* Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.
Have you played this game?You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.
Playlists and Wishlists
RSS FeedsNew member reviews
Updates to downloadable files
All updates to this page
About the StoryTwelve hours to solve the mystery. One false move, and the killer strikes again.
It's been called "part of the latest craze in home computing (TIME magazine), an "amazing feat of programming" (THE NEW YORK TIMES) and the "Best Adventure of 1983" (ELECTRONIC GAMES).
It's Deadline, and it puts you, the keen-eyed sleuth, against a 12-hour time limit to solve a classic locked-door mystery. Armed only with the clues inside this package and your own wits, you must sift through myriads of evidence and motives to track down the killer. No easy feat, for all six of your suspects exercise free will - coming and going, scheming and maneuvering independently of your actions. And some of these personalities are so treacherous that, should you make the wrong move, one of them may do you in.
(IFID refers to the commercial version of the game, though the port is available as source code from the IF Archive.)
-- Duncan Stevens
Can you find the guilty party or parties and solve the crime? Is it a crime? Arresting someone before you have a tight case can mean the death of a jury verdict. Playing Deadline to a successful conclusion requires concentration and diligence. It is not an easy game. But you will find that it is well worth your effort. Deadline can be purchased new or used at Amazon.com as part of the Infocom Adventure Collection. These games could turn your long, hot summer into an exciting trip into your imagination. Why not give this one a try?
See the full review
The six main NPCs (not counting the attorney, who only plays a minor role) are really fleshed out; they act reasonable and consistent to their character and motives. You can show a lot of things to them and study their reactions, you can ask them about many topics, you can follow them around, you can accuse them and listen to what they have to say. Only few i-f games have such complete NPCs, I would say.
-- Volker Lanz
See the full review
|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 4
Write a review
Most Helpful Member Reviews
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.
Eventually, I got to download it again and finally completed it last year.
I've only ever played one other IF game (so far) so I don't have much to compare it to, but I've never played anything else that kept me hooked for twenty years.
For me, the characters are believable, the plot makes sense and everything you do has some kind of purpose (rather than being some random action). It's difficult though, because there are some things that have to be done at certain times.
Intricate, beautiful, a bit unfair. Infocom's first mystery and realistic game, February 3, 2016
This is a mystery game, where a man has been found dead, and you have to investigate the house and people in it. Everyone walks around, has scripted events, etc. I asked everyone about everyone else, examined the crime scene, etc.
I missed an important verb which is listed in the manual, and which you are supposed to know from the beginning; typing ANALYZE or ANALYZE [SOMETHING] FOR [SOMETHING] sends someone to analyze stuff for you.
Now so many other games make sense. For instance, Jon Ingold's Make It Good really borrows a lot from this game, and now I realize it must have been an intentional homage, meant to help and mislead the experienced gamer (which I wasn't when I played it).
Deadline was an early experiment in timed and scripted events, as well as extensive conversation.. Games like Varicella or Pytho's Mask may not have existed without this one.
It' s also very hard, in unfair ways. I recommend eventually settling on a walkthrough. Like the great novels of the 1600's-1800's, it was designed to last for a long period of time in the absence of other material.
See All 4 Member Reviews
If you enjoyed Deadline...
Related GamesPeople who like Deadline also gave high ratings to these games:
|Tapestry, by Daniel Ravipinto|
Average member rating: (35 ratings)
You were born; you lived; you died. Not everyone gets a second chance to go back and change crucial decisions. You have been granted one and must go back to critical moral dilemmas; but do you change the course of your life, or daren't...
The Horror of Rylvania, by D. A. Leary
Average member rating: (9 ratings)
"What you expected would be a fun outing in scenic Rylvania turns into a gruesome nightmare, with *you* playing the starring role. Find out what it's like to be alternately the source and challenger of evil in the tiny Eastern European...
|SCREW YOU, BEAR DAD!, by Xalavier Nelson Jr.|
Average member rating: (15 ratings)
SCREW YOU, BEAR DAD! is a game about puns, rampant drug use, learning to enjoy life despite uncertainty, and elderly women in attack helicopters. Also - bears. [Note: game contains strong language, and brief scenes depicting familial...
Recommended ListsDeadline appears in the following Recommended Lists:
Detective and mystery games by MathBrush
These are games where you play a detective or someone else investigating a mystery. Most of them are realistic games which I am splitting off of my realistic list. Some are more magical or science fi-ish.
A timeline of some important games for authors by MathBrush
This is a timeline of some highly influential games that used innovative techniques or left a mark on future games. I have not included 2015 games yet because it's hard to know what mark they will leave on the future. It leaves out games...
PollsThe following polls include votes for Deadline:
Your very first game. by DustyCypress
Do you still remember when you played your very first IF? How did you get drawn (and perhaps addicted) to IF and have been playing still? What was the title that started it all for you? I started with a collection called "The Adventure...
Cool Murder Mystery/Detective Games by Christopher Caesar
Hey everybody. I am looking for a murder mystery text game. I finished An Act of Murder a while ago and want to play more games like that, where to get to solve the murder yourself. If you could tell me some of your recommendations that...
This is version 11 of this page, edited by scolapasta on 15 November 2014 at 11:23pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item