The Tracer Sanction

Adventure 1984 Dos Dosbox Activision Science Fiction Graphical IF

First rate graphic adventure

Now this really is an obscurity, an early release from Interplay, better known for the likes of Baldur's Gate and Fallout. The game is a graphic adventure that will appeal to fans of Mindshadow, Zork and similar examples of interactive fiction and features an ambitious sci-fi storyline alongside some neat puzzles and memorable characters to create a fine example of the genre. Players take the role of Tracer, an intergalactic superspy who must track down the enigmatic criminal known as The Wing. You must travel the universe, seeking out clues to his whereabouts so that you can bring him in to your bosses at the SIA. However, as the SIA are rather stingy, one of your main tasks is finding enough money to fuel your ship so you can get around. In each of the eight explorable worlds, there are several genuinely interesting characters to interact with and who will provide clues to help you find The Wing, while the game's many clever puzzles also provide much of the game's entertainment value. The puzzles on display here are of a high standard, inventive and neat, with nothing illogical or unfair to be found. There isn't an over-abundance of text to read, which keeps the story flowing nicely, with descriptions that are succinct and well-written and which create a strong atmosphere. There are multiple endings available which adds to the replay value, and thanks to the smart interface, the game is highly accessible and easy to navigate. The graphics are simple enough, as is the sound, but both serve their purpose well enough. The gameplay really shines though and the Tracer Sanction is a fantastic sci-fi romp which acts as a perfect introduction to old-school graphic adventures but which will be enjoyed by veterans as well.

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