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.
In this cyberpunk adventure's intro, we witness Joshua Reevs receiving a new task. Several technical achievements, like the hover board or the aircar, have become commonplace in every day life of 2099 in the twilight of omnipresent neon billboards located in run-down corners of shady districts. Those are inhabited by gangsters, thieves and day labourers, and order is only barely maintained through the constant droning of the giant screens, but also such respectable law enforcement officers as Joshua, whose military instincts have been sharpened fighting on the front lines. None other than the governor of Union City, capital of America's New Order, Hugh Martens, is the customer acting quite mysteriously. The almost omnipotent mega-corp Genesis, exerting its power on the government through straw men, has been threatened and attacked by an underground terrorist group. One of the gouvernor's agents, disguised as a journalist, has not returned from a meeting with the terrorists. So Mr. Reevs, aka the player, finds himself on top of the apartment building where said agent Simon Ruby used to live.
Interactive movies… you might say that if you have played one of them, you have played them all. From the humble beginnings with pixelated miniature slide shows up to the fullscreen full motion video titles, all of them have one thing in common: A shallow plot combined with bad acting, interspersed by obscure and out of nowhere puzzles. The game we are going to discuss today, Black Dahlia, tried its best to leave this reputation behind by turning things up to eleven, with really high production values and an even somewhat creative story.