The Spies in this game were first seen in 1960 in MAD magazine. Beyond bought the rights to them and produced the C64 version which received well-deserved rave reviews. They have just released the Spectrum version and I can report that it is just as good as the C64 one.
The game displays two screens, one for each spy unless both spies are in the same room in which case only one screen is used. The objective of the game is to collect essential spying items such as passports, money, keys, etc.
Each of these items are hidden about the Embassy in which the spy finds himself at the start of the game. To find an item, the spy must move over to an object and search it. This usually involves lifting or tipping the object, all of which is seen on-screen.
Once all the objects have been collected and placed in the Top Secret Briefcase the spy can leave the building and go to the airport, at which point the game ends. This all sounds very easy but the problem is that there are two spies and only one of each object.
Thus, the spies are always fighting in one of two ways. The first is the most obvious, when both spies are in the same room they both draw clubs and you must then attempt to either wallop your opponent over the head or give him a good jab in the belly!
If either spy sustains seven such blows in a single combat then he is knocked out and suffers a time penalty.
The second method is by leaving traps for each other. These consist of bombs that may be placed on objects so that if your opponent searches it the bomb will explode and kill him. Buckets of water placed above doors that electrocute the next person to open them and my personal favourite: a gun on a string!
This is placed on an object and the string run to a closed doorway; if the door is opened, the other spy is shot! Also available are spring traps and time bombs as well as a map that tells you where useful objects are and where you've been.
The traps are all placed by using a device called the trapulator, an icon menu that is displayed to the right of each screen.
Graphics consist of the split-screen that I already mentioned and each of these screens shows a cartoon-like picture, the quality of which is stunning. Control is by keyboard only because two players need to be able to play at the same time.
This is an excellent game and every Spectrum owner should add it to their collection immediately.