"What the hell are you thinking?! This is a democracy! We can't just let people who don't like us walk around without hassling them!" |
The above quote probably sums up your role in Floor 13 rather succinctly. You play the role of the Director General of Intelligence for the British government although on paper you're the "Director of Fishing and Agriculture" ;)
The game has a rather tongue-in-cheek approach to the whole thing despite being relatively closely tied to real-world affairs and bordering on some controversial suggestions but even the most patriotic Brit would probably agree that it's all in good fun. As the Director General you have eight different avenues that you can pursue to sort out the various problems that arise, such as surveillance, removal, searching, assault and, my favourite, interrogation. The game runs in days, you'll arrive at your office and receive reports on various affairs, some of which you may not know the significance of until later on but such is the world of political espionage. If you do well, you're praised by the Prime Minister and may even end up working for a secret Freemasons-like society as well as having your operation furnished with more assassins, surveillance teams and the like. If you do badly, the little bomb under your desk in your office will go off and, as the PM says, "I hope you've been taking flying lessons". There are various ways of solving each problem, some better than others, and the events are hugely randomised. While it's true that you'll most probably never play the same game twice, it must be said that some of the happenings can be rather shallow and usually end with the killing or "disinforming" of the target.
A good example is a scenario when one of the royal family, Harry, is captured by a terrorist organisation. You have two weeks to find Harry before the press finds out. If you do a "discrete search" of the kidnappers home, your men fail to notice a bound and gagged Prince. If you do a "ransack search" instead, they will mysteriously find him. Besides these little issues and despite a heavily menu-driven interface with a complete lack of any flavour art (even by 1991 standards), Floor 13 is a great "filler game". It's the game you play while waiting on that phone call or finishing that download. Due to the rather steep learning curve, even a very good player will struggle to last for more than perhaps thirty minutes to an hour before taking flying lessons, although it can be an addictive little number.
Floor 13 is definitely worth a try and is a good replacement for Solitaire. Although I would point out that it's not for the younger generation and by no means contains an in-depth storyline (it's all random). But give it a go. ;)
Warning: this game contains controversial elements that may offend some, such as allowing you to torture prisoners to extract information. Proceed at your own risk.
Reviewed by: Roisin