This one's been around for ages, but it's had a new lease of life courtesy of EDOS (see Do The Write Thing), so we thought we'd give it a quick going-over anyway. It's a no-nonsense, no-frills port of the ancient 8-bit versions of the MAD magazine cartoon licence, but that's no bad thing, because the 8-bit game was one of the funniest and most compulsive two-player games ever invented. The action takes place on a horizontally-split screen, with Black Spy and White Spy (either two players at once or one player against the computer) battling through various rooms of an office complex attempting to collect several spy-type artefacts and escape, while at the same time wreaking the maximum havoc on the opposing spy by cunning use of various booby traps. (And not-so-cunning use of a big club, brought into play when the two protagonists enter the same room.)
It's all dead simple (at least, it is once you've figured out what the weird flashing icon system is all about), and incredibly funny, except of course when you're on the receiving end of one of the booby traps.
Spy Vs. Spy takes two-player conflict to its logical conclusion, stripping away all the unnecessary frills and getting right down to the basic one-upmanship that we all know is what it's all ultimately about, anyway.
As such, it's practically perfect, and if the graphics are a little on the crude side and the sound minimalist to the point of primitiveness, well, who cares? This is a fabulous game.
Completely classic two-player fun, still highly entertaining in one-player mode, but that's kind of missing the point. Never mind even the great Bubble Bobble, this is what one human against another should be about.