SOFTWARE REVIEW: SPY VS SPY by Richard Karsmakers
Everybody must have read "MAD Magazine" once, or maybe some of
you lucky people have once played the "MAD" board game. Some of
the characters appearing in both are the Black and the White Spy
(this is no intended racist remark). First Star, after launching
"The Boulder Dash Construction Set", now finally decided to
launch their "Spy vs Spy" game as well.
Although quite clumsily programmed (five or six uncrunched and
not even renamed "Degas" pix on the disk - what a waste of
space!), the game doesn't fail to capture the fun and humour of
the 8-bit versions. The graphics are not really good to 16-bit
standards, but are good enough not to actually decrease game
playability as well as the game's fun.
Like in most games, the target is simple: Escape from the Embassy
with a briefcase filled with passport, travelling money, the key
and the secret plans. Indeed, like in most games, this sounds
awfully simple. It would indeed have been simple if there would
not be a second spy around (this can be either the computer or
another player). And that player has the same objectives!
The players both have several booby traps to their disposal that
can be triggered by the other - or by themselves (for the
forgetful spies). Some of the booby traps are: A bomb, a gun with
a string (you open the door, pull the trigger.....) and a water
bucket (causing electrocution). Of course, hidden in the Embassy,
there are several remedies against these booby traps.
Each spy can use the Trapulator™ model FSS 84, a device that
gives them the booby traps they want, enables them to look at the
map, and some more functions. This is the device through which
you can influence the game to some extend.
The graphics can easily be recognized to be converted from 8-bit
machines; although the colour palettes are somewhat better, they
are still a bit 'coarse'. But this doesn't decrease the game fun
at all (like I already told earlier). It's a very nice game with
several levels of difficulty that will especially be fun to play
with two people (if you play against the computer, it will
probably always win - even on the least difficult level). The
Simulvision (two players using two screens at once) aspect is
Name: Spy vs Spy
Company: First Star/Databyte
Sound: 7.5 (very 'dry' but amusing)
Hookability: 8 (especially with two persons)
Price: 89.50 Dutch guilders
Value for money: 6.5 (nice but too expensive)
Thanks to harry van Horen for sending the review copy.
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.