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You'll often find that revisiting things from your childhood ends in disappointment. Your
mind is particularly good at embellishing experiences that aren't actually that great
when you come back to them.
The danger of a retro remake is always that our rose-tinted recollections will lead us
to expect something impossible.
Let that be a warning before you play Spy vs Spy. It's an entertaining sneak down memory
lane, but it's also a stark reminder of how far the gaming medium has come in the past
The game casts you as one of a pair of rival spies - one dressed all in black, one in white
- hunting through an embassy for the four items they need to get out of the country.
The twist is that the screen is split in two, with the top displaying your actions and the
bottom your rival's.
At your disposal you have a set of traps, from bombs to electrified buckets of water,
and you can set these on doors and pieces of furniture to try and kill your opponent.
At the same time, the other spy is setting contraptions to hurt you.
You control your spy by sliding a finger across the screen, tapping on items to search them,
and using a slide-out inventory to set your traps and check your maps.
What follows is a game of cat, mouse, and memory as you try and find the items you need
to get out, keep tabs on the items of furniture and doors that your opponent has placed, and
make it to through the exit first.
The only real weak link in the package is the combat, which happens when you enter the
same room as the other spy. This involves hammering one of three buttons until either
you or your opponent is knocked out, and it feels decidedly underwhelming.
Local multiplayer over wi-fi or Bluetooth is included, and things are a little more
interesting when you're playing against a real person instead of the reasonably good
Spy vs Spy is fun, but its gameplay feels pretty outdated now, and while the embassies
grow as you progress through the levels it does get repetitive a little more quickly
than you probably remember.