates.

Infiltrator was interesting, because it combined a few games into one. It was part flight sim, part action isometric, and it had a interior building exploration component too, which reminded me of the Spy Vs Spy games. Ultiimately, despite it's innovation, the game failed. The sum of its mediocre parts still summed up to a total of... mediocrity.

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