Another game Appidemic; what, me worry?
What is it?
Robots and Pencils, Inc. brings you face to face with your nemesis: the black spy. You, of course, are the white spy, and your mission is to, well, out-spy the black spy. The game is fraught with traps, and your nemesis is wandering around ready to take you on in hand to hand combat.
The game offers 2 modes: classic and modern. The “classic” look is akin to the old 8 bit console version and is smaller than the modern view so I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re playing on your iPad.
How does it work?
There aren’t any buttons, per se, but you do need to tap and swipe to get your spy to move. As you wander around the embassy you will need to search behind pictures, in chests of drawers, etc. to locate the items you need to escape and spy another day. You also can set up traps to snuff out your opponent who just happens to be in the same building and on the same mission you are on. Of course, this goes both ways, so you will need to be just paranoid enough to find the traps set up by the black spy. You have a kind of catchall menu to keep things useful for disarming traps so you are not completely defenseless.
If you encounter each other, be ready for some hand to hand action—cartoon style (this is based on the Mad Magazine features, after all…). To attack your opponent, simply tap on the icons at the top of the screen (they look a bit like cartoon thought balloons). Each tap only gets you one swipe, so you will need to keep tapping to continue to attack.
As you wander around looking for stuff, you will leave behind footprints so you know where you have already been. Since this is a Mad kind of place, don’t be surprised to find doors in the ceiling (the game will provide a ladder) or in the floor. All you need to do is tap to open then swipe your spy to move through to the next room.
An interesting feature of the game is the split screen; you can see what the black spy is doing, but don’t let this ability lull you into a false sense of security. You can see what he’s up to, but if you take your attention off your objective, the black spy may be able to find all the items needed to complete the round and leave you stranded. On the other hand, if you don’t pay enough attention to your opponen,t you won’t be aware of the trap you’re about to set off. Good luck striking the right attention balance.
Is it contagious?
If you’re an old school Mad fan, this is fun and familiar. If you are new to Spy vs. Spy, it is still a fun and challenging game. There are several factors you need to balance, including items to collect, traps to leave, traps to disarm, a bad guy to fight, and don’t forget the race against the clock. Who knew spying was so difficult? There is a descent tutorial to get you started, and when you kill the black spy you get several seconds of worry free play before he comes back.
As I mentioned earlier, one gripe is in regards to the “classic” look—the 8 bit theater with a reduced screen size. If you are playing on your iPad it will be fine, but on the iPod Touch or iPhone it’s so small the old school grainy look makes it difficult to play.
Now go and get your spy on, and give the black spy a whack on the head.