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User Reviews

Stupidly addictive fun Afterburner (496) 3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars
The Spy Game of Our Epoch Richard Nixon (3) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
The only spy game thats worth coming back to. Andrew Morris (6) 4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars
An Overlooked Gem Tony Van (2855) 3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars
Great spy game. Attila (588) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
Sid Meier Strikes Again! Shawn McDonie (15) unrated

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
AI How smart (or dumb) you perceive the game's artificial intelligence to be 3.6
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.) 4.1
Graphics The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines 3.3
Personal Slant How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes 4.4
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 3.3
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they're executed
(required for every game entry that isn't a compilation or special edition)
Overall User Score (46 votes) 3.8

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
Complexity of gameplay has become synonymous with the Microprose name, something that Covert Action has bountiful supplies of. The choice of options provide a depth of play rarely seen. A choice of four skill levels, three mission areas (Middle East, Europe of the Americas), three basic crime-orientations (espionage, international crime or terrorism) and over a dozen of enemy operatives (at least half a dozen of which will be involved with each crime), Covert Action is a game that will take many hours of play to successfully complete.
The One (Nov, 1990)
Apart from a fairly simplistic look, practically everything is up to the high-class standards expected from MicroProse, and it's only after really spending some time with it that you can come to appreciate the work involved. Ultimately Covert Action is a highly entertaining and very involved venture. It's a perfect way of spending a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Raze (Mar, 1991)
The four sub-games break the tension.
Ohne Kenntnisse der englischen Sprache wird einem dieses Spiel nicht zur Freude gereichen. Die Grafik des Spiels bleibt eindeutig hinter der hervorragend angelegten Story zurück, ebenso der Sound. Aber das tut der Spielfreude keinen. Abbruch! Für alle „Möchte-gern-James-Bonds “ und Freunde von komplizierten Rätseln ein absolutes Muß.
PC Leisure (Nov, 1990)
However, should you play it properly, taking careful note of the clues you find and so on, then it should prove to be a source of long-term entertainment. If you're looking for an instantly accessible action/strategy game which doesn't require too much of the old grey matter then you're looking in the wrong place.
Just Games Retro (Aug 08, 2018)
That said, the good definitely outweighs the bad here, and Sid Meier’s Covert Action is a solid-if-unspectacular secret agent sim. The various minigames add quite a bit of variety, and the randomly-generated cases do provide a ton of replay value, even if the mechanics of the game can get somewhat repetitive in a hurry. It looks and sounds like what you’d expect from a DOS game in 1990, so no complaints there, and despite the odd control scheme in some parts, the game handles very smoothly. If you’re looking to scoop this up today, you don’t have to troll abandonware sites, Covert Action can be found on Steam for the rather reasonable price of $6.99, and I would definitely recommend this one for anyone looking for a more involved spy game or someone who’s a fan of Sid Meier’s work in general.
Power Play (Feb, 1991)
Beim ersten Einbruch zittert man: Macht die Wache die verdammte Türe jetzt auf oder nicht? Da pumpt das Adrenalin, Max drückt sich mit gezückter Knarre and die Wand, und der Spieler hat schweißnasse Hände. Das Agentenflair ist gut eingefangen; die ersten Sitzungen bringt Covert Action auch eine Menge Spaß. Man ist gut damit beschäftigt, Oberbösewichte, Organisatoren und Handlanger zu verhaften, was sich als nicht einfach herausstellt und einige Übung sowie Grips braucht. Auf Dauer wird das Spiel allerdings eintönig, da sich der Ablauf "Suchen-Einbrechen-Verhaften" doch sehr wiederholt.
Covert Action ist eine ungewöhnliche, aber reizvolle Verbindung verschiedener Spielelemente. Die Missionen sind durch wechselnde Details immer wieder ein wenig anders, aber die vier ständig wiederkehrenden Action- und Denkspiel-Sequenzen verlieren langfristig einiges an Reiz. Trotz dieser Ermüdungserscheinungen kramt man das Programm immer wieder gerne heraus, um weiter an seiner Agentenkarriere zu basteln. Grafik und Sound sind eher bescheiden, aber bei dieser Art von Spiel lassen sich solche technischen Mängel einigermaßen verschmerzen.
Play Time (Feb, 1992)
Mich erinnert das Ganze etwas an die ersten C64-Spiele dieses Genres. Leider ist selbst die VGA-Grafik teilweise nicht besonders gut, fast alle Personen sehen aus als hätten sie einen Sonnenbrand. “Covert Action“ wird wahlweise mit der Tastatur und/oder den Joystick gesteuert. Auch der Sound läßt zu wünschen übrig, es werden jedoch alle gängigen Soundkarten unterstützt. Die Motivation, möglichst erfolgreich das Spiel zu beenden, ist zu Beginn auf Grund der vielen Möglichkeiten die “Covert Action“ bietet, recht hoch. Das Spiel ist deshalb nur absoluten Agenten-Freaks zu empfehlen.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun (Nov 18, 2014)
For the most part though, what criticisms I can level at Covert Action are mainly down to age. Both the controls and a few glitches come down to the era in which it was made, and it’s easy to look at it now in an age of videogame plenty and see untapped potential that probably wasn’t within realistic reach at the time. It’s well worth playing now, and actually on sale unlike its nearest relative, Floor 13, and until someone takes up its mantle and/or I seize control of Sid Meier’s brain, it’s comfortably the best game of its kind.
The Escapist (Jan 18, 2014)
In the end, Covert Action just never quite managed to impress me the way I wanted it to. It's not that every part of it's bad. In fact, I'd love to see its concepts of thought driven investigation return in something more modern and better balanced. Unfortunately, Covert Action's pros never quite offset it cons. It's great when you make a breakthrough in a case, but making progress just requires you to repeat too many lackluster mechanics over and over until the game itself feels like chore.
None of the observations just cited alters the fact that Covert Action is entertaining in the extreme. There are very few games that offer as much as this one does or which so completely cover their subject. Rarer still are games which do so without becoming crashing bores or requiring all sorts of specialized knowledge. Covert Action belongs on a short list of games along with such inspired work as The Fool's Errand and Starflight. In each case the designers combined excellence with diversity to create a top-notch game. Covert Action could be better, but not much. It is no exaggeration to say that Microprose has released the richest treatment of espionage ever put in a computer game. Only the real thing could be more rigorous, and one imagines that it wouldn't be nearly so much fun.