As Guy Spy you are the government’s most trusted and daring counter-espionage agent. Intelligence reports confirm the evil Baron Von Max has located the legendary Crystals of Armageddon. With the power of the crystals in the hands of this madman, Von Max will have everything he needs to fuel his ultimate weapon of mass destruction... the doomsday machine.
- Guy Spy features classical cartoon animation with full control over the animated characters.
- IBM PC version supports AdLib and Roland sound cards, and VGA, EGA, CGA video modes.
~ advertising blurb
Dragon's Lair and Space Ace wowed the arcades in the 80s, but ReadySoft's technology that brought them to the home computers is also worthy of note. They re-designed the game from cell-shaded animation to sprite-based visuals making for a remarkably accurate conversion for the time. Since these ports were released in 1989, arcade-perfect versions are now available but there's one game exclusive to the home market that has gone under the radar; Guy Spy and the Crystals of Armageddon.
ReadySoft's style still looked impressive by the time Guy Spy came out in 1992. The crisp animation style wowed in its pixelated form, but there's one thing this tale of espionage and intrigue does differently to the fantasy and sci-fi settings of Sullivan Bluth Interactive's arcade favourites; the gameplay. This is not a series of anxiety-ridden quick-time events but a selection of arcade sequences. Project lead David Foster took the criticisms of the arcade games to heart and came up with Guy Spy. He said: "we've already made a name for ourselves for quality animation, and we wanted to try and combine this with a completely playable game. Hopefully, we'll silence a few critics along the way."
They weren't entirely successful in that regard. The game scored all over the board from different publications ranging from a low 20 to a high 90 per cent. The gameplay itself wasn't exactly the best, being a series of individual gameplay styles that cover the overarching story. In this regard, it plays like your typical multi-genred movie licence game at the time.
Stages range from a fairly basic cover shooter, hand-to-hand combat in a similar vein Punch-Out, to obstacle dodging on a ski slope. None of them will win any awards for playability, but the visuals do prove that good graphics do add quite a bit to a game's experience. Some of the scenes are spectacular to look at, especially for the time. Hell, I was wowed by the main character walking down some stairs. It must've taken a good amount of time just to do that. In the end, I seriously doubt I would have continued playing if it wasn't much of a looker.
Out of the many computer systems on which Guy Spy found itself, the two of note are the Amiga version for which it was originally developed for and the DOS port, which is where I first played it many moons ago. It plays a lot better on the former, with joystick controls now mapped to the keyboard through emulation. By comparison, the DOS port feels a little off, with the crosshair on some of the stages auto-centring resulting in a much more difficult time. Either way, both are impressive feats considering the systems and the specs used. Like Don Bluth's arcade classics, it doesn't hold up very well but it should nevertheless be remembered as a piece of gaming history.
To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses DOSBox to bring the PC version to modern systems and FS-UAE to emulate the Amiga version. Manual included. Tested on Windows 10.
File Size: 95.8 Mb. Install Size: 213 Mb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
Guy Spy and the Crystals of Armageddon is © ReadySoft Incorporated
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me