Spy Fox 2: Some Assembly Required

Developer/Publisher:  Humongous Entertainment
Year Released:  1999

Review by Rosemary Young (November, 1999)
sfox2.jpgSomewhere in the Alps ... high up in a lonely cable car ... Secret Agent Spy Fox meets up with Agent Gracefully and she hands him a smelly trash bag. Not s-m-e-l-l-y as in feta cheese, but smelly as in S.M.E.L.L.Y.... the Society of Meaningless Evil, Larceny, Lying and Yelling. It seems the nefarious Napoleon LeRoach, leader of that sinister organisation, is up to no good and Spy Fox must sniff out his evil plans.

It just so happens that the trash bag contains a lead pointing straight to the World's Fair where our Super Spy soon learns of LeRoach's plans for world domination. He's constructed a monstrous Dogbot that might give Godzilla a lesson or two in mass-destruction, and to foil potential do-gooders he's cunningly hidden the off-switch somewhere in the fairgrounds. Now this diabolical Dogbot will soon be activated, when the one millionth person passes through the turnstiles, so Spy Fox has the task ahead of him to find the switch and deactivate the monstrosity before it begins to wreak havoc.

Gadgets galore
So how does Spy Fox shape up in this, his second adventure? Undoubtedly, he's just as suave and sophisticated as ever as he picks himself up after his latest spill and nonchalantly flicks the dust off the shoulder of his gleaming white tuxedo. And he's also got a string of new gadgets at his disposal including some whirling SPY Skates that would put Sonja Henpeck to shame, a nifty snapshot Key replicator and a Termite Grenade for demolishing all things wooden.

There's nothing Spy Fox can't accomplish with a little help from the player in this children's spy thriller aimed at 5 to 10 year-olds. It's every bit as entertaining as the previous title with wonderfully colourful and quirky graphics, some very funny dialogue and an irresistible character and story, both of which do an awful lot of 'borrowing' from James Bond and Maxwell Smart.

Variations on a theme
Agent Spy Fox has two paths to follow through this game, either he will need to extract the off-switch from the clutches of a mutant Venus Fly Trap or shrewdly remove it from under the very nose of LeRoach using one of his unique Spy Gadgets. Each path is equally amusing and has a variety of different obstacles to overcome such as finding codes to open doors, obtaining a suitable disguise, outsmarting a security camera or reading a screen display from a distant location.

There's a whole collection of characters to help out, too. Some have an essential item in their possession whilst others have vital information to divulge. The interface is familiar point and click with a simple changing cursor and a pop-up inventory. The inventory also contains the conversation options in the form of tiny graphics. Just 'pick up' the relevant graphic and click it on a character to learn more about that particular object or person.

The right stuff
In a word, this game is scrumptious and it all fits together seamlessly with some crazy cut-scenes and lots of features such as a bonus arcade game after the fashion of Asteroids; a help/hint file that can be accessed during the game; simple saving and loading and options for disabling the music or sound effects. The only thing I couldn't find was subtitles!

This Junior Adventure title is certainly one I would recommend for the next generation of adventure game players. It has so much charm that I am compelled to end with a warning. If you buy it for your kids or grandkids, steam it open first and take a look because it's not nice to give a child a gift and not let them enjoy it in peace. If not, they might object when you elbow them out of the chair to take first turn at solving this one J. rating:  

Copyright © Rosemary Young 1999. All rights reserved.

System requirements:
Windows95/98, Pentium 90, 16MB RAM, 4xCD ROM.
Macintosh, 80Mhz PowerPC, System 7.5.3, 16 MB RAM, 4xCD ROM.