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Border Zone

aka: Border Zone: A Game of Intrigue, Checkpoint, Spy
Moby ID: 476
Commodore 64 Specs

Description official description

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.

Screenshots

Credits (Commodore 64 version)

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 74% (based on 11 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 19 ratings with 1 reviews)

Bond. James Bond.

The Good
Nice "James Bond" feel to the game. You actually have to THINK like a spy, not like someone playing a spy game. The real-time element really cranks up the pressure in the already politically-tense environment.

The Bad
If you are the type of gamer who spends hours just staring at room descriptions for clues, or who tries command after command for hours, you won't like this game. In itself, it is similar to Infocom's other text adventures. However, the confusion and pressure caused by the real time element can be frustrating if you're not used to it.

The Bottom Line
Very satisfying to complete, but very stressful until you do.

DOS · by Mirrorshades2k (274) · 2000

Trivia

Extras

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.

References

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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  • MobyGames ID: 476
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tony Van.

Commodore 64 added by Quapil. Apple II added by Droog. Macintosh added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: Martin Smith, Pseudo_Intellectual, mo , c64fan, Patrick Bregger.

Game added November 26, 1999. Last modified May 11, 2024.