[Review] Secret Agent


Secret Agent

REVIEW # 00000000 00010101

You are agent 006½ – top agent of the government’s secret organization committed to protecting the world against terrorists and power-mad criminals

Once upon a time there was Apogee Software. And they started a saga with the coolest guy ever appeared on screen, Duke Nukem. But Duke started to kicking monsters’ asses in a side-scrolling 2D game in 1991. The year after, Apogee tried it again and published Secret Agent. The game consisted in three different episodes, the first one shareware and the other two purchaseable directly from the producer.

My heart says…

70%

I remember I bought the Floppy disk of this game A LOT of years ago, it was a big sale or something like that, but since the game was shareware I completed only the first part, while I played the other too in the internet era. I’m somehow attached to this game because has been a good way to spend an hour or less and most of all because it was one of the few games I had in its original floppy!

Splash screen

50%

The splash screen is a pure copy-paste of the cover of the game (or maybe is the game cover which is a copy of the splash screen, who knows…) and is nothing special. Even the menu with che classical options start game, game options, exit to dos etc…is quite old. Even the shark that emerges from the sea is making jokes about it…

Secret Agent Splash

Graphics

40%

The game has a visual style that could be out of date even in late 80’s. Apogee wanted to propose again the same style as in the first Duke Nukem video game but in my opinion, despite of the game playability, this was a turkey.

Secret Agent 3

Narrative

70%

The story follows the eventh of Agent 006 ½: he has to parachute himself on an island where there’s the headquarter of the criminal organization DVS (Diabolical Villain Society). They stole the secret plans for a brand new weapon, a laser, and they have to be stopped before they can build it and take over the world. In the follwing chapters, our Secret Agent will face Dr. No Body, the boss of the organization.

Gameplay

80%

The game focuses mainly on the resolution of simple puzzles rather than on the action. Secret Agent: Part I features 15 different levels that can be completed without a specific order and a final one, the main fortress. In each level Agent 006 ½ starts with 3 HPs and everytime he gets hit by an enemy loses 1 HP (despite stepping on a mine or landing on the laser implicate losing a life). The enemies can be droids, strange joystick-like robots that go back and forth on the screen, and other agents in disguise, dressed like terminator/ninja/male nurse.

Secret Agent

The goal of each level is to collect blue, red and green keys to open the correspondant door beyond which 006 ½ can find ammo, bags of gold, the letters “S”, “P” and “Y” and other stuffs that permits to collect points; but primarily he has to find a floppy disk that, inserted in the computer of the control room, can de-activate the laser that blocks the passage to advance to the next level that can be reached by placing a dynamite in front of the exit door. The other goal of each level is to destroy a radar dish.

Secret Agent 2

During his mission, the Agent can collect some power-ups and some useful items, such as the goggles that let him see some invisible platforms.

Let me tell it, the game is veeeeeeery simple, so it could only be a pastime and not a game to put so many efforts into. Can be beaten in less than one hour but for sure is an amusing way to spend that hour!

Here’s a small video of me playing Secret Agent: The Hunt for Red Rock Rover. As you can see I will lose some lives but I guarantee after the second level will be hard to lose all three hit points.

Sound

40%

The game has essentially no sound. And this is a great con, since it war released in 1992 not in 1892. We can hear only some effects everytime the Agent jumps, when is hit by an enemy, and at the beginning of the level. Absolutely too little.

Longevity

70%

Since the game is very easy, can be completed in a couple of hours (if you aren’t skilled enough). Luckily there are chapters 2 and 3, composed by the same number of levels but still the longevity cannot reach the top. Ironically, since Secret Agent is not a game to blow your mind onto, is also a game you don’t expect to be so tough and so long, so I don’t think most of you will pay so much attention on the longevity.

Final score 62/100

65%


Year: 1992

Developer: Apogee

Publisher: Apogee

Genre: Action, Platform

Game Mode: Single Player

Original Platform: MS-DOS

From the same developers/publishers:

  • Duke Nukem (1991)
  • Wolfenstein 3D (1992, as publishers)
  • Duke Nukem II (1993)
  • Alien Carnage (1993, as publishers)
  • Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold (1993, ad publishers)
  • Rise of the Triad (1994)
  • Hocus Pocus (1994, as publishers)
  • Mystic Towers (1994, as publishers)
  • Raptor: Call of the Shadows (1994, as publishers)

Inspired to:

  • Mega Man (1987)
  • Crystal Caves (1991)

If you liked it you can also try:

  • Bionic Commando (1988)
  • Turrican (1990)
  • Commander Keen (1990) and sequels
  • Lethal Weapon (1992)

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19 Comments Add yours

  1. Sven Wohl says:

    I completely missed out on all of these Apogee games back in the day. Maybe I should have a look at them. Thanks for the great review by the way. Hadn’t heard about this game before.

    Like

    1. benez256 says:

      Thank you too for the comment! I have some other Apogee titles in my bag to write reviews of. I hope you will like them!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sven Wohl says:

        I’ll make sure to check them out!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. benez256 says:

        I’ll keep you posted…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sembra simpatico, ma certo il paragone con Duke lo fa uscire ammaccato 😉
    Il titolo sarà un omaggio a “The Hunt for Red October” (1990)?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      Assolutamente si…il copia incolla è un’arte antivlca e universale…

      Liked by 1 person

    2. benez256 says:

      …nonostante non c’entri una cippa con la trama del gioco…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Però suona bene 😛

        Like

  3. Ooh. Haven’t played this one in a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      I found it again last week, just in time to complete it another time…

      Like

  4. I have played this game and was surprised to see a review for such an obscure game. I actually played this game on a CD filled with demos of games and forgot there were sequels available. I never knew the story, except for a quick brief at the end of the game. While the graphics were low quality, I did like the designs for the levels and how they formed a single structure (rather than the random assortment of blocks in other games). I agree the game was enjoyable to play and provided some interesting puzzles. Many of the games from this era were short, the player could not save and could not complete the game if it was too long. I also found the enemies confusing, particularly the ones that constantly changed shape.
    Are the sequels similar to this game? How did you find out what the story was?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      Thanks for commenting! The other games actually are not really sequels. The original games was divided in three chapters, one free and the other two purchaseable from Apogee. All of them are 99% the sme (even for the enemies especially the karateka/rambo/ninja one).
      Regarding the story I admit I had to check online because in the game the description was quite short.
      P.S. I noticed only now you nominated me in a Liebster Award! Sorry but really I didn’t see your post! I’ll make sure to thank you in a later post!

      Like

      1. I remember some of the games on the CD full of demos ended with a screen showing later games in the series, along with an address and prices. I thought they were there because the game was a demo and they were readily avaliable if the game was bought. I did not realise that it was actually a method of distribution. Are the levels all the same?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. benez256 says:

        More or less…very similar one to the other…

        Like

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