Normality throws the player into a dystopian metropolis leaning towards the psychedelic. Right in the middle of it, you take over the role of a teenager in his fourties called Kent who finds himself in his flat which has gone under in total chaos. Due to the game being classified as appropriate for six-year-olds, there are no beer bottles, porn magazines or even a huge, filthy bong to be found. Instead, there is just a boob tube, a dripping faucet and a permanently nodding tumbler bird. The run-down gloominess of Neutropolis does not fit with the good-natured and carefree mind of the protagonist.
Infocom takes us back to the times of Cold War, in a classic tale of spies the two blocks collide, and only you can stop an evil plot before time runs out.
That is, the authors throw you in the role of three of the said spies, who find themselves in a small imaginary country near the west-east border, where a high ranking ambassador is going to be assassinated.
Now, I would bet that at least half of our readers don't even remember the Cold War firsthand. When the game was released in the late 1980s, it was still very much alive, though, in spite of the slowly developing, but still very fragile attempts at Perestroika and Glasnost.
Darkness holds one of the primal fears of mankind. But why are we afraid of it? We are afraid, because something might be lurking in the utter blackness and when it is trying to harm us we will not see it coming. Since it easier for us to deal with the tangible than with the abstract, we tend to antropomorphise our feelings. And this leads to the birth of the bogeyman, our manifested anxieties. Especially children with their more vivid imagination combined with all their insecurities – born out of inexperience – are prone to conjuring them up. And since your fear can be turned against you, parents use it to make their children behave – as cruel as this might be. Yes fear is a powerful tool: Whomever you are afraid of has control over you. And this is one of the main themes of Bogeyman.