One of Topologika's last IF titles, Countdown to Doom is a fun "light" science fiction set on the planet of Doomawangara (no, I'm not making this up). Despite the name, the planet is actually a very dangerous place-- so dangerous, in fact, that no explorer has ever returned from their journeys to tell the tales. Until you, of course. After a crash-landing, you must find various mechanical parts needed to repair your ship before the planet's atmosphere corrode it away.|
The game utilizes Topologika's standard parser, including the notorious lack of EXAMINE command and the inability to recognize many synonyms. Despite such limitations, Countdown to Doom is still an eminently playable game that features many creative puzzles and aliens from the fertile mind of Peter Killworth. Which is to say that they are very difficult to solve, and suffer from a certain degree of "guess-the-verb-in-designer's-mind" syndrome. They are all logical, though-- something that can't be said for some early Topologika games e.g. Philosopher's Quest. The parser also sports some improvements, such as the inclusion of on-line hints, and a bigger vocabulary.
Overall, Countdown to Doom a good challenge for IF experts or fans of Level 9's Silicon Dreams trilogy. Definitely not recommended for novices or anyone who is easily frustrated. It also leads in quite nicely to Return to Doom and Last Days of Doom, two further games in the series.
Reviewed by: Underdogs