The stealth of Metal Gear, from its top-down days, meets the path-drawing mechanics of Flight Control in Spy Mouse for iPhone and iPod touch. How well do stealth and touchscreen controls go together?
Spy Mouse is the latest effort from Firemint, the people who make Flight Control and Real Racing games for iPhones and iPads. Like Flight Control, you'll draw lines on an iPhone touchscreen with your fingers to chart the path of Spy Mouse's Agent Squeak, but you'll focus solely on guiding him alone through treacherous, cat-filled levels—70-plus of them—in search of cheese.
Your mission, should you choose to drop a dollar on Firemint's new iPhone app, is to sneak Agent Squeak through six worlds, grabbing hunks and crumbs of cheese left scattered about its many maps. Simply draw a path for Squeak to follow that gets him to the cheese, careful to avoid being spotted by patrolling, sometimes sleeping, cats and escape.
You'll face cats that are easily distracted (hypnotized) by televisions; cats that throw streams of shuriken; cats that drive huge mechanized death machines; cats that dwarf Agent Squeak to the point where he is forced to escape a feline digestive tract.
Along the way, you'll uncover dozens of hidden secrets accessed by nook and cranny, endure clever boss fights and unique levels that test your touchscreen stealth skills. You'll pop through colored doors that act like portals, moving you puzzle-like through dozens of houses. You'll use rodent spy gadgets, like a mechanical mouse that disarms mousetraps. You may be very impressed by the slick presentation of Spy Mouse, which drips charm, polish and attention to detail. Its soundtrack is especially noteworthy for its accurate impression of a super spy production.
Spy Mouse's brand of short burst gameplay is enjoyable, but not necessarily a must-play. However, for a buck, there's a lot of game here with excellent production values. My one complaint is its sometimes aggressive pushing of in-game purchases, which consist of a downloadable character that will help Agent Squeak conquer levels for an additional 99 cent charge.
Oh. Right. Spy Mouse also lacks Game Center support. It is, instead, integrated with EA's Origin service.
Spy Mouse is 99 cents via iTunes, but if you find yourself in a Starbucks this week, you might be able to sneak away with a free copy. Starting August 30, Spy Mouse will be featured as the "Starbucks Pick of the Week," which you can grab for free at the nearest corporate coffeehouse location. There's probably at least three in your line of sight right now. Might be worth the walk.
Spy Mouse [iTunes]