Spy vs Spy iPhone/iTouch Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 7.4
Graphics 8.0
Sound 7.9
Value 7.7
Developer: Robots and Pencils Inc.
Distributor:
iTunes
Review Date:
Sep 2012
Reviewer:
Ho Wong

7.7


Spy vs. Spy

It is strange that Spy vs Spy, a game that first hit our ancient screens around 30 years ago has been revived and has reached the iPad.  The game itself was popular at the time, but it would not have been a game that I would have thought an obvious choice to remake, other than for nostalgic purposes.  The Spy vs Spy concept is originally from Mad magazine fame and the constant one-upmanship and comedic traps from the original comic have been somehwat captured in this conversion.

In the game, two spies, Black Spy and White Spy are trying to collect all the items to exit an embassy maze.  The game is presented in a top/bottom split screen, so both players are viewable at all times.  As a spy, you run from room to room, checking furniture to find the items all while avoiding or disarming traps that the other spy may have deviously laid.  

You can only carry one item at a time, so you need to cleverly hide the items you find, laying traps along the way just in case the other spy finds your stash.  Each trap can also be disarmed by picking up specific items that counter each type of trap. For example, a bucket on top of a door can be countered by picking up an umbrella from a coat rack.  In order to accurately disarm traps, carefully observing the other playerís location and movements is a necessity - also required is a good memory.  Once all items have been collected, you need to find the exit and run out of the embassy.

If you run into the same room as the other spy, hand to hand combat takes place.  The screen zooms up and three large buttons appear and furious button-mashing takes place.  The buttons are only enabled when you are close to the other spy and it is difficult to see what is going on, due to the the ludicrous amount of zoom that occurs. Hand to hand combat is one of the least successful elements of the game, requiring minimal skill and frustrating controls.

Also available is a retro mode, that reverts the game and graphics to Commodore 64/Sinclair time.  This allows gamers to revisit the original version and to understand the original intent.  Slightly different tweaks in gameplay exist from the retro to the modern version.  All in all, I think the game has not aged particularly well.   As such, itís a reasonably well-executed conversion let down by some frustrating controls and difficult-as-ever gameplay.

 






 
 



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