Spy


  • Currently 3.6/5
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Rating: 3.6/5 (57 votes)
| Comments (33) | Views (248)

joyeSpyMomentum is a pretty great thing, generally. Roller coasters wouldn't be fun without momentum. But when you're a little flying spy cube attempting to infiltrate an evil virus designing company (motto: "Selling country-destroying microbes to terrorists is a sustainable business model for sure!"), momentum isn't on your side. In Filipe Sheepwolf's Spy, not only do you need to figure out how to solve puzzles to manipulate the enemy territory, you've got to do it without attracting any attention, and banging into walls or sailing in front of a security camera tends to hinder that. Newton, Newton, what hast thou donest.

A brief tutorial level will teach you the basics. For the most part, you're using the arrow keys to guide your plucky little cube through ventilation ducts and under tables. Your chief weapons are your screwdriver (number key 1) and your visual sensors (number 2). Sometimes you'll pick up things like keys, and if you have them, they'll be controlled by number key 3. You can hit number key 4 at any time to adjust the options such as the quality or sound. You will also need to use the mouse occasionally, to enter in codes or to zoom in on a list of codes. Lastly, the [enter] key is used to finish reading information or instructions, and is a quick way to restart when you're caught. That's when, not if.

Our elite game seeking team (we're kind of like the cube in this game, actually, we rappel into developer's sites and do cartwheels through lasers and stuff to get to the new releases) wants to let you know that for some reason, a number of us had difficulty playing this game on Firefox, even the latest versions. If you're experiencing problems with stuttering and lag, and you're using Firefox, you might want to try Chrome, Safari, or IE instead.

SpyAnalysis: If the popularity of any game that requires you sneak things up International Person of Mystery style is any indication, inside each and every one of us is a super spy screaming to break free and climb all over things with suction cups attached to our hands and feet. There's something weirdly fun about sneaking around where you're not supposed to be, getting in and out before anyone knows you're there, and Spy perfectly captures that sensation. It's similar in concept to Shadow Game, but much more fleshed out, and it's the addition of all those wonderful spy gadgets we all secretly long for that really makes the game stand out, puttering around sleeping guards and surveillance cameras without a sound. It's more than enough to make you want to rappel down from the ceiling in a black bodysuit just to make coffee every morning.

You really don't want to have lag for this game because the game pretty much jumps straight from "tutorial level" of difficulty to "end stage". With the noise sensors, you have a little (a VERY little) amount of leeway, but it's so easy to bang into things that it isn't much comfort, and at some points, even scraping the side of an object creates noise. For visual sensors, get caught once and it's start over time.

Most of the game's length is from its difficulty. If you are some kind of elite stealth genius, you might be able to whip through the game's four non-tutorial levels in a few minutes of perfect performance. If you are like me, it will probably take you hours, with frequent breaks for homemade brownies and crying. Those of you in between should expect a decent amount of both length and challenge. The game might have been improved by adding a few levels between the tutorial and the first level that gradually ramped up in difficulty, but after I got over the initial shock of "you die, you die, you DIE" and restocked my chocolate reserves, even I was able to play through the game and felt very proud of myself when I did. For fans of the genre it should be even more enjoyable, and the cinematics are quite cool, even if the plot is a little hokey. Elite players, get ready to mock us lesser mortals. The rest of you, grab your favorite sugary comestible and try your best.

Play Spy

33 Comments

Jeeze, it's like these Genetech whatever guys don't have any rats and everyone wears sound reduction suits. By the way, they should've gotten an more innocent name. Everyone knows companies with names like that are evil.

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Also, another note, why was this cube programmed in to always run really fast when it's instructed to go slowly?

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Nice, decently challenging and well designed. I liked it! It ended up quite quickly though, I wish there had been more levels to explore, as the atmosphere was very captivating.

A quick 'trick' regarding the Lab 2 door and its code:

Once you read the code for the Lab 2 room at the end of the corridor, don't worry too much if you die on the way back. You can use the code to open the door when you respawn, without having to go through the whole journey again!

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SonicLover Author Profile Page April 11, 2011 5:11 PM

...Wait. When did sweets become associated with high-difficulty games?

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Oh, and the problem persists from Firefox to IE. Neat!

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I was kinda turned off by the intro:
"The first robot of it's kind."
PSSSHHHHH. Unnecessary apostrophe.

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I laughed when the guard I woke up immediately knew what the sound I made was. Do other things not make noises? It would be more believable if they had the guard walk around the room and look for you.

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The grammar isn't very good ("this special door don't have screws"? "no lights on Sector B"?), and the voice doesn't do a very good job with some words ("we" seemed to give it trouble). The screen-to-screen transitions were a little choppy, as well; and it got annoying trying to guess the field of vision of the cameras, whereas most games of the genre have the "field of vision" arc shaded before you're in it, not just after.

Mostly what annoyed me, though, was that it wasn't always easy to tell scenery from important things--that a filing cabinet was just a wall and not something you were supposed to investigate; that a door was basically a wall and not something you needed to figure out how to open; that a given line was a wall and not just decorative.

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kdausman April 11, 2011 6:27 PM

Meh. Controls alternate between being stupidly unresponsive and stupidly sensitive. Environment is minimalist, which is fine, but there is nothing to distinguish what is important from what is not. Grammatical errors are highly distracting.

I love the genre, but this one is just plain annoying.

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Black Drazon Author Profile Page April 11, 2011 6:38 PM

I could understand the wall avoiding parts of the early half of the game but once it became a pure wall avoider in the last section I just gave up. I enjoyed the stealth, despite a number of problems, but not the mazes.

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I quit after the game randomly decided that pressing the left button meant rocketing to the right incredibly fast into the path of a security camera. ._.

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The monochrome look doesn't work here very well; not only would a contrasting color to show camera vision be useful, but a complementary color for doors, ventilation grates, and "investigation items" would be helpful as well.

Personally, I ragequit over the timed level with the noise detector.

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sgtdroopy Author Profile Page April 11, 2011 7:18 PM

Disappointingly short...

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I'm still wondering why every browser on my computer starts lagging whenever Armor Games is open. I've sifted through the source code and the error console and can't find a single thing causing it. Every other games site on the net works perfectly, and this has been going on for months now.

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I love stealthy based gameplay :) This was fun.

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This place must be hell to work in when the air conditioning is on.
*gentle thunk*
*WONK! WONK! WONK!*
"Not again!"

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zbeeblebrox Author Profile Page April 12, 2011 12:21 AM

Love the voice narrator:
"Designed to investaget...itsmall and extremely silend..."
"you've just been Ah-signed..."
"you must inFILLtrit the techgene science building."

I could listen to that guy mispronounce English all day :D

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I had no way of guessing that in the third level I was supposed to hide in those white rectangles. And the transition from stealth game to timed avoidance game in the last level was annoying.

Also, why does the spy organization have a big sign saying "SPY ORGANIZATION"? Doesn't that seem counterproductive?

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Just played it in Firefox, had no problems, other than the usual "GO WHERE I TELL YOU!" that I have to put up with in all games. No lag or anything.

Then again, I'm on Firefox 4, so that might have something to do with it.

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Coldfrog Author Profile Page April 12, 2011 5:13 AM

This has some real potential - I'd love to see a metroid-style version in which you investigate several rooms and areas in a large building, gathering codes and items to achieve a similar goal. As of now, it's a great basis and could grow to be even better. I will say some possible updates though: as mentioned, camera sights should be visible instead of making us play a guessing game. Maybe the idea is that, if this was a real spy-cube, you wouldn't know, but it's a game, and so I think that takes away a bit. Also, it wasn't clear to me for a few failures that the grey space was a shadow that I could hide in: did I miss an instruction or something? AH well, I figured it out eventually.

In any case, a nice start. Also LOVE that computerized voice. Something about it just gets inside my head.

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I strongly think some of the levels (especially where you have a 60 second timer on a level that you must tacke very cautiously - in fact more than you can...) are designed to ake it virtually impossible to do in a couple of try - so, the game tries to rely on a replay value factor - one that's just isn't really there...

bio

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To everyone moaning about the English, keep in mind not all game developers are grammar / spelling wonders. In fact, a lot of them don't speak English as a first, or even second language.

As for the mispronunciation, the dialogue is clearly being read by a text to speech engine, and a bloody good one too.

The sound detection maze was just a tad too narrow, 2 - 3 places where you can't get through without making noise, no matter how hard you try, and a very narrow time window. I made it with 1 second to spare on the sixth try. The timed section before, I managed with 10 seconds to spare, and no sound.

All in all, a good game, with decent graphic and level design. Love the minimalistic approach, and the fact you can't see camera arcs. Adds a bit of skill requirement in the game, instead of making the camera's another "avoid the moving wall" part.

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Joye's review made it sound like I'd need several hours to play this but I actually spent about 15 minutes from start to finish. Your mileage may vary. Had about 20 attempts at the final level though.

I agree that the gaps between walls are too small, bordering on unfair.

I understand that developers might not be brilliant linguists, but you sort of expect a certain level when you play a game using an intelligent/technological setting.

I think the game could have been fleshed out with more levels, more ingenuity and more plot. It could be much much better than it is at the moment.

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You can, in fact, get through without making any noise, but it will take an extremely light touch on the arrow keys. If you can just gently tap yourself against a wall, it won't make noise. Also, I'm pretty sure your hitbox is a few pixels smaller than your image.

It took me a while to realize this for some reason, but if you find yourself scraping against the wall, like in that first narrow opening, you can just tap away from the wall and you won't make a sound. You have to scrape for a while before it gets noticed.

Even so, it was a really crappy way to end the game. Why couldn't they have done something less error-prone and more timing-based? How about zigzagging through lasers? That's always a crowd favorite. Or maybe they could explore the "hide in the grey area" mechanic a bit more? But turning it into an avoider was just silly.

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Boris Clitoris Author Profile Page April 12, 2011 11:36 AM

AAARRRRGHH. This is worse than Oh no Robot. Completely unforgiving. Beatyourheadagainstthebedpost hard.

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Bob Dole April 12, 2011 6:56 PM

I opened the door then went to flip the switch.
I lost keyboard control of my character and was forced to go through the door.
How NES...

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There is a glitch near the end of the game. Along the last narrow tunnel, the countdown timer jumps to 14 seconds and the virus retracts. I had to replay about ten times before I got to finish.

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anonymous April 13, 2011 3:29 AM

it was an ok game but I barely played because it had annoying music and the mute button didn't work

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Oh, TechGeneScience, I am glad I sold my shares. You are always getting into trouble.

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I thought this was a fun game and a decent challenge. Took me 5-6 tries for two of the levels, which is about where I like the challenge level.

There were minor imperfections like the grammar, but I'm willing to forgive a lot for a combination of good game play and good challenge.

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Anyone notice that the graphics is good and bad at the same time?

Anything without a curve was kind of decent, and anything round (EG armor games logo or a guard) was incredibly pixelated.

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Anonymous August 10, 2011 5:35 AM

my game decided on the first level (or mabye its the tutorial) the spy should automaticaly move right into the wall without my control. yay

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King.Cond Author Profile Page October 30, 2011 2:49 AM

this was too short , i expected more, i even wrote down the codes to the other rooms and labs, haha .. anyway, it worth playin' for like 20 minutes ..

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