AVAILABLE ON: Amiga, Atari ST, PC
DEVELOPER(S): Delphine Software International
PUBLISHER(S): Delphine Software International, Interplay Productions, U.S. Gold
Operation Stealth was the second point 'n' click adventure by Delphine Software International - after Future Wars: Adventures in Time - released at a time LucasArts pretty much had the monopoly on the genre, and it showed in the game's sales. What's it got to do with the James Bond franchise, exactly? Well, to boost the game's sales in the United States, local publisher Interplay Productions renamed the game James Bond: The Stealth Affair, and changed the main character from CIA agent John Glames to the familiar James Bond - actually changing nothing but his name. Obviously, the game's developmental history makes for an interesting game to review, and it's of a genre I'm very fond of. What's surprising is that beyond all its technical hickups and laughable presentation, the game is actually worth a try for a point 'n' click fanatic.
One awkward operation
CIA agent John Glames travels to Santa Paragua, South America, to investigate the theft of an ultra-modern aircraft named STEALTH.
|Neither does your grammar.|
Some technical issues. First up to greet me after I started the game up was a stupid copy protection program, which luckily just required a quick Google image search to be dealt with. The next thing I figured out was this was not going to be an easy game to read. Is "congraultration" a word?
|"THANKS, CREEPY RETARD WITH A |
MICKEY MOUSE FIGURE ON HIS DESK!"
Those not familiar with the Cinématique engine might enjoy a little history lesson. The Cinématique engine was Delphine's answer to LucasArts' SCUMM. It was first introduced in Future Wars, then this game, and finally, Cruise for a Corpse - which is the most obscure game of 'em all, a murder mystery somewhat inspired by Hercule Poirot. The French... anyway, each of these three games had a slightly modified interface, but the common rule was that there was a basic command, and under that, a target for that command. For example, you chose "OPERATE" and then clicked on whatever you wanted to "operate", for example a control panel in the vicinity. Sounds pretty much like SCUMM, but the commands aren't on constant show on the screen, and there's another twist. By clicking the right mouse button on a basic command meant that you were searching for a target in your inventory. For a great example from this specific game, let's operate your own briefcase.
|One of the things Leisure Suit Larry taught my |
10-year old self: never walk past the taxi post.
|Here's a heads-up the game won't give: you're |
about to fail the game in ten seconds.
Even after all of this, I indeed found Operation Stealth a surprisingly entertaining point 'n' click game, recommendable to any true fanatic, and up for quick grabs from Abandonia. It's short, but it's difficult - not for all the right reasons, but some. And, its many inconsistencies are quite amusing at their best.
+ Good graphics and music
+ Some details appear to change a little on each playthrough
+ Not all the puzzles are bad, once you get the hang of Cinématique...
- ...Which is hard, and even after you do get the hang of it, you'll most likely find the whole thing incoherent and tedious; the commands are confusing, and easily misplaced, which makes complex graphic-based puzzles much harder than they actually are
- Mere navigation in complex areas is nerve wracking
- Typos all around, both amusing and misleading
- Sudden deaths in adventure games should've disappeared in the turn of the decade
< 6.8 >