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Border Zone (DOS)

Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
User Score
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It is the 1980's, and the Cold War between the Western Bloc (led by the USA) and the Eastern Bloc (led by the Soviet Union) is at its peak. The town of Ostnitz is located on the border between the fictional Eastern Bloc nation of Frobnia and the equally fictional neutral Litzenburg. The US ambassador is about to arrive in Ostnitz in order to deliver a speech on the occasion of the local Constitution Day. However, a plot to assassinate the ambassador, hence escalating the tension between the super-powers, is soon revealed.

Border Zone is a text adventure game in which the player controls three different protagonists throughout three chapters: an American businessman and two special agents - a Western and an Eastern one. Besides the traditional text-based exploration and puzzle-solving, the game has real-time elements: time passes even if the player does not interact with the game. Some stealth-oriented sequences rely on these elements, timing being crucial to advance.


Border Zone DOS Starting location of Chapter 1
Border Zone DOS Opening screen

Alternate Titles

  • "Spy" -- Working Title
  • "Checkpoint" -- Working Title
  • "Border Zone: A Game of Intrigue" -- Tag-lined title

User Reviews

Bond. James Bond. Mirrorshades2k (273) unrated

Critic Reviews

ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Feb, 1988 895 out of 1000 90
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Dec, 1987 10.25 out of 12 85
Power Play Dec, 1987 7.5 out of 10 75
SPAG Mar 02, 1995 7.2 out of 10 72


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Feelies packaged with Border Zone included a Frobniz tourists guide (with phrasebook and train schedule), a business card from Riznik's Antique store, a Frobnizian border map, and a book of matches from the Frobniz national railway.


The names in the Gribnitz apartments in part three of the game are based on actual Infocom employees (thanks to Paul David Doherty's Infocom Fact Sheet for the original list):

Bextra (maybe Duane Beck)
Blenka (Marc Blank)
Blivik ?
Brgmiz (Ernie Brogmus)
Brlensk (Mike Berlyn)
Brzni (Joel Berez)
Carlyni (Linda Carlow)
Cnezeni (Cezanne Blank)
Cyrink (Liz Cyr-Jones)
Dimwitz (Lord Dimwit Flathead the Excessive)
Dornik (Michael Dornbrook)
Endrizen (Tim Anderson, or "Hollywood" Dave Anderson)
Flipni ?
Galnitz (Stu Galley)
Gentezek (Carl Genatossio)
Kooplitz ?
Lebniz (Dave Lebling)
Lengnoz (Elizabeth Langosy, or Donald Langosy)
Mrtzki (Steve Meretzky)
Onilik (Jeff O'Neill)
Profnim ("Professor" Brian Moriarty)
Rivni (Christopher Reeve)
Robnerim (the family name from "Deadline")
Sinkriz (maybe Anita Sinclair)
Urg ?
Veznich (Al Vezza)
Winip ?

Information also contributed by ClydeFrog and Ye Old Infocomme Shoppe

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Tony Van (2681) added Border Zone (DOS) on Nov 26, 1999
Other platforms contributed by Quapil (4732), Droog (460) and Terok Nor (21023)