Agents! Review

When you think of the all-time video game classics, many of the usual suspects may come to mind, like Mario, Sonic, Street Fighter II, and many other timeless titles. One of the obscure experiences that tenured gamers will fondly remember is Spy Vs. Spy. It was a fast-paced action game that brought the famous comic strip from Mad Magazine to life.

Combining strategy and hysterical hijinks, Spy Vs. Spy was a game that stayed in the regular rotation on many people’s NES. Looking to resurrect the spirit of those loony spies, Clickgamer developed Agents!, an imaginative action game mixed with interesting puzzle elements.

Agents! is a great example of taking a proven idea and throwing a premium coat of paint on top of it. You play as an agent trying to find secret documents while dealing with an enemy agent with the same goal. Besides maneuvering around tactfully, hilarious weapons and traps add an element of danger to every level. As you successfully gather all the documents, you continue to the exit and win.

Just another day at the office.

One of the challenges with reinventing Spy vs. Spy on an iOS device is replicating the snappy controls. In a smart move, Agents! uses a 3D environment with some great touchscreen controls to move around. This is a slower-paced game than Spy vs. Spy, but that’s not a bad thing. Tapping an area on the screen moves your agent to that area, and glowing areas indicate spots that can investigated for weapons or documents. Each of the three levels’ themes are interesting and completely appropriate for some misplaced top-secret materials.

Combat and traps are used early and often in Agents!. In no time, you’ll be collecting a variety of weapons and gadgets to complement your stock pistol. When you’re in the same room as another agent, shooting at them is as easy as tapping them. The computer seems to get their shots off a little faster than we could, but it’s not too annoying. Planting tripwires and explosives for unsuspecting enemies is fun, too.

Most of the single-player experience takes place in the Campaign Mode. It does an admirable job of tying the simple gameplay into objective-based levels that generally flow well. The actual story is skippable, though, as the writing is boilerplate. It’s all coherent and gradually builds in consistency, but the real fun is playing one-off games against the computer or other people.

Error reading from file.

Agents! is a universal game that’s playable across all the iOS devices, like between iPads and iPhones. The only thing that spoiled the fun is that Agents! is a bit crash-prone. The game will crash, freeze, and have weird buggy action that can be annoying. But when things work, multiplayer is a blast.

Agents! looks like a comic book come to life. Most of menus are adorned with 2D art, and the design has charm. As a contrast, game environments are completely modeled in 3D. Some jaggies and frame drops notwithstanding, performance is stable most of the time. Big explosions give the game engine problems and stutters usually will last for a few seconds. Online integration is made possible by Crystal, and you can challenge the times and scores of your friends.

Agents! does its source material justice. It’s not a perfect game by any stretch, but it’s still fun. For now, this universal application is only a buck, and the value you’ll find in this package makes it a steal.

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