697th played so far

Genre: Action/Strategy
Platform: Various
Year of Release: 1984
Developer: First Star Software
Publisher: Beyond Software/Tynesoft/Wicked Software/Kemco

I remember playing Spy vs Spy with friends about… 20 years ago maybe? Probably a few more than that, but probably about a decade after its first release. I only remember bits of it, but it stands out to me that a game that was that old even then still remained fun for us. Now I have to play it again, and it’s an experience I’ve sort of been looking forward to reliving for the past seven years of doing this blog.

Our Thoughts

The premise of this game is simple: Find a few different items (passport, ticket and such) that let you leave the country, while you set traps for the other spy so they are slowed down and can’t find them before you. The traps have an interesting system of checks and balances – most have an item to save you from them as well, creating a bit of a challenge where you have to be lucky and fast enough to find them. You need to know what you’re doing. You can tell game complexity is going up and it really works here by building on some simple concepts.

The stakes are raised with each level, featuring larger areas with more places to travel through. This is nice against the AI, but in multiplayer really would challenge you further and I think it’s those interactions, from so long ago, that I really remember well.

The game’s fairly stylized visuals – dictated by the era it was made in – work well. They feel like good copies from the comics series this is based on and create a good setting for the slapstick. It’s like they knew their limitations, and knew this could apply here well.

Final Thoughts

Spy vs Spy may see simple to us now – when we’re used to adventure mechanic, this feels fairly straightforward. At the same time, I feel it’s an advance for the time and it plays well, having just enough going on, int he game and with its graphics.