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Sub-standard spy thrill
Another in the seemingly endless wave of interactive fiction games which flooded the market back in the 1980s, like Lost Dutchman's Gold and African Adventure, CIA Adventure is an intriguing entry into the genre thanks to its content but which is sadly hard to recommend for a number of reasons. The plot is perhaps the game's strongest point and sees players taking the role of a CIA agent who must recover a stolen ruby that is part of the government's top secret laser project. It's all familiar stuff, very much like sub-par James Bond stuff but the setup itself is respectable enough to grab your interest. Unfortunately though, it's all downhill from here. The rest of the story is so ridiculous, with a number of foolish moments which just make you wonder how much thought actually went into writing this adventure and it does come across more as a tale for children than for anyone seriously interested in interactive fiction. The puzzles on display here are also of less than stellar quality, being frequently illogical or just plain bizarre and although genre veterans should be able to deal with the oddness, newcomers might find this obtuseness to be just too frustrating. CIA Adventures really doesn't stand as a great example of this type of game thanks to its overriding sense of simplicity, with everything from the writing to the plot, the characters, and even the interface just screaming out in the voice of an amateur. It's not awful, but it lacks long term appeal, capable of being completed in under an hour as it is and when looked at alongside such classics as Zork and the Doom trilogy, it's just hard to recommend this to anyone but the most undemanding of players.