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Spy vs. Spy
Platform:  Gameboy
# of Players:  1 (2 with link cable
Developer:  Kemco
Publisher:  Vatical
Features:  
Ratings:  Teen
Memory Req.:  
Info:  http://www.vatical.com
White or Black? Everybody has a favorite Spy. This Mad magazine pair has been blowing each other up, smashing each other's heads, and coming up with other high-tech methods of extermination for years now and their antics have been made into quite a few video games the latest being for the Gameboy Color. This translation from the old NES plays very well on the portable counterpart. It provides very fast action as well as on-your-toes strategy and a good challenge.

Being a Spy is easy to do. All you need is a big pointy nose, a large rimmed hat, and a suitcase full of important documents and files. Well, at the start of the game you are equipped with the nose and hat, but the other items are a bit harder to come by. Each stage is made up of a number of interconnected rooms with furniture and other items that conceal all of the secret documents and pick-ups that are the objectives of your quest. The problem is that they are also the objectives of the opposing spy and he will do everything to get his slimy hands on them before you can. There is one catch: you cannot hold all of the items in your hand. To capture everything you must first find and acquire the suitcase. After finding everything you must immediately exit as quickly as you can, avoiding contact with the enemy.

Of course it is not that easy. What Spy vs. Spy game would be complete without the endless destruction and mayhem we come to expect from this duo. In this game there are a variety of traps that you can set for your opponent to find. Everything from a water bucket over the door to a time bomb can be used in every room. Plant dynamite in a drawer and watch that little bastard explode. And if he has any secret items they will immediately be dispersed around the area. However, like all Spy vs. Spy comics, the destruction works both ways so don't think that you are safe from the wicked explosions of the enemy.

I found this game to be extremely fast-paced. I was constantly looking for items, setting traps and running around trying to catch that other little scoundrel. It was really challenging to keep up, almost too challenging. The nice thing is that after you finish every level you can use a password to come back to that level. This is a very nice feature in a game that is the epitome of difficult. I think that this game is ideal on a small system. Instead of having a huge adventure that you must go through, it is a game made up of small individual levels. This makes it easy to pick up and play without having to figure out where you left off.

The main drawback to the game is its repetitiveness. Every level is almost exactly the same with nothing new to learn and no new traps to set. Although the level layout gets more complex, the play still remains constant. Whereas, I like the continuity of the game, I wish there was a bit more complexity. Still even with the lack of diversity the game remains very addictive and fun. Tetris and Solitaire are the same every time and look how popular and addictive they are. So if you want something that is fast and addictive but demands more strategy than just putting pieces in the right spot, Spy vs. Spy is for you. That is if you think that you are sly enough.

Chris Shade


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