The set of faces you are shown before each case is actually the game's copy protection, not a gameplay element. It is cracked in most abandonware versions of the game.
Covert Action was first worked on by Bruce Shelley and Sid Meier">Sid Meier between the making of Railroad Tycoon and Civilization.
Sid Meier is quoted as having a rule of game design he calls "The Covert Action Rule," inspired by this game. He found that it was hard to keep track of the story in the midst of all the minigames, so he created this "rule" to prevent himself from making multiple games at once.
The Amiga version of Covert Action
had a much higher resolution picture of the CIA Director (see screenshots for the PC version). In addition to more facial detail, the Amiga Director had a large "jelly stain" birthmark on his bald head which made him look exactly like former General Secretary of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev.
A lot of nostalgic gamers are disappointed because Covert Action
seems to crash on modern computers when you want to break into a building, but don't worry: It doesn't. Because of bad programming, the code does hang when you try to enter a house - but only for a couple of seconds. After that, you can continue. This delay occurs only the first time after you run the program, so it's not a big deal. This technical issue can be fixed by running the game with DOSBox (http://dosbox.sourceforge.net). Be sure to set the "Cycles" value in DOSBox.conf to about 5500 for best gameplay.
Information also contributed by
- Computer Gaming World
- November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #12 Most Memorable Game Hero (Max Remington)