Topical or tasteless? Hijacking is a fact of modern life, though the activities of the Department of Hijacks have more to do with the silver screen than the real world.
You have to keep the lid on the sizzling situation as the pressure builds. Carry the can and co-ordinate the efforts of the government departments, handling each crisis with tact, discretion... and some military might will also help!
Run around the offices - no-one seems to know what the phones are for - giving orders to operatives and searching for codes to access various databases. You decide how many soldiers to send out, how many diplomats to deploy, and how to keep President Rod happy before you negotiate a peaceful settlement, surrender to demands or go for Reaganite cowboy heroics, hoping your boys shoot first and fast.
Success means another, more difficult hijack - failure means anything from the big E to jail! And you don't even get a coffee break between crises!
It's all very different in appearance from the traditional text management-resource game, though the strategies remain the same, even when they're adorned with animated figures enjoying the frustrations of a 22 room office building. Mind you, this action element creates an added degree of involvement.
At first you may find yourself doing little more than waiting for lifts. Eventually though, you'll build up a picture of what to do first and when to approach staff with certain demands. Remember, just as in real life, hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat who's been asked to do a job he doesn't want to!
The Fourth Protocol was the game that stopped strategy being a dirty word and while this is nowhere near so involved, nor quite so involving in the long run, it is undeniably accessible. As the seconds tick away and the only place you've not looked for the President is his private toilet, your palms will start to sweat as you realise the fate of 18 innocent school kids hangs on how long Rod remains in the loo!
Time ticks by and the only way to beta the deadline is a request from Rod for an extension - almost guaranteed to annoy him.
Whenever a member of the Department is in a room with you his or her picture lights up. Select with the cursor when you want to give orders.Don't like the colour scheme? An option on the Pause menu allows anybody who prefers interior decorating to hijack handling to repaint the offices.Every object that can be manipulated appears here. Pressing fire brings details up in the main screen.Check your progress on the graphs which indicate military strength, financial resources and the all important Presidential popularity polls.You can carry one object - useful for files that require a code, which you don't yet have, to open them. Pick up a bin to empty it.
Once you reach the incident the picture changes. Your options include 'anding over the ackers - which means you must have cash in the coffers in the first place; storming the siege and praying it doesn't end in a bloodbath (hint - it helps to have more than one soldier there); or burning the brutes with some peaceful negotiation on the hot line. The nature of the terrorists and their nastiness rating will shape their response... you mean you forgot to get a CIA report on who they are? Maybe you're better suited to the Department of Sewer Maintenance after all!
5th Floor: PRESIDENT RODNEY
Without the nod from the Rod you'll never make that flight to the site. He can authorise all sorts of support but keep on his right side or you'll get a curt 'Get Lost'!4th Floor: YOUR OFFICEIt's here that any employees report and it's linked by private lift to the President's suite (Thanks, you're rather cute yourself - Rod).3rd Floor: POLITICAL OFFICERSAnswerable to the Diplomatic Corps, P Woolover is the Adviser, S Work his assistant, and they can allocate staff to bore the terrorists into submission.2nd Floor: MILITARY OFFICERSRepresenting the hawks, C Saunders, Adviser, and J Matrix, Assistant. Matrix sends in the Marines and you can send Saunders to the hijack.1st Floor: ADMINISTRATIVE STAFFHail to the chief! The President's secretary, R Harris locates all those wandering officials - making her the most important employee. You won't get far without money but Cashman of the Treasury can raise the spondulicks speedily or slowly.Publicity Officer L Grant tries not to let the president's political profile slip by issuing a typed press sheet or a full scale TV interview - it's up to you.Basement Level 2: CIAD Jedburg's the man with the shades and the bulging armpit, and he'll research the villains for as much time as you can spare.Basement Level 4: FBIFor internal information, J.E. Hoover will clean up and question the staff, though don;t expect them to be so loyal afterwards.
A helicopter beats parking problems but before you can use it you have to please Rod sufficiently so that he'll tell you the combination to the electronic lock in his office.4th FloorThe newspapers always seem to get there first, so keep on taking the tabloids if you want to know what's what.2nd FloorIt's amazing what you can find in somebody else's drawers. Always check the filing cabinets as you rush past.1st FloorA bit odd architecturally but this basement lift is an express shaft to your floor which comes in handy when time is short.Any office busy-body knows a nose for information can sniff out all sorts of secrets from typewriters.Basement Level 1There are two terminals and this one contains information on known terrorist groups. Oddly it emits the YSGR (Your Sinclair Games Reviewers, who demand black jelly babies for a good review!) (No way - they're my faves! Ed)The right hand drawer in records contains files on all your operatives, including a useful loyalty rating so you'll know who's about to stab your back.Basement Level 3If you're really stuck in your search for classified codes you could always try the noticeboards. After all, nobody ever reads them so they're a good place to store secrets.