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Game #1851
Hall of Belated Fame Inductee  Fourth Protocol, The    View all Top Dogs in this genre
Adventure   Multi-genre adventure

Rating: 8.43 (41 votes)

Fourth Protocol, The box cover

Fourth Protocol, The screenshot
A fascinating political thriller based on best-selling Frederic Forsyth novel of the same name, The Fourth Protocol is a good game that is bogged down by cumbersome interface and a very slow pace that makes it very boring in the mid-game. The plot is Forsyth at his best: in the Soviet Union, a secret faction of first-water minds have hatched "AURORA," a plot to rule the country that even the KGB is unaware of. Master spy Kim Philby and a high ranking Soviet official are at the helm of the cabal, and British agent Jim Preston is the only person who can stop them. But can he stop them in time?

You, of course, play the novel's hero Jim Preston, and your job is to uncover AURORA and expose the masterminds. The game plays like the spy thriller it's based upon, requiring you to read a lot, interrogate suspects and informants, and correlate facts and clues together to form the big picture. You can order wiretaps, monitor suspects, and engage in other sorts of spy activities. The problem is that the game screens are quite static -- most of the time you'll be staring at your desktop and various monitors, or some dense information in various TOP SECRET folders. The utter lack of animated cutscenes makes the game quite dull to look at; although a lot of interesting plot twists and developments occur during the game, they are communicated via text-only descriptions, which are not as well-written as, say, Infocom's Border Zone. Still, with very challenging gameplay and an intriguing plot, The Fourth Protocol is well worth a try for fans of this niche genre. Thumbs up!

Reviewed by: Underdogs
Designer: Unknown
Developer: Ariolasoft
Publisher: Ariolasoft
Year: 1985
Software Copyright: Ariolasoft
Theme: Organized Forces, Political, Licensed
None that we know of
System Requirements: DOS
Where to get it:
Related Links: Roger Ebert's review of the 1987 film version
If you like this game, try: President is Missing, The, Yes Prime Minister, Floor 13

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