Tag Archives: Espionage

Black Orchestra – First Look!

What’s inside Black Orchestra (2nd Edition, Starling Games, 2017) ~

Michael Eckenfels, 18 April 2018

“Is it twue what they say about boawd games wif ‘bwack’ in the title? (opens box)…Oh…it’s twue! It’s twue!”

– Lily Von Shtupp, upon receiving her copy of Black Orchestra, 2ndEdition…or so I imagine, anyway

A Retro Review of Covert Action

A review of Covert Action as released on www.gog.com

By Avery Abernethy, 6 April 2014

Covert Action is a game of international espionage originally released by Microprose Software in 1990.  Covert Action is a classic MS-DOS computer game written by Sid Meier and his programming team.  You take the role of Max (or Maxine) Remington, a CIA trouble shooter attempting to unravel complex international criminal conspiracies from a multitude of hostile government and terrorist organizations.

My first copy of Covert Action was purchased in 1990.  I loved it and it became one of my favorite all time games.  I mourned when Microsoft stopped supporting DOS and donated my original copy of Covert Action to charity prior to moving to a new home.  I rejoiced when DOSBOX was invented which enabled people to play MS-DOS games on a modern computer systems.  This review is not based on fond memories, but on more than twenty hours of play of the www.gog.com version of Covert Action.

Each mission starts in a similar fashion.  A CIA leader at HQ warns trouble is brewing.  Briefings are often vague with a handful of clues and perhaps an indication of one of the organizations involved in the plot.  Plots include blackmailing important officials, assassinations, stealing important bits of technology, or similar cold-war era operations.  Multiple enemy groups are involved in every plot.  The mastermind works through minions who perform the nasty deeds.  Max then has lots and lots of choices with little to go on.  Max often starts unravelling the plot by placing wiretaps on organizations or individuals who may be involved.  This may yield coded messages which must be decrypted.

CA-message decoding