If contemporary games give achievements for just loading them or for collecting 25 furs, old games gave reasons for just go the street, take a deep breath and play some football. These games used to be mostly about chasing high scores and surviving against immeasurable odds. Reaching a game's end, any game at all, was worthy of celebration. That's the reason why I remember so clearly the first time it happened to me. The game in question was Sly Spy.
I had a Spectrum before, but never did I experience this feeling of triumph and glory in my early gaming years. When I finally did it with Sly Spy, I had to tell everyone of my peers about it, specifically to Walter and his friends, since they were older than me and because of that I used to be on the receiving end of their jokes and pranks.
|How does someone infiltrates a city? It's possible by just walking by?|
|Not cool playing with water balloons in front of the president|
I'm curious to see how hard this game is. Was what I had done really a big feat, or were we basically crap gamers?
|So much for being a Secret agent|
This is one of those “not bad” games that were not uncommon during the early Amiga days. It very much looks like a late 80’s game, right to the Atari ST style colours and the impossibility to play with both sound effects and music. The last aspect still annoys me after all these years, but I always go for music, even in this case where the tunes are for the most part forgettable.
The gameplay switches between a sidescrolling Dragon Ninja/Rolling Thunder hybrid and some unique levels which include parachuting, riding a motorbike and sea diving. One curious thing is that I like more of the unique levels than the ones that are the core of the game. Both the bike and the sea levels were fun, even if a bit easy, but most of all, the controls were much more responsive. The parachuting level is kind of weird, since I bet most of the enemies were already dead the moment they were thrown off the plane since they don’t care about my presence at all. It makes me feel less bad for shooting so many of them.
|"Skydiving with the dead" - Great song name|
Eventually I got to grips with the game, and each new game took me somewhere further. The process of learning to play this is very much trial and error. For example, the aforementioned dogs and barrels are very easy as long as we know when they’re coming. No wonder that this iterative approach could allow me to finish it, as time wasn’t really something that I had lack of when I was 9 years old.
|It's still raining dead bodies|
Even if in the end I got to know that those achievements were no big deal, I wonder why the rest of the kids were so impressed by them. Maybe they didn’t think Sly Spy was a game deserving of dedication. If that was the case, I guess the joke was on me.
|That's the most blasé way of running from a tiger I've ever seen|