Spy vs Spy Review
- Multiplayer mode brings back a flood of happy memories; being devious isn't encouraged, it's necessary.
- Free upgrade to 'Retina' graphics for iPad 3 users; nominal change, but still worthwhile.
- Larger areas don't really make for better maps; stretches out the gameplay time without adding depth to make up for it.
- Switching from half to full screen for fights can be disorienting and awkward to control, especially on the iPad.
Spy vs Spy is a tidy package of nostalgia that will help you to relive the classic moments of your gaming past - and you'll need these memories to soften the blow of the otherwise limited gameplay.
- Full Review
- App Store Info
Spy vs Spy is the kind of retro game that was always bound to have a sequel on the iOS platform in one form or another. First Star Software's 1984 classic formula has already been aped on the App Store, but thanks to Robots and Pencils, the original game in all its glory (as well as all new levels) are now available for the iPhone and iPad alike.
You, as well as your rival spy, have entered an embassy and your goal is to escape with all of the items in the level, hindering or temporarily killing your opponent while you're at it. Each level is split in to a series of rooms that can connect to each of the the four walls. Objects generally litter each room, with either traps; the items you're looking for; and in a modern 'twist', hidden stars, can also be found.
Spy vs Spy places a strong emphasis on your ability to create mental maps as you navigate its labyrinthine layouts. A map can be used to identify where you are and where the items you require are hidden, but your score is penalized each time you do so. So, your best bet is to sprint through each room, checking each object, laying a trap if you think to remember it, and continuing on.
This makes for a genuinely interesting dynamic as you attempt to outplay your opponent - collecting the various objects and hiding them until you can collect the all-powerful 'briefcase'; the last object required to hold everything before you exit. While the AI does an admirable job of laying traps and generally being a nuisance, it's the multiplayer mode that makes the game a true treasure - should you actually manage to win a game then you're not laying enough traps; it's a troll-gamer's dream come true.
However this does bring a rather painful point in to focus - the gameplay is not only dated, but the controls have also only gone through a cursory transition (swipe to move, tap to select). This could almost be forgiven as it's a thirty-year-old title, but the game also includes a 'classic' mode, so it begs the question of why the game hasn't been better updated for modern audiences.
Spy vs Spy attempts to pander to 'retro' gamers in their late 20s and onward who can remember the sheer frustration, and also elation, that comes from playing a game that gleefully rewards backstabbing. As gorgeously rendered as the update may be, without those rose-tinted glasses the game becomes a briefly entertaining, but shallow reminder of the limitations of the past.
DescriptionEarn Mad credits to use towards purchase of 24 new levels, 3 new traps and 2 sets of cheats.
Use poison gas or falling anvils or remotely detonate dynamite on command in custom matches. In single-player use Insta-Kill to immediately vanquish the enemy spy. Reval-O-Matic displays the embassy map showing the location of all inventory items & stars.
SPY vs SPY is based on the original, multi-million unit selling, break out hit by First Star Software, Inc. It features online & local multiplayer matches, a pixel perfect retro mode as well as a modern mode, both with the famous black and white spies from MAD Magazine. Choose joystick or other touch controls.
SPY vs SPY is the ultimate action/strategy game!
#1 iPhone app in USA, Canada, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, and Poland
#1 iPad app in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Sweden
* Online + local multiplayer support - sabotage and intrigue included
* Integrated Game Center leaderboards and achievements
* 16 brand new embassies –for a total of 24 plus 24 additional embassies as an in-app-purchase
* Play alone in custom matches in up to 48 embassies, each with 5 levels of difficulty –- you select the IQ of the opposing spy
* Retina graphics for the new iPad and iPhone
* New, full screen club-to-club combat in modern mode
* Modern & retro game modes –both featuring Simulvision™, Simulplay™ and your very own Trapulator™
* Up to 8 types of booby-Traps - play as the famous black and white spies from MAD Magazine
* Includes the original theme music plus 4 new remixes
* Universal app - play on iPad, iPhone, and iPod
HOW TO WIN:
Your mission: escape the embassy, top secret briefcase in hand. Remember, all else is but a mere distraction! You must locate and finally collect the missing passport, traveling money, key and secret plans before making your way to the airport door to board your plane - all before time runs out -all while placing booby-traps for your opponent, avoiding or defusing those set by him and engaging in club-to-club combat.
~~~~~ And the critics love it! ~~~~~
"Robots & Pencils have done a great job bringing a classic game over to iOS and fans of the original will be able to jump right back in the action with fresh visuals that only add to the original experience. For those players, it's a game that really lends itself to the pick-up and play style, and quick levels make it perfect for gaming on the go. The tutorial also makes it easy for someone who's never played Spy vs Spy to get started, laying out the details without taking too long. Overall, the game looks and plays great and anyone ready for a new iOS game to sink their teeth into should definitely check it out later this summer." - MTV Geek!
"For retroheads, this new iOS version looks set to bring back some warm and fuzzy memories, as - while it may sport upgraded graphics and new touch controls - it's effectively the same game you remember bashing away at on your C64 or ZX Spectrum." - Pocket Gamer
"These features and the strategic gameplay make Spy vs. Spy a fantastic remake and expansion of a classic game. Now, if we could just remember where we put that furshlugginer bomb..." - slide to Play
Original game designed, developed and published by First Star Software, Inc.
MAD, SPY VS SPY AND ALL RELATED NAMES AND CHARACTERS ARE TRADEMARKS OF E.C. PUBLICATIONS, INC. FIRST STAR SOFTWARE, INC. AND ITS LOGO ARE REGISTERED TRADEMARKS OF FIRST STAR SOFTWARE, INC. SIMULVISION™, SIMULPLAY™ AND TRAPULATOR™ ARE TRADEMARKS OF FIRST STAR SOFTWARE, INC. DEVELOPED AND PUBLISHED UNDER LICENSE FROM FIRST STAR SOFTWARE, INC. AND E.C. PUBLICATIONS. GAME DESIGNS AND CODE © 1984, 2013 FIRST STAR SOFTWARE, INC. ALL RELATED RIGHTS RESERVED. WWW.FIRSTSTARSOFTWARE.COM
What's New in Version 1.9-Fixed a pause menu issue on iOS7.
-If you are experiencing a crash on startup please email firstname.lastname@example.org as we would *love* to help!