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Countdown (DOS)

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Developed by
Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
User Score
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Mason Powers, a former CIA agent, awakens in a Turkish asylum with many of his memories erased. Gradually recovering from his amnesia, Mason realizes that he has been locked up for allegedly murdering his supervisor. Convinced that he is innocent, Mason eventually escapes from the mental hospital. However, that brings him back to his old job, where he becomes entangled in a world-wide conspiracy of espionage, terrorism, and murder.

Countdown is an adventure game with emphasis on traveling and conversation, though inventory-based puzzles are present as well. Over the course of the game the protagonist travels to many different locations around the world, though the areas themselves are fairly small. Interaction is performed by choosing verb commands such as Look, Get, Taste, and others. There are no "hot spots" that indicate than an object can be interacted with. A bulk of the game is dedicated to conversations, which include, among others, special commands such as Help, Hassle, Pleasant, and Bluff. Sometimes choosing a wrong action may lead to a premature end of the game.

A few segments involve navigating top-down mazes. It is possible to die in various ways and also get irrevocably stuck. The game imposes a time limit of ninety-six in-game hours on the player. Certain actions - such as spending more money and traveling by plane instead of a train - may help the player stay well within this limit. The game is notable for using digitized photography alongside hand-painted graphics; character portraits are all scanned photos. It also uses digitized music and speech samples, which can be heard even with a PC speaker thanks to a special software.


Countdown DOS Newspaper headline.
Countdown DOS Another top-down scene. Mason's just dealt with a hitman.
Countdown DOS The mini-computer CAD is info database and analyzer in one.
Countdown DOS Collage of unhappy endings...

Alternate Titles

  • "Countdown: An Interactive Movie of Intrigue, Espionage and Suspense." -- Tag-lined title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

96 hours of good, old fashioned detective work *Katakis* (37910) 4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars
Technologically impressive, yet lacking as an adventure game Cor 13 (174240) 3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars
Sat on my shelf for years before I finished it Jeanne (75469) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
Solid, if unspecatular, adventure experience Toka (16) unrated

Critic Reviews

Raze Apr, 1991 91 out of 100 91
The One Feb, 1991 84 out of 100 84
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Feb, 1991 10 out of 12 83
Adventure Classic Gaming Jul 01, 2012 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Aventura y Cía Mar 07, 2004 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Power Play Apr, 1991 48 out of 100 48


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On the backside of the game boxes flap, a citation from Lewis Caroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is printed:

"BuT I doN't wanT to go aMonG Mad peoPle," AliCe remarKeD. "OH, YOU caN'T heLp THat," saiD THe CaT. "We'Re aLL MaD HeRe. I'm MaD, YoU'Re MaD."

"How dO You KNow i'M MAD?" saiD AliCe.

"YOu MusT Be," sAid tHE CaT, "oR you wOULdn't Have COme Here."

Related Web Sites

-Chris (7308) added Countdown (DOS) on Jul 16, 2000