A&B Computing


Spycat

Author: Dave Reeder
Publisher: Superior/Acornsoft
Machine: BBC/Electron

 
Published in A&B Computing 5.07

A new game from Superior is usually something to relish and this is no exception. Slightly unusual, yes; unlike the normal BBC game, certainly; game of the month, erm, of course. By default. Because all other new games have dried up.

Relying rather too much on schoolboy level puns, this is quite a reasonable arcade game - though I think that in a normal month of releases it would be seen as rather shallow.

Trying to avoid the 'jokes' the plot is simple: you are both a spy and a cat who has to find three valuable documents in and around Downing Street and other government/official buildings.

Spycat

It's certainly playable - the graphics are satisfyingly large and the adventure elements of the game should get you hunched over the keyboard for some time. However, and it is a big however, I find the whole cuteness of the concept rather off-putting. Whether you think Peter Wright and the Spycatcher saga as symptomatic of government hypocrisy or individual creed, it is still rather odd to base a computer game's appeal on the facile renaming of characters - Peter Correct, Margo Thatch, etc. To me, it rather demeans a serious constitutional matter.

Okay, lecture over. Certainly the game stands up on its own without all this gloss - the gameplay is fun, the graphics excellent and the discovery of the documents amongst the detailed screens should please many of you. In a sense it doesn't play like a Beeb game at all - there's something of the C64 hit Monty Mole about this at times.

Using icon displays at the top of the screen, you are able to detect the nature of objects discovered and picked up. And, even after finding all the documents, you still need to photocopy them, track down a passport, typewriter and air ticket and emigrate to Greenland via Heathrow to write your memoirs.

However, I don't think that will be too much of a problem for the experienced amongst you. I've already received a complete solution! The game's value will, I think depend more on your pleasure with the graphics and general feel than at (at times) spurious adventure elements.

Still it's nice to see Superior doing something a bit different and it certainly acts as a good curtain-raiser for their projected blitz of ace goodies over the summer period.

Dave Reeder

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