Covert Front 4: The Spark of Life


TrickyCovert Front 4When we last saw Kara, protagonist of the Covert Front series, the turn-of-the-century badass espionage expert had just escaped a Zurich prison compound, and hijacked the plane that would take her to her next destination: Lisbon, Portugal. She remains hot on the trail of Karl Von Toten, the German scientist whose discoveries could tip the balance of this alternate universe's World War. It's time to save the free world. Karol Konwerski, Mateusz Skutinik, and the rest at Pastel Games bring you to the climactic finale of Kara's mission in Covert Front 4: The Spark of Life, another episode of wonderful point-and-click adventuring.

Use the mouse to interact with the scene, clicking on an area when the icon changes to a hand to indicate you can do something there, or that there is something to be picked up. Some scenes are wide, and can be scrolled over by moving the cursor to the sides of the play screen. Kara's inventory is stored at the bottom of the screen, and clicking on an item will either activate it, or ready it for use. And considering you'll have lugged half a Craftsman tool chest of items by the end of the game, it's pretty convenient.

Play the entire Covert Front series:
Covert Front 1Covert Front 2Covert Front 3Covert Front 4

Analysis: It has been a while since we've gone into the world of Covert Front. By our calender, she's been flying that plane for three years now! Still, the time in development was obviously well spent, since Covert Front 4 is another polished entry in what has become a classic casual gaming series. The style of the installment has clearly evolved with the developers own, creating a work that fits perfectly with its predecessors, while undeniably exploring new, even fantastic, ground. The tone and quality is set in the first minutes of gameplay, as Kara coolly fixes her malfunctioning aircraft and sets down on an enemy airfield without breaking a sweat. Skulking about in rural daylight is a different kind of tension from the dark alleyways and creaking mansions Kara has explored in the past, but you will still look over your shoulder at every chirping bird and creaky door.

Covert Front 4All the hallmarks of the series return, for good or for bad... mostly good. The uniquely shaded art-style once again perfectly captures the seedy cloak and dagger atmosphere of a world at war. The puzzles are as deviously conceived as ones you would expect from the makers of Submachine (and some of the screens late in the game definitely have the feel of that series wink wink). They puzzles are heavy on the hot-spot hunting, but having to examine every screen for hidden alcoves and secret compartments is exactly what you would expect from a spy game. Still, a little more guidance would have been appreciated though, especially for one particular puzzle where an action must be repeated several times for an effect to take. Additionally, while the sound effects and well-placed sparse bits of music are perfect at keeping things ominous, the voice-acting for the series remains quite bland.

Covert Front 4: The Spark of Life is not for beginners, either to adventure gaming or to the series. Even those who've played the previous installments might want to run through them again to refresh themselves of Kara's universe and mission. Still, it is definitely the finale that the series deserves and that fans have desired. The only thing missing is "Kara Will Return in... From Lisbon With Love", at the end of the credits, but perhaps that would be asking too much.

Play Covert Front 4

Read all our Covert Front series reviews and walkthroughs...

Walkthrough Guide


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Covert Front 4 Walkthrough

Prologue: Airplane Trouble

  1. After the opening credits, you'll be in the cockpit with Kara. There's a red light flashing on the console. Try the lever below it a few times and something will fall out underneath it. Not good.

  2. Look under the console (click the bottom of the screen). Take three things from the component that fell out, and take the lightbulb-looking thing to the left as well. Now to do some quick repairs.

  3. The red resistor goes in the socket with the other two like it. The fuse goes in the hole in the bottom of the device towards the upper right. The radio lamp goes in the socket next to the other radio lamp near the top middle.

  4. Now what to do with the blue resistor? Use it to bridge the gap between the two wire ends in the middle right.

  5. Now click above and to the right of where you set the blue resistor to return to the console, and trip the switch below the lights again to get things working again.

Chapter 1: The Airfield

  1. Scroll back and forth at the long area with the mouse cursor. There are five things of interest here: from left to right, the entrance gate, a tower, the plane you landed in, a tank truck, and the far right wall.

  2. There's nothing you can do at the tower or entrance gate because of all the soldiers around. So let's go to the far wall at the far right. The fence goes around the whole airfield, good to know. But zoom in on that dumpster-looking thing.

  3. Take the paper and look at it. A password! Good to know. Now back out and check out the plane. Zoom in on the propellor, then the hatch to the right of it. Open the hatch and take the rag and handle inside.

  4. Zoom out twice, then click near the lower left of the plane to look under it. Take the two wires. Now zoom out all the way.

  5. Look at the tank truck now. Zoom in on the hatch on the front of the truck. Two sliders are up, so slide them down, then click the handle to open the hatch. Inside, attach the two pieces of wire to the two terminals of the battery (marked + and -).

  6. Zoom out, then in on the hatch on the side near where Kara left the free ends of the wires. Use the spouter handle on the triangular notch to open the spout, then stick the cloth into the hole. Lastly, click the wire ends to make sparks until the cloth is ignited.

  7. The tower is now unguarded! Go there. You can't use the car since they didn't leave the key, so zoom in on the tower door. Look at the console below the speaker and enter the eight-digit password from the document. (It's different every game.)

  8. Then zoom out and flip the lever. If you got the password right, the door will open. Go inside and up the stairs, then enter the red door to watch Kara clobber a soldier.

  9. Take the hat (middle left on the console), the photograph (far left on the console), and the envelope (on the floor). Also, open the top drawer towards the left, and grab the key inside (you won't see it until you zoom in on the drawer's interior).

  10. Look at the envelope; close it and look at the address on it. Leave the room and look to the right. Take the uniform where it's hanging. Now go outside the tower and use the key on the car parked outside.

  11. You're on your way out!

Chapter 2: Lisbon

  1. Click near the lower left of the city view (it says "R. do Regedor"). Pass through the arch in the middle-right to get to Campo de Santa Clara ("Campo" means "street", by the way).

  2. Approach the green-colored house to the left and click the doorbell to watch a slightly weird cutscene that (somehow) ends with you in a sparse room with four walls and no door.

  3. No door... just a weird console. No door no door no door no door... aargh, all I can think about is door. Enter "door" on the console. (Left lever is clear, right lever is enter. Note that it's missing a T while you're there.)

  4. It did something? Back away and turn around to see a door! But it's locked. Someone has a weird sense of humor.

  5. Maybe it'll work again. Try "key" on the console to make a key appear on another wall. Take it and use it to unlock the door.

  6. Look outside... okay, THAT is weird. The sign above says "Karl von Toten's study room", so maybe that's significant. Also, grab the T key on the ledge.

  7. Go back to the console and put the T where it belongs. What can we summon now that we've got a T? How about Karl von Toten himself? Type "karl von toten" (don't forget the spaces) and pull the right lever.

  8. It... worked? Talk to him in his chair and he'll vanish. Turn around and you'll find the door now leads somewhere sensible. That was really weird... let's just leave for now. Click the bottom of the screen, then the front door (top middle).

  9. Now look at that storage shed towards the right. Open it and take the crowbar; it'll be very useful. Now backtrack, go inside the green house again, and click the LEFT edge of the screen this time to face a new door.

  10. Inside the new door is a rather unremarkable but vaguely familiar room. Look in the pipe on the right; you'll see something glinting out of reach. Use the crowbar to snag it; it's a small key.

  11. It's too small to open any door... how about the mailboxes in this room's foyer? One of them's got a broken lock, but it's empty. Keep trying the small key on different mailboxes until you find one that works-- more specifically, the cluster of boxes on the right, third row from the top, second box from the right-- then take the door handle from it.

  12. Back up and turn right again. You're facing the study door, but you don't need to be in there anymore. Go up the stairs to the attic door, and open it with the door handle.

  13. Climb out the window and up onto the roof. Hey, what's that weird flickering house towards the left? Click it to look at it, then backtrack ALL the way to the view of the city you started the chapter at.

  14. Inspect the nameless green building near the fountain. Go straight through the arches to the end of the chapter.

Chapter 3: Karl von Toten

  1. You can't approach the soldiers, so head down the alley to the right. Take the bronze coin ("cachet") from the bucket, then back away to the original view. Now turn right and head down that path.

  2. When you reach the grating, pry it off with the crowbar and go down that passage. It ends at a lightbulb pointing at a blank wall...? Weird.

  3. Go back one screen and note the hole in the contraption. Set the cachet in and watch the new passageway appear as the light turns on. (How does that even...?) Go that way.

  4. Go right and stop at the blue force field. Look left from there and you'll wind up looking at a fusebox. Sever the wires with the crowbar, then back up one screen and enter the doorway. Click on the man at the desk and watch the cutscene.

  5. To be continued...?

39 Comments

Covert Front 4 Walkthrough

Prologue: Airplane Trouble

  1. After the opening credits, you'll be in the cockpit with Kara. There's a red light flashing on the console. Try the lever below it a few times and something will fall out underneath it. Not good.

  2. Look under the console (click the bottom of the screen). Take three things from the component that fell out, and take the lightbulb-looking thing to the left as well. Now to do some quick repairs.

  3. The red resistor goes in the socket with the other two like it. The fuse goes in the hole in the bottom of the device towards the upper right. The radio lamp goes in the socket next to the other radio lamp near the top middle.

  4. Now what to do with the blue resistor? Use it to bridge the gap between the two wire ends in the middle right.

  5. Now click above and to the right of where you set the blue resistor to return to the console, and trip the switch below the lights again to get things working again.

Chapter 1: The Airfield

  1. Scroll back and forth at the long area with the mouse cursor. There are five things of interest here: from left to right, the entrance gate, a tower, the plane you landed in, a tank truck, and the far right wall.

  2. There's nothing you can do at the tower or entrance gate because of all the soldiers around. So let's go to the far wall at the far right. The fence goes around the whole airfield, good to know. But zoom in on that dumpster-looking thing.

  3. Take the paper and look at it. A password! Good to know. Now back out and check out the plane. Zoom in on the propellor, then the hatch to the right of it. Open the hatch and take the rag and handle inside.

  4. Zoom out twice, then click near the lower left of the plane to look under it. Take the two wires. Now zoom out all the way.

  5. Look at the tank truck now. Zoom in on the hatch on the front of the truck. Two sliders are up, so slide them down, then click the handle to open the hatch. Inside, attach the two pieces of wire to the two terminals of the battery (marked + and -).

  6. Zoom out, then in on the hatch on the side near where Kara left the free ends of the wires. Use the spouter handle on the triangular notch to open the spout, then stick the cloth into the hole. Lastly, click the wire ends to make sparks until the cloth is ignited.

  7. The tower is now unguarded! Go there. You can't use the car since they didn't leave the key, so zoom in on the tower door. Look at the console below the speaker and enter the eight-digit password from the document. (It's different every game.)

  8. Then zoom out and flip the lever. If you got the password right, the door will open. Go inside and up the stairs, then enter the red door to watch Kara clobber a soldier.

  9. Take the hat (middle left on the console), the photograph (far left on the console), and the envelope (on the floor). Also, open the top drawer towards the left, and grab the key inside (you won't see it until you zoom in on the drawer's interior).

  10. Look at the envelope; close it and look at the address on it. Leave the room and look to the right. Take the uniform where it's hanging. Now go outside the tower and use the key on the car parked outside.

  11. You're on your way out!

Chapter 2: Lisbon

  1. Click near the lower left of the city view (it says "R. do Regedor"). Pass through the arch in the middle-right to get to Campo de Santa Clara ("Campo" means "street", by the way).

  2. Approach the green-colored house to the left and click the doorbell to watch a slightly weird cutscene that (somehow) ends with you in a sparse room with four walls and no door.

  3. No door... just a weird console. No door no door no door no door... aargh, all I can think about is door. Enter "door" on the console. (Left lever is clear, right lever is enter. Note that it's missing a T while you're there.)

  4. It did something? Back away and turn around to see a door! But it's locked. Someone has a weird sense of humor.

  5. Maybe it'll work again. Try "key" on the console to make a key appear on another wall. Take it and use it to unlock the door.

  6. Look outside... okay, THAT is weird. The sign above says "Karl von Toten's study room", so maybe that's significant. Also, grab the T key on the ledge.

  7. Go back to the console and put the T where it belongs. What can we summon now that we've got a T? How about Karl von Toten himself? Type "karl von toten" (don't forget the spaces) and pull the right lever.

  8. It... worked? Talk to him in his chair and he'll vanish. Turn around and you'll find the door now leads somewhere sensible. That was really weird... let's just leave for now. Click the bottom of the screen, then the front door (top middle).

  9. Now look at that storage shed towards the right. Open it and take the crowbar; it'll be very useful. Now backtrack, go inside the green house again, and click the LEFT edge of the screen this time to face a new door.

  10. Inside the new door is a rather unremarkable but vaguely familiar room. Look in the pipe on the right; you'll see something glinting out of reach. Use the crowbar to snag it; it's a small key.

  11. It's too small to open any door... how about the mailboxes in this room's foyer? One of them's got a broken lock, but it's empty. Keep trying the small key on different mailboxes until you find one that works-- more specifically, the cluster of boxes on the right, third row from the top, second box from the right-- then take the door handle from it.

  12. Back up and turn right again. You're facing the study door, but you don't need to be in there anymore. Go up the stairs to the attic door, and open it with the door handle.

  13. Climb out the window and up onto the roof. Hey, what's that weird flickering house towards the left? Click it to look at it, then backtrack ALL the way to the view of the city you started the chapter at.

  14. Inspect the nameless green building near the fountain. Go straight through the arches to the end of the chapter.

Chapter 3: Karl von Toten

  1. You can't approach the soldiers, so head down the alley to the right. Take the bronze coin ("cachet") from the bucket, then back away to the original view. Now turn right and head down that path.

  2. When you reach the grating, pry it off with the crowbar and go down that passage. It ends at a lightbulb pointing at a blank wall...? Weird.

  3. Go back one screen and note the hole in the contraption. Set the cachet in and watch the new passageway appear as the light turns on. (How does that even...?) Go that way.

  4. Go right and stop at the blue force field. Look left from there and you'll wind up looking at a fusebox. Sever the wires with the crowbar, then back up one screen and enter the doorway. Click on the man at the desk and watch the cutscene.

  5. To be continued...?

I saw a teaser for this game on Pastel Stories (the developer's site) a few days ago, but I didn't think it would release so soon. I know what I'm doing for the rest of the night.

Whoa...

...is this series crossing over with Submachine? The machinery, the portals, and especially that room leading to nothingness (though that may have been a dream) sure point to a Submachine origin story...perhaps.

I was absolutely floored by the plot twist at the end of this incredible game!

I love the flying plane at the start (credits and opening scene). It's fun to play around with it and 'fly' it yourself; a little extra before you even start the game.

But I got stuck in Lisbon.

I went into Campo del Santa, or whatever it's called, got snatched and put in a room with a keyboard missing a 'T' and no hints and no way out...

Do I need to restart?

Wow, too bad this is the last one. I could play this series for a lot longer. Been waiting for this, and, besides being much shorter than I'd like, it didn't disappoint.

Wow, that was something. I had really hard time figuring out how to get out from that room but it was really exciting. I wonder what happened next?
And those ideas of lamps and doors, gosh, that was beautiful.

Karl Von Toten is actually the creator of the Submachine. true story.

@flip no, you don't.

type door, key, get the t key outside, type karl von toten.

[Spoiler tags added. ~mod]

Heh, we need some spoiler tags in this thread.

Animation = stunning.
Music = perfect.
Dare I say, cinematic.
The navigation in the first part was great -- intuitive and created sense. And then they got to the urban area and it became a mess of pixel hunting. Wow, that destroyed the smooth puzzle solving, down to the end where I was able to see exactly what to do, but not guess the view/hotspot to do it. Cave in and invest in a directional arrow please, it won't interfere with the art.

Unfortunately, because I had to consult the walkthrough for navigation, I got spoiled for one of the best bits of brain-taxation in a long time. I'm still kicking myself for not trying more things. Trial and error will reward you...

I am split about the connection to

Submachine. Linking those plots is quite frankly a dream come true, in terms of narrative. But because Skutnik just had to incorporate the EXACT same mechanisms and art, and didn't even mix it up in those familiar areas -- what could've been a sly stylistic nod became its own spoiler. I mean, if you're going to be self-referential, don't make the puzzle step identical, shot-by-shot. Even though it was just a few elements, I felt like the challenging exploration and naturally unfolding narrative were interrupted by bits of laziness. And because it flattened the latter chapters of puzzle solving, it may have rendered the entire game ... stale. I don't want Covert Front to be stale. Eh, it's a for-want-of-a-nail situation, but you gotta go out better than that.

So basically -- starts out really strong, then the gameplay diminishes. Or plateaus.

It should be noted that the violence level ramps up (I won't say where/when). There was always violence before, it's just a bit more gratuitous this time.

The third chapter of this sweeping tale will always stand for me as the best of the lot, with the second having the most challenging and interesting pure puzzles. This one's somewhere in the middle.

Now what would make this perfect is if there's an Easter egg in that study...

Am I the only one who noticed that the thing von Toten was working on when she found him looked like the locator thing from Submachine: The Loop?

Oh, one last bit -- the theme of this edition is very much trial-and-error. So I wasn't really bothered by that; just expect it to be more pure problem-solving with its requisite hurdles.

That was incredibly impressive, if you consider what had to happen to construct these puzzles -- it's not easy to execute trial-and-error and then have it be smoothly logical at the same time! Which is why I was bothered in the above spoiler tag, haha. Having to go to a walkthrough for mechanics may make you miss the fun and reward of this game, so consult at your own risk.

Thanks Atakan!

There was another photograph in the right desk on the room where the man (Karl von Toten)was working
(sorry for my bad english i hope you can understood me)


There're more things to create with the typing machine.
so far I've got


picture
painting
window
chair

Tried typing

Manfred Nikolai

into the machine. Didn't work. :) Even if it did, why would I want to type it? For some reason I found this funny. If you don't know who he is or forgot, he's

Karl Von Toten's butler, A.K.A the guy who keeps following you around.

It's worth revisiting the first covert front game after playing this.

Two rooms are identical in both episodes. The room with a square on the floor and the under-stairs cupboard. This nicely adds to the mystery.

Here's some more things you can generate using the typing machine:

carpet (puts a red carpet on the floor)
lamp (puts a lamp-like thing next to the door)
helium (puts a stand with the helium atom from the first game next to the window)

Looking for some more now...

I really want to know

What was on the plaque above the door at the end of the final cutscene, where the lamp reveals a door!!! Very 'Submachine Exploration Network'!!!

Submachine. Holy crap, submachine.

I was... I'm speechless. Best plot twist ever. Mateusz... You're so incredible. I'm NEVER disappointed with your games and your art style. Ugh, please continue being perfect.

Who else felt deja vu in

The house with the machine

related with

Daymare Town 3 hospital?

I'll be honest. The game felt a little short and underwhelming, and the lack of "real" ending annoyed me a tad, especially after having played the rest back when they came out.

Though apart from that, the art evolution and gameplay was nice and I liked that new "feel" to it, like opening up a new book and seeing how crisp and perfect every page is.

If you replay Covert Front 2 Toten has left a message for someone called Katia, and it's just like

The note(s) Mur leaves for Liz in submachine. Sooooooo excited for submachine 8 now!

@Redmug -- Yeah, that's one of the bits that seemed recycled to me.

As mentioned, I'm loving the Easter eggs! Wish there were a way to save the game to just go back to that point and play, play, play.

Also: I would like to know more about

Katia, and more of why *that* certain book was left behind by the missing agent. And the missing agent.

An interesting note: after entering the room without doors in Lisbon try seeing what different features you can get out of the strange machine (besides the necessary two listed in the walkthrough).

Yukabacera already mentioned:

lamp, helium, carpet

But I also found:

chair, painting, window

I know there must be more, but I've tried everything from fireplace to chandelier to armoire.

Superior, as expected. I was thrilled with the

submachine tie-ins.

It's so rewarding when creators give fans these little "treats" to say thank you for following my work.

I WAS disappointed with the

cliff-hanger ending,

UNTIL I read a user comment on Mateusz' site suggesting that

Kara and von Toten could show up in the submachine world.

*wishing on a star*

Bravo, Mateusz.

I checked the flash file for EVERYTHING the typing machine will accept, here's the list. Don't bother checking if there is more, because there is not. Seriously, according to the flash file, this is all:

painting
picture
lamp
window
key
door
chair
armchair
statue
barometer
carpet
karl von toten
von toten
toten
helium

I've been playing all the Skutnik games again since I'm so impatient for the next Submachine, so

as soon as that study door opens out into the void I about plotzed.

I looked at the source code, and here's all the items you can type:

helium
toten
von toten
karl von toten
carpet
barometer
statue
armchair
chair
door
key
window
lamp
picture
painting

There's even code for an item i havn't found, but may be in the game:

Matches

No need to search for more guys! :D

Bad news mocha-coco: viewing the source code activates a portal which transports you into network of dimensional folds. Oh, it all looks the same, and you may even smell and taste the same flavors, but eventually you will notice that time and space are not acting as accustomed.

Good luck! We're all looking through our computer screens at you.

Shudog,

JOKES ON YOU! I've been stuck here for over a century! I've been exploring for the past 32 years, trying to find mur, the player, liz, or somebody else, and speaking of her I sent her a few letters, thinks I'm mur (idk), so me and my group went back and killed her! Well, almost, but she locked a hatch on us, and we lost her. My teams have been studying the subnet, and I swear I will kill liz. She's nothing but a liar.

DON'T TRUST LIZ.

Whoa, hold up...that device Von Toten was putting together at the end...

Was that the Coordinate Device from Submachine 3!?

Hi all,
loved the game-and the music! Could someone please tell what this music is- the violin music/soundtrack, did they create it for the game or is this a known music piece?So nice.
Thanks: ) : )

I'm stuck in the airplane scene with only a blue resistor. Already used 2 fuses.

So, I've noticed that

in the room with the typing machine, many of the other objects you can create are the items from the first game that were clickable, but that you couldn't interact with.
The golden lion "statue".
The "painting" of Karl von Toten.
The "picture" that was hanging on the wall on the landing of his mansion.
The "lamp" from the secret study in his mansion that totally looks like a Wisdom Gem holder from Submachine.

You can't create the screw/nail that was on the floor in the upstairs room from his mansion, though. Hm.

Oh wait. I understand.

You can't create the screw that was clickable but not interactable from the upper story room from the mansion because that room also exists in this place.
Wait, that only makes sense in Submachine logic. Touche, Skutnik. Touche.

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