Tag Archives: Covert Action

In Praise Of: Covert Action.

Unusually for most of the old titles I talk about, Covert Action isn’t actually a very good game. It’s yet another relic from the age where Microprose was essentially cranking out collections of minigames with a loosely-connecting theme. In Covert Action’s case the theme is spying, so you do stuff like planting bugs, tailing cars, infiltrating hideouts, breaking codes etc., but while this is not the worst idea for a game that’s ever been had there’s just one small catch: unusually for a Microprose game – and for something carrying the Sid Meier name – nearly every single one of the minigames sucks.

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The Difficulty Of Difficulty.

Difficulty is one of the hardest things for a modern game to get right. Because games are catering for a much wider range of players than they were even ten years ago, deciding what level you should pitch your game’s difficulty at is very tricky and potentially very risky. Make it too hard and you’ll alienate the coveted “casual” gamer market that makes up the bulk of game sales these days; too easy, and you’ll piss off the hardcore gamers who are most vocal about their hobby and generate most of a game’s buzz. Either outcome hurts sales, and pleasing both camps is nigh-on impossible. This is why the difficulty setting exists.

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