As long as the printed word holds value, Mad Magazine will retain its place in the annals of humor. They have been responsible for some of the most iconic gags of our time. None more iconic than Spy vs. Spy. With numerous best seller titles made entirely on the lives of the black spy and the white spy, each besting each other using a range of traps. Its game was first published by First Star Software in 1984 for the Atari 8-bit family, Commodore 64 and Apple II computers. Innovative was the word, especially for the time it was a two-player, split-screen game. The game has been alive in one form or the other, it made its way to mobiles back in 2012 via iOS. Now, Spy vs. Spy is out on Android.
Nostalgia is a lucrative commodity these days, every property that had once been popular decades ago is being reincarnated in some form or the other. This is because the same title can be marketed to the same demographic every following generation. It’s not a tragedy, it’s just business. Good business at that. Here is how it looks on Android.
The elements of the game are essentially unchanged from the original title. Your job is to escape the embassy before your opponent does. In order to escape, you will need to collect a number of items in a briefcase. The mission is to go around the embassy, looking for these items, once found, you can store found items behind or inside different objects. You can booby-trap other items and objects in order to slow down your opponent. You win by recovering all your items and storing them inside a briefcase and walking out of the embassy. The original game design came from limitations of its time, however, it presented such an engaging challenge that despite technology having come much farther, that element remains. It is a fun game, especially with its multiplayer option. You can play split screen, or you can play over WiFi. If multiplayer isn’t your thing, there is a host of levels for single players, pitting you against a CPU opponent. Given that it is a Mad product, you can expect some laughs. The game starts with giving you an arbitrary $64 and never asks for money ever again. That in itself is a refreshing feature in this day and age.
The game is essentially a reskinning of the original, you have the option to toggle between the retro 8-bit graphics – and they are retro, not like a modern 8-bit take on classic graphics – or the higher resolution modern graphics. The modern visuals bring the game up-to-date while not interfering with the game’s mechanics. There are no glitches to speak of, the visuals are just as well managed as they were with the resources available at the time of its original release.
The sound follows suit with the visuals and offers a feature to swap between modern and retro. You could, theoretically recreate the original game experience on your phone. The other sounds are nothing to write home about, given that it is a game based on a comic without dialog, any sound is acceptable as there is quite literally no benchmark.
The game is fun, highly recommended for a multiplayer experience with friends. It is a refreshing idea that does not involve buying things after making an initial purchase and the replay value goes on for as long as your battery lasts.