Friday, 26 October 2007

blast from the past - Codename Iceman

Inspired by seeing a review for it at,775

I somewhat liked this game. Except I didn't actually play most of it.

As the review explains, much of this game plays out like an elaborate exercise in copy-protection. You have to have the manual to get anywhere.

Do you think this actually stopped people from copying the game?

Back in the day when my parents bought me games, they also had contacts in the early BBS scene... and yes, software pirating was going on even then. So when a new game came out, someone might hand it to me to see if I liked it. (I will point out that I did own MOST Sierra adventures legitimately.)

So. I was given a copy of Iceman to try out. And this copy came with SAVED GAMES. The last saved game being one which was a good long ways into the game, past all of the submarine-simulation nonsense, perhaps past everything you'd need a manual for. This also meant that I was starting the game in a great deal of confusion.... "Why am I in the middle of the ocean CARRYING A BOMB?" But at the same time, that confusion was interesting.

I'm pretty sure that I completed the game and found the endgame mildly enjoyable. Unfortunately I don't really remember it. I do remember trying to load some of the earlier saves that were shipped along with it and being baffled by the submarine stuff - not just because I obviously couldn't do it, not having the manual, but also not seeing how it was supposed to be any fun.

What stands out to me most strongly? Navigating underwater with the aid of my Tech Gadgets to get to a place to leave a bomb, having no idea why, and then trying to get AWAY from the bomb before it went off. That's memorable. Maybe more adventure games should start that way.

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