James Bond 007: A View to a Kill

Moby ID: 12058
DOS Specs

Description official descriptions

You are James Bond 007 and you must stop Max Zorin from destroying Silicon Valley and dominating the microchip market. If you fail, Max Zorin will flood Silicon Valley by creating a major earthquake. The gameplay is similar to Goldfinger but it doesn't follow the movie as closely. The game will take you to the Siberian Mountains, Paris, and San Francisco.

Groups +

Screenshots

Credits (Apple II version)

Designer
Writer

Reviews

Players

Average score: 3.1 out of 5 (based on 10 ratings with 3 reviews)

Well-written, but short with a terrible parser

The Good
Given the game is written by the author of many of the Bond books it is no surprise that it gives an authentic-feeling Bond adventure using the skeleton of the filming script from A View to a Kill. If you enjoyed the campy silliness of the later Moore films this is very much in line with that atmosphere.

A few decent text adventure puzzles as well, which I will not spoil here.

The Bad
The biggest issue with the game (and I have a feeling most of the Angelsoft text adventures, although I haven't played the others) is the parser. The parser is too rough to handle the sentences the game encourages you to type, obviously just picking out the first verb and noun and spitting out nonsense when those don't match expected results. The game also relies on conversations that would have been considered beyond even the excellent parser Zork provided, but then gives little feedback as to what might be going wrong. And finally, the game relies on a few specific verbs (EXAMINE ... CAREFULLY and FLIP being the two most important), which are only explained in the manual which is difficult to find online, and even then used somewhat incoherently. It is crucial you do not misspell things (especially names) because it won't inform you of the issue in any way.

A second minor issue is just how short the game is. If you have a handle on the parser it would only reasonably take 2-3 hours to finish the game at most. It compensates a bit by easily allowing the player to get to the endgame without several important items if you aren't careful, but then replaying the entire game only takes a matter of minutes.

The Bottom Line
If you just watched the movie it is a fun game that builds off of that experience in a way, but be prepared to be frustrated by the basic parser and odd gameplay quirks. Given it only takes a few hours though, it is an interesting contrast to the more robust Infocom games for experienced text adventure players. I would not recommend it as an introduction to the medium though.

DOS · by Patrick Smadbeck (3) · 2021

A good text adventure.

The Good
The game stretches the imagination instead of new games like today. In a few puzzles you really have to think to proceed on with the game...

The Bad
I like this game although there are some difficult puzzles. In the beginning level of AVTAK you get to a submarine and the manual nor the game provides A HINT as to get into the submarine. Apparently, you had to put a ski pole into a small ring to open the submarine...Very odd eh? Also, when you type "LOOK" and the game tells you what's around you the game usually isn't as descriptive as James Bond 007 in: Goldfinger. Usually, in AVTAK it would just be two or three sentences.

The Bottom Line
If you haven't seen the movie, don't play this game. Chances are after ten minutes you'll want to throw your computer out the window. The game is entirely text with no pictures. Sometimes the puzzles are very easy while sometimes you have to use character interaction for people such as Stacey Sutton. The parser is not as good as Infocom's but it is still decent.

DOS · by Caltrus (385) · 2004

A snapshot of the film that provides some good Bond moments

The Good
Throwing you straight into the action A View to a Kill presents a condensed version of the film, with writing that feels like it comes straight from a Bond novel, packed with witty retorts that sound like M scolding you. The plot elements differ considerably from the film as the game progresses, so it's not simply a case of watching what James did in the film and repeating in the game, you actually have to thing for yourself. The action in the game is excellent, and the timed sequences make you really feel like you're a special agent who has also to complete the mission in a James Bond manner, including seducing women.

The Bad
With the text being written like a Bond novel, it is surprising to learn that you have to know the events of the film almost exactly in places in order to know what to do next. However, this is later underplayed though as the story deviates significantly from the film with new scenes and severe concatenation of the plot which conflicts with the detailed knowledge needed at the start. The concatenation also tends to cause a displaced feeling as you're left unsure as to quite why you're doing something. Some of the timed sequences result in you being unable to explore fully to find the reason why. Like many text adventures it suffers in being unsure exactly what you can do to what i.e. 'use gun' doesn't work, but 'fire gun' does.

The Bottom Line
If you're after some action involving the James Bond from the novels, then this is it, the game simply borrows some plot elements from the film. From this mixture it provides a short selection of scenes to play through, which are exquisite in their detail, though somewhat tenuously connection to each other. An admirable attempt at creating the feel of Bond in a game, especially in the writing, which is top notch, though the game design is less so.

DOS · by RussS (807) · 2009

Trivia

Raymond Benson

Raymond Benson, the designer/writer for this game, became later the official James Bond book author (1997 - 2004). To put it simply, he was the one who created the descriptions that everybody reads in the game as text.

Analytics

MobyPro Early Access

Upgrade to MobyPro to view research rankings!

Related Games

James Bond 007
Released 1984 on Commodore 64, Atari 2600, ColecoVision...
James Bond 007
Released 1998 on Game Boy
James Bond 007: Goldfinger
Released 1986 on Apple II, PC Booter, Macintosh
James Bond 007: The Duel
Released 1993 on Genesis
James Bond 007: The Duel
Released 1993 on Game Gear, SEGA Master System
007: James Bond - The Stealth Affair
Released 1990 on DOS, Amiga, Atari ST
A View to a Kill: The Computer Game
Released 1985 on ZX Spectrum, MSX, Commodore 64
James Bond Jr
Released 1992 on SNES
James Bond Jr
Released 1992 on NES

Related Sites +

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 12058
  • [ Please login / register to view all identifiers ]

Contribute

Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Caltrus.

Macintosh added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: KnockStump, Patrick Bregger.

Game added February 11, 2004. Last modified August 30, 2023.