Following the ZZAP! preview of Spy vs Spy: The Island
Caper last month, here is the full review as promised
. . .
far away, deep in the Caribbean lies an island -- Spy
Island, a tropical paradise long abandoned by man or
beast and geographically discarded many years ago. Until
now that is.
top secret XJ4½ missile recently crash-landed on the
island, breaking up and scattering into three pieces
as it did so. It is vitally important that this missile
does not fall into enemy hands so it's your mission
to recover all three parts, assemble them, and escape
by a submarine moored somewhere off the island, before
the enemy beats you to it. The opposition can either
be computer-controlled or human, the computer having
a range of five IQs to choose from and the human . .
. well that's up to you!
spy has a constantly replenishing energy bar that diminishes
on contact with anything nasty. It takes time to replete,
though, so great care must be taken not to lose any
in the first place.
in the first game, each spy has a Trapulator (this one's
the newer model, the FSS 85) at their disposal. This
amazing piece of equipment allows a spy to store, and
most importantly, use the various objects found around
the island, to hinder the enemy spy's progress. Objects
are usually buried under the sand, but are uncovered
when picked up by a spy. The converse also applies --
a spy can bury any objects that are found lying on the
sand. A couple of presses of the fire button activate
the Trapulator and let you select a trap, or view a
map of the island.
types of trap are accessible from the Trapulator, and
each can only be used in specific places and situations.
have to be dug with the shovel provided, and waste precious
time should a spy fall into one. The shovel can only
dig eight holes before breaking though, so each pit
needs to be placed with care. Pits can be dug anywhere
except in the water (who says computer games are for
are simply an extension of the open pit. A pit has to
be dug as before, only this time if a wooden stake is
stuck in the bottom, the hole covers itself, thus hiding
it from an unsuspecting spy's eyes.
is lying somewhere on the island and if found it can
be used to shoot the opposition and momentarily put
them out of control. That is, if the bullets aren't
dud and the gun is fully loaded . . .
BOMBS can be produced by combining coconuts
with petrol from your aeroplane wreckage, and prove
a very effective land-mine when buried beneath the sand.
Should either spy fall victim to such a device then
they will be blown to a frazzle and crumble, comically,
into a pile of ash.
can be set to catch an unwary enemy spy off-guard (and
yourself if you're not too careful)! A spy simply climbs
up the nearest tree with a rope, ties one end to the
treetop, climbs down again and buries the other end
in the sand . . . and there's the snare, primed and
ready to whisk the first to stumble across it, up into
canisters can be buried in the same manner as the coconut
bombs and have the same deadly effect when uncovered!
OF QUICKSAND are scattered about the island
and are more of a 'natural' trap, draining a spy of
his energy if fallen into. If such a disaster should
occur, then you need to waggle the joystick like crazy
to get him out again!
TO HAND COMBAT between spies works in the
same manner as in the original game. When the two spies
appear on the same screen, then they can beat the living
daylights out of one and other with their spy swords.
Spies can biff their opponent over the head or prod
them in the vitals, each hit sapping vital energy (no
pun intended). These swords are rather blunt though,
so it takes quite a few hits to kill a spy.
MAP of the island is stored in a spy's Trapulator
and can be recalled for viewing at any time. It shows
a plan view of the island along with a trail of footprints,
to show where the spy last walked, and the approximate
location of the missile parts.
time is not on your side, as there is a rather volatile
volcano resident on the island and it's about to erupt.
The countdown to eruption is displayed to the right
of the screen and the length of this time depends upon
the skill level chosen. There are seven levels of play,
each differing slightly in features, such as two islands
instead of one and more or less objects to hand. Levels
one to four have one island to explore of sizes between
six and twenty sectors. Levels five and six, on the
other hand, have two islands, so that you have
to swim between them! This gives rise to yet more
problems, since the surrounding sea has one or two resident
sharks! Running into a shark (or should I say, swimming
into one) will almost certainly result in your spy's
demise, as he is dragged below the depths for a short
period of time before he can break free.
a spy runs out of energy whilst bathing then he'll sink
to his doom, releasing a few last bubbles as his possessions
are washed up onto the shore.
submarine lies somewhere off the coast of the island
and, like the embassy door in the original game, it
can either be hidden until someone has collected the
complete missile, or constantly exposed. If neither
spy makes it to the sub on time then you are treated
with a view of the island being bathed in the glorious
glow of the volcano's lava flow.