DA-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.
From 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!"