Blimey, this is a bit of a first, a graphic adventure based on the KGB. Normally, you get some dodgy adventure with wizards and goblins, but a game about the KGB, that's going to break some ground in the computer game world.
Wait a minute - isn't a game about the KGB going to be really political? Well, you'd think so, but it doesn't tend to go into detail about all that boring stuff. What it's really about is kidnapping (gusp!), murder (double gusp!), drugs (hooray, erm I mean gusp!) and eventually a plot to oust President Gorbachev from power and return to the country to the iron grasp handliners.
The game takes place in Moscow and Leningrad in the days leading up to the August putsch. Pardon? You don't know what a putsch is? Well, to be perfectly honest I didn't know what it was either, but look it up in a good dictionary and it means an attempt at a political revolution or a violent uprising. So there you go, you learn something new every day.
You play the part of Maksim Rukov, a former GRU Captain who has been transferred to Department P. Department P, if you're wondering, was set up during the time of Peristroika and its function is to investigate possible cases of KGB corruption.
Your first mission in your new job is to investigate a vicious killing. Your involvement is required because the victim, a chap called Golitsin, is ex-KGB. Your superior officer Major Vovlov sends you to investigate the scene of the crime, and it is while you are at Golitsin's office that you meet and interview his sister.
It is while practising your famous D I Burnside interview technique that you discover the trail that Golitsin was following before he died.
KGB isn't an adventure like Monkey Island or Legend of Kyrandia, it's an adventure more in the style of Ween, but it's much more classy than Ween. You are given the view of a room from your eyes, but you don't see your character moving about in the room.
You do see other people in the room, though. For instance, while you are interviewing Golitsin's sister, you see her standing and when you tell her to sit, she sits on a chair.
She isn't animated, though, and it looks more like the beaming down process out of Star Trek. I'm sure you get a good enough idea of what I mean.
One wonderful thing about KGB is when you start talking to other characters. The text that you get to choose from is so funny that I couldn't stop myself giggling, but I quite regularly got stared at by other members of staff.
A sample conversation would be something like: "Have you a cigarette?", to which your colleague replies: "The unparalleled Soviet health budget is not to be squandered on treating self-inflicted diseases, comrade!"
I know it's not meant to be funny, but no-one on earth, not even the Soviets talk like that. The graphics in KGB are pretty amazing. Everything's nicely detailed, especially the screens where you are talking to suspects and superiors.
KGB is very easy to play thanks to the mouse pointer system. It's called a smart pointer, and whenever you place the pointer over an object it will automatically lock on to the best option. So if you place it over a person it switches over to the Talk option automatically.
KGB is a pretty good game and very intriguing. Lovely graphics, great playability, quite addictive - that's how I'd sum it up and by Jove I just have.
If you adventure fans are looking for a bit of entertainment to while away the winter evenings, you won't go far wrong with this.
Superbly drawn but with very little movement.
Decent intro tune, and that's your lot.
Loads of options, some of them a little pointless.
Just might find itself in the cupboard before completion.