by Marc Blank


Return to the game's main page

Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 54
Write a review

Previous | << 1 2 3 >> | Next | Show All

- The Custodian (The Cloud), April 10, 2013

- Jimmy Gonzolo (New Mexico), January 21, 2013

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Great Infocom mystery, November 13, 2012

The first non-Zork game Infocom did, which means the parser doesn't understand a lot of abbreviations which most of us take for granted.
However, don't let that stop you: the writing is where the game really shines.
You're a detective who's got excactly 12 hours to prove that the suicide of Mr.Robner was in fact a murder, and prove who did it. You do this by investigating his mansion and questioning the people there. These are some of the most fleshed out NPS's you'll see in a game of this era. They react to a lot of items you show them.
The puzzles are logical and satisfying to solve, but still quite difficult. I found myself using the InvisiClues a lot.
My conclusion: one of the best mysteries Infocom did, if not the best.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

- Puddin Tame (Queens, NY), October 27, 2012

- AADA7A, September 22, 2012

- kala (Finland), May 26, 2012

- Nav (Bristol, UK), November 25, 2011

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful:
The Foundation of an IF Mystery Genre, July 11, 2011

Deadline is one of Infocom's most difficult games, and requires a number of playthroughs to win. Important events happen at specific times of day, and you have to know about them and be in the right place at the right time to take advantage. It's easy to miss evidence or misunderstand it. There's limited time to complete your investigation. And, of course, you can ruin everything by arresting the wrong person. It's really best to approach the game by recognizing that you need to thoroughly explore it in four dimensions -- getting to know what is going to happen at different times -- before expecting to reach a happy solution.

The things that make the game difficult are also the things that make it great. Instead of offering an underpopulated world full of set-piece puzzles, Deadline challenges the player to make sense of a coherent reality full of active people and sometimes misleading clues. Characters move around the house, pursuing their own agendas. People have a schedule and plans of their own. There are more conversation options than in most old classics.

The sense of a solid and coherent world carries over into the game's feelies. These are some of Infocom's best, with police reports and evidence establishing the backstory of the case, and unlike the feelies for the Enchanter series or Hollywood Hijinx, they're presented straight, not as joking riffs on the situation of the game.

Deadline is the first IF I ever played at length on my own. I didn't solve it until many years later, but I returned to it over and over again as a kid. What captured my imagination then, and still has a certain appeal, is the recurring sense of excitement from observing without being observed: listening in on phone extensions, looking for secret rooms, following people. There was always the sense that important and significant secrets were hidden under every surface.

While the depth of implementation and the complexity of character reactions aren't quite up there with modern mysteries such as Make It Good and Varicella, Deadline is a foundational work. It established a number of traditional features, such as the sidekick, Duffy, who can run lab tests on your evidence, and the use of ACCUSE to accost suspects, and laid the groundwork for the still-popular genre of IF mystery that focuses on evidence collection and NPC interrogation within a compact map.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | View comments (1) - Add comment 

- GDL (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), July 7, 2011

- André St-Aubin (Laval, Québec), May 31, 2011

- Rotonoto (Albuquerque, New Mexico), May 16, 2011

- Mr. Patient (Saint Paul, Minn.), June 23, 2010

- lavonardo, April 28, 2010

- o0pyromancer0o, April 23, 2010

- sneJ (San Jose, California), November 15, 2009

- DallasBrianK (DFW Area), August 16, 2009

- m1150, January 10, 2009

- fschuhi (Duesseldorf, Germany), December 30, 2008

- Nathan (Utah), October 26, 2008

- Wesley (Iowa City, Iowa), September 1, 2008

- Ghalev (Northern Appalachia, United States), June 30, 2008

- Mike Ciul (Philadelphia), June 4, 2008

- tfbk, May 8, 2008

- jfpbookworm (Hamburg, New York), February 28, 2008

- greyareabeyond, February 15, 2008

Previous | << 1 2 3 >> | Next | Show All | Return to game's main page