SPY mouse Review
- Simple to learn control scheme; difficulty scales based on the challenges you face.
- Charming vibrant style; reminiscent of classic cartoon shows.
- Varied gameplay; objectives change from basic capture and escape to stealth and moments of action.
- Line-drawing controls don't always detect properly.
- 'Easy mode' system requires payment to activate and limited use.
SPY mouse is charmingly simple and easy to enjoy even despite some minor control issues thanks to the varied level of challenge, unique approach to 'medals' and the occasional boss fight to punch things up a notch.
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Sometimes it's easy to forget that Firemint, the developers of the Real Racing series for iOS have another game they're rather famous for - a little line-drawing App called Flight Control. While racing has its fans, Flight Control made perfect use of the touch-screen interface to create a fun game based around the pressures of multitasking.
So what if Firemint decided to boil the concept down in to something a bit more bite-sized? What if you were rewarded for your puzzle solving skills along with your perfect timing? Wonder no more because SPY mouse has landed, giving you the opportunity to scamper around, avoiding (or in some cases, confronting) cats while ducking in and out of nooks and crannies while stealing cheese.
You only get to control Agent Squeak by drawing a path for him to follow, directing him towards various objectives along the way. He's no slouch either and you'll have to take in to account his speed to avoid being spotted, though carrying cheese will slow him down (with higher scoring pieces weighing him down further). This turns the game in to one of careful planning, with multiple attempts being required to tweak things 'just right' to gain all the available medals for a level.
Instead of a traditional and banal three-star system, additional side-objectives are given, rewarding medals for completing three varied tasks ranging from not being spotted; using only one line; not using certain items; and so on.
If there's one weakness it's in the controls and this can be a large sticking point considering there's only one way of interacting with the game. Drawing lines isn't a simple matter of following the finger directly as the line attempts to make it easier for you to see what's happening when drawing extended paths by moving away from the contact point. You can get used to it, but when some levels require precise timing it can be frustrating to lose your progress thanks to an unwanted change in direction. Checkpoints in later levels help to alleviate the issue, but it's there none-the-less.
All of this excitement takes place in a wonderfully vibrant world that packs a lot more variety than you'd realize amongst its six worlds. Each introduces new concepts that make life easier (or harder depending on what you're trying to achieve), but they're also capped off by fun 'Boss' stages that mix up the gameplay with speedy stealth sequences followed by action-packed 'boss fights'.
From its charming designs to its elegant and complex challenges, SPY mouse is yet another great release from Firemint that feels at home on a touch-based device no matter where you are.