“You are Master Spy. In a world of corruption and decay, you’re not just good at what you do – you’re the best”, the blurb goes. “With the aid of your prototype cloaking suit and quick wit, you’ll sneak your way past a multitude of enemies and obstacles, all while uncovering a plot of conspiracy and intrigue that thrusts you into a role far greater than your contract promised…”
With some neat 8-bit retro graphics and cutscenes which evoke memories of a childhood spent playing growing up playing NES games with a childhood friend, it looks like a pleasing throwback to the 1980s when games made up for their low amount of storage capacity with incredibly challenging gameplay. There’s a nifty retro soundtrack too, courtesy of chiptune composer Sferro.
Taking place in 2d with simple animated cutscenes employed to tell the game’s story, gameplay is simple, but challenging; navigating the levels requires some pin-point platforming as you collect dossiers and move from screen to screen (the game utilizes a flick-screen format) and guards will need to be avoided in order to avoid raising the alarm. Thankfully your character is equipped with a handy cloaking device which helps him to remain undetected by roaming guards and security cameras. It’s not without penalty however – while cloaked, your movement speed and jumping range are curtailed considerably and guard dogs won’t be fooled, dashing across the screen to catch you.
Even at this early stage the game is fiendishly addictive. An alpha-version demo is available to play on the game’s website for people before casting your vote on Greenlight and it shows a game that has plenty of promise. Games of this nature can be difficult to get right though – too easy and players will become bored, but if the platform and timing required becomes too precise, it can quickly become frustrating and feel unfair. So far the developer seems to have found a good balance though, so we hope that fine judgement of difficulty continues through to the finished product.
[This article was originally published on The Indie Game Magazine. It is reproduced here with permission]