I first learned of Sierra’s Codename: Iceman while killing time playing around with computers in the Sears electronics department. It was one of the demo programs that they left running on one of their IBM-PC clones, along with maybe Microsoft Flight Simulator and some boring office programs.
One day my mom and I were probably out shopping at Alderwood Mall and I managed to get her to leave me in the electronics department for a few minutes so I could mess around with the computers. The game was
running, and I was able to input a few basic commands and movements before the older guy with white hair and garlic breath came over to see if he could help me. I declined assistance and futzed around with the game without really getting anywhere, maybe reading a newspaper article and playing a game of volleyball.
But, I knew that I had to somehow get this game.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. I don’t even think I learned the name of the game until recently. So, fast forward 30-some years and now I am finally getting a chance to play it. All I can really say is, “wow, I waited 30-some years to play this?”
From what I was able to glean from the story for the short time that I played it, you are a Navy submarine captain being called back from some PTO (or whatever they call it in the military) in the tropics to assist with a hostage situation.
There are a few sequences in Iceman that are enjoyable, but the majority of the time in the game is spent trying to successfully manage the submarine simulations. Maybe the controls just don’t translate well through DOSBox. I’m not sure–but it put me on the thin edge of wanting to forge ahead through the game and wanting to give up.
Ultimately, I had to call it quits after getting hung up on the part where you are supposed to decode a couple of messages. After consulting walkthroughs and everything, I still couldn’t get it to work, and gave up. Part of this decision was based on glancing through the walkthrough and seeing just how much more head-pounding frustration was in store for me with the submarine simulations.
So this childhood memory had a somewhat unhappy ending. There are many more, though, and I’ll be going back through some other games that I expect will be more enjoyable in the very near future.