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Cutthroats

by Michael Berlyn and Jerry Wolper

Thriller
1984

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Number of Reviews: 4
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
Complete shipwreck, January 12, 2021
by End Master (The Outer Reaches Of Your Mind)
This was the last Infocom game I bought by itself in stores. Or rather I ordered it with a bunch of other games from a catalog that sold mostly C64 and Amiga games during the waning years of the company. A lot of good low prices and at that time I was just trying to buy as many C64 and Amiga 500 games I could since I certainly couldn’t find the stuff in actual stores anymore.

Yep, it was increasingly looking like I’d have to finally buy a PC with this Windows 95 that everyone seemed to be talking about. (Civ 2 pretty much was the main motivator)

But getting back to the game, I got this one thinking that with a name like Cutthroats surely it would entertain. I suppose I should have learned my lesson with Moonmist.

As usual the feelies were cool and necessary for parts of the game. And that’s about one of the few good things I can say about it. Much like Moonmist, they experimented with the concept of different endings which gives some replay value, but much like Moonmist, I wasn’t particularly enticed to play it again.

A “living world” that the game tries to create with NPCs going about their business rather than standing around for you was a good idea in theory, though the problem is because you’ve only got limited time to do what you have to do, you can miss a lot of things if you aren’t where you need to be. Worse though is everything involving the actual finding of the shipwreck, diving and such was just sort of dull in general.

I feel like with a name like Cutthroats there should have been more emphasis on dealing with the NPCs. Like having a puzzle to deal with each of them at specific times that they’re going to betray you. (And of course they’re also all trying to backstab each other for sunken treasure as well so it isn’t a case that they all just mob you instantly)

Perhaps more of psychological approach to this game would have worked better. I can just imagine having to take an entire crew (Not just avoiding taking the traitors because they ALL will be traitors, yet you need everyone’s skill at some point or else you can’t get the treasure). Scenarios could involve having to deal with someone just before you leave, during the dive, having to deal with one guy that went with you trying to off you with a spear gun, another trying to poison your food, perhaps manipulating another character so that they remain loyal to help you later at the end, etc.

Well just one aspect I think it would have been better anyway.