Spy Bear


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Rating: 3.1/5 (30 votes)
| Comments (6) | Views (1,350)

Spy Bear

SatoriDA-na-nahh, DA-na-nahh... sliding bulkily down ropes on a rappelling harness. Infiltrating enemy headquarters. Tiptoeing through shadowy hallways, awkwardly displacing the furniture with five hundred pounds of body weight. Hurray! It's Spy Bear, the new physics projectile puzzle from Justin Villegas. Levels are comprised of oodles upon oodles of slack-jawed, uniformed guards who've positioned themselves tragi-comically in just the right spots to enable you to set up trick shots, and off several if not all of them with a few carefully-placed blasts from the diverse array of gadgets in your arsenal. Seriously. These guys have stationed themselves directly under heavy chunks of metal, immediately adjacent to barrels full of combustible chemicals, and lined up with easy angles for your shots. Whatever they're teaching bottom-rung guards these days at Nefarious Henchman School, it sure as heck isn't rudimentary physics. Aim and shoot with the mouse, and you'll quickly make friends with the [R] key to restart a level when you've used up too many shots. You'll be awarded up to three stars per level for efficiency, so you'll find yourself using it over and over again whenever a shot didn't go exactly as planned. This has the propensity to eventually feel a bit like you're just pixel-hunting, trying to find just the right trajectory through trial-and-error, but the frustration fades away with the satisfaction of watching five guards drop with just one well-placed shot.

Spy BearFrom grenades to napalm to remotely-detonated plastique to a Tesla gun and more, you've brought an impressive kit of toys to the party which are a joy to use. Slick level design keeps things interesting, and the game features some great bass-heavy riffs provided by Kevin MacLeod which really bring out the espionage theme into sharp relief. We did notice an apparent inability to return to a set of levels we'd already completed, making it tough to go back to pick up any remaining stars, and you'd be well-advised that the game currently doesn't handle level selection well at all in fact — selecting a group of levels you've played through half of will only give you the option to start with the first one and go all the way through them again — but knowing that in advance is half the battle, and the levels have great replay value anyway. Sometimes you'll need to hit triggers that release items on the unsuspecting guards, other guards have riot shields that deflect your shots and you'll have to angle your trajectory to get them from behind, and still others have protective equipment that will need to be removed with one shot before you can actually tag them with another. There's really a lot that's been added to Spy Bear, and with 75 levels per area you'll have plenty of billiards-like trick shots to execute for some worthwhile stress relief. "Lieutenant Overbite, corner pocket!"

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6 Comments

I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with the opinion that "knowing in advance" that the level selection is broken is "half the battle". Why would the developer leave such a bug in an otherwise fairly polished game? Or was this, for some reason the way he intended for it to be?

I was just a level or two away from finishing one of the sections or the game and advanced to the next level with no stars when I intended to reload. Even though I already knew it was broken, I clicked the level select out of habit. Of course now I can replay every level in that section.

Nope.

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I agree the level select bug makes this a no play for me. I could not even replay a section that I had already completed. I had to refresh the page for it even to load and then it would not let me replay any level from there even though I only had 61/75.

The very principle of having to replay the whole section is just silly.

It HAS to be a bug no right minded developer would call that a design choice especially making earlier sections totally unplayable.

If that is a design choice then this would just get 1 mushroom for me, but I will hold off voting in the expectation that it is indeed a bug and will be fixed.

Reply
gavtyven July 15, 2014 1:38 PM

I played it through with 3 stars in each level at first go. Had to replay some levels a few times, but no biggie. The game executes well, though a gameplay seen before.

It's a little short and a little too unoriginal to score high, but still a nice short game.

Reply
eamurdock July 15, 2014 2:57 PM

The level select bug is a killer for me, too. I'm 2/3s of the way through "Laboratory" and I'm not interested in repeating all the levels I've already done just to get to new ones.

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https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnrLT_DgOiK7Leoj0eRHY69GNEFT33XtTU July 15, 2014 5:50 PM

Is it just my mouse or is the fire trigger REALLY glitchy?
Quite often I'd click once and it'd fire twice, sometimes 3 shots.

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