(Originally published in the national edition of Computer Currents magazine. Reprinted here with permission of the author.)

by Joe DeRouen

Who hasn't dreamed of being a spy? If there is such a person, they probably won't enjoy Activision's Spycraft: The Great Game. For the rest of us, however, it's a blast. You start the game as a CIA agent working with the KGB. No, you're not a traitor, but instead part of an unprecedented working agreement between the two spy houses. You must help track down an assassin to help ensure the smooth transaction of power in the former Soviet Union. Of course, things aren't quite that simple; your brain will get a real workout solving puzzles and picking up clues by the time you've finished this three-disk adventure.

Former CIA Director William Colby and former KGB Major General Oleg Kaulgin served as consultants on Spycraft to insure a level of authenticity never before found in a game of this type. Both also make appearances in the game, adding even more realism to the "Great Game." Stunning SVGA 3D graphics, 35mm full-motion video, and intricate puzzles and plots help overcome a somewhat-linear plot to make this one of the standout games of 1996.

One of the most interesting aspects of the game is its use of the World Wide Web. You're able to use a futuristic personal digital assistant (much like Apple's Newton in design) to access a virtual Web for information and news. If you're running Spycraft on Windows 95 or the Macintosh, (and have an Internet account) you can even access the real Web and download news that can be used during your current mission. Sections of the game are written in HTML, so the game changes itself to keep in step with current events. Talk about realism! If you like Tom Clancy novels, James Bond films, or just want to play a great game, you should check out Spycraft. And if you ever decide to apply for a job with the CIA, you'll already have a little experience under your belt.

Windows 95/MS-DOS/Macintosh. List price: $59.95. Activision, 800/477-3650.

Copyright (c) 1996, Joe DeRouen. All rights reserved.

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File last modified on September 19th, 1996