Video Game: Floor 13

"In a democratic society like our own, how does an elected government keep its popularity? How are scandals averted, subversive elements controlled, undesirables eliminated, and incidents covered up? Just how does the government keep in power?"

Developed by PSI Software Designers and published in 1992 by Virgin Interactive, Floor 13 is an odd but unique strategy game. The game is set in Great Britain, where the player is promoted to the Director General of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries to replace the last DG who suffered a fatal case of defenestration.

Of course, the Department is merely a front to the player's actual task - to keep the Prime Minister and the Government popular while avoiding drawing too much attention. The player is presented with a variety of cases ranging from defecting politicians to secret societies. At the player's disposal are tools such as search teams, assassins and heavy assault squads. Failure to keep the Government popular will result in the player being fired, while being "too loud" will result in a certain Mr Garcia defenestrating the player like their precedessor.

To further complicate the game, the player is a member of a secret society as well, and has the option of completing their missions along with their usual duties in the department.

The game provides examples of:

  • Big Brother Is Employing You: The player is also very close of being the Big Brother himself.
  • Body Snatcher: A society side quest involves these.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: The player has three different levels of torture. The highest level is even officially classified as "torture" and a person won't last more than a few days of it at a time.
  • Destination Defenestration: Mr Garcia will literally remove the player from office if the player starts drawing too much attention to the existence of their Department.
  • Jerkass: The Prime Minister. Most of the time, he'll use the meetings to scold the player either for bad press or attracting too much attention. If the player is lucky and crafty, the PM may have nothing to yell about, but even then his commendations will be flat "you did ok"-type, with empty promises of a possible knighthood.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: The "removal" teams tend to do this, which is probably the reason why they need much more planning time than the more direct heavy assault squads.
  • Propaganda Machine: The player has a dis-information department at their disposal, but it can only be used a limited number of times. It's still very effective when used on the opposition.
  • Ransacked Room: The player can order "discreet" and "ransack" searches. The latter presumably leaves behind this, and if used too often will result in the Prime Minister getting angry.
  • Torture Always Works: Procedure Two torture is very effective, but even it takes a few days to extract the answers from the victim.
  • Villain Protagonist: In order to progress in the game, the player has to order smear campaigns, assassinations, abductions and torture.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The Prime Minister, unless the player screws up.