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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 A maze.
Countdown DOS Mason Power's adventure starts in this prison cell.
Countdown DOS Conversation is controled by chosing your approaches -- you can be pleasant, ask for help, hassle or bluff.
Countdown DOS An ancient fortress...

Promo Images

Countdown Magazine Advertisement

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 DOS Katakis | カタキス (43094)
Technologically impressive, yet lacking as an adventure game DOS Unicorn Lynx (181409)
Sat on my shelf for years before I finished it DOS Jeanne (76202)
Solid, if unspecatular, adventure experience DOS Toka (16)

Critic Reviews

Raze DOS Apr, 1991 91 out of 100 91
The One DOS Feb, 1991 84 out of 100 84
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) DOS Feb, 1991 10 out of 12 83
Adventure Classic Gaming DOS Jul 01, 2012 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Aventura y Cía DOS Mar 07, 2004 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
PC-Spiele '92 DOS 1991 6 out of 10 60
Power Play DOS Apr, 1991 48 out of 100 48
Computer Gaming World (CGW) DOS Jan, 1991 Unscored Unscored


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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."

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Contributed to by -Chris (7769) and MAT (234662)
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