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iPad  header logo

CounterSpy


For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone, PS Vita

Emergent espionage

Product: CounterSpy | Developer: Dynamighty | Format: iPad | Genre: Action, Platform | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
CounterSpy iPad, thumbnail 1
CounterSpy sees you assume the role of a covert agent trying to avert nuclear disaster the only way he knows how - by infiltrating Soviet bases, stealing missile launch plans, and eliminating any witnesses.

CounterSpy on iOS and Android is a slightly cut-down port of its bigger console brother, retaining everything that matters while adding some cool cross-platform connectivity to ensure mobile gamers don't feel short-changed.

Boasting a superb blend of style and substance, the game's tongue-in-cheek 1960s cold war spy fiction setting is a sight to behold, its sumptuous production values evoking a blend of The Incredibles and Batman: The Animated Series. It's gorgeous, minimal, and expressive.

Stealth and safety

Gameplay is of an equally high standard. Each level sees your agile agent stalk through an enemy base. You're attempting to locate five large computers in a bid to extract the precious launch plans housed within, all whilst evading or executing the guards that stand in your way.

Played largely from a side-on 2D perspective, hiding behind cover sees the camera swoop in behind your agent, revealing more of the room before you, and enabling you to take aim at security cameras and patrolling soldiers.

The additional objectives take the shape of safes. Once blown open these give you the blueprints you need to unlock new weapons and abilities for future missions. In a welcome touch, each upgrade you earn can also be transferred across to other platforms.

Of course, destroying computers and blowing safes isn't without risk. The noise alerts any guards in the vicinity who haven't been incapacitated yet.

Violence solves everything

Being discovered is far from game over. You'll need to take down your rumblers quickly though - failure to do so results in all nearby guards being alerted. Too many discoveries triggers a countdown, forcing you into a frantic dash to the level's final room to avert a missile launch.

While its console origins are certainly apparent in the ambition of the game's visuals, Dynamighty should also be applauded for how they've successfully transposed CounterSpy's controller-based input over to touchscreen devices.

A series of context-sensitive swipes and double-taps sees you traverse each base, climbing ladders, popping open conveniently-placed vents, and clambering to strategic vantage points.

Admittedly it takes a fair amount of getting used to, but once mastered, CounterSpy is a joy.

A rhythm quickly develops as you enter a room and assess the closest threat or hiding spot, plotting your progress from there. With your view restricted, your ability to plan ahead is compromised, resulting in cautious exploration punctuated by bursts of improvised attacks.

Although the core gameplay experience remains the same throughout CounterSpy, crucially, it's a lot of fun. And since each stage is procedurally-generated, the game offers literally endless replayability for those who fall for its charms.
 
CounterSpy
Reviewer photo
Giles Armstrong | 11 September 2014
CounterSpy is a superb blend of planning and panic. A streamlined stealth experience that'll last indefinitely, CounterSpy is hard to resist but easy to recommend
 
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