Spy vs. Spy

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a game by Seika, and First Star
Genres: Action, Strategy/War
Platforms: XBox, Playstation 2, GameBoy Color, Sega Master SystemSega Master System, NESNES
Editor Rating: 6.4/10, based on 5 reviews
User Rating: 7.4/10 - 10 votes
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See also: Arcade Games

Playing the newest and most modern games can be exciting, but there’s also something to be said about playing games that throws us back to earlier times. Spy vs. Spy is based off a magazine from decades ago, and one look at the iconic logo sends many older players straight back to those times.

If you’re familiar with Mad Magazine, you’ll know immediately whether you will like Spy vs. Spy or not. The game is based off the cartoons often published in that magazine, right down to the tone of the artwork.

Imaginative Gameplay

At its essence, you are trying to stop a villain called the General. The General doesn’t clearly define himself as from a particular country of origin, and the developers used this vague description to go crazy with the backdrops.

Players may find themselves fighting aliens, ghosts, or any number of other creative enemies. There’s also traps straight out of the comics, 32 in all, that give your character an elaborate demise should you trigger them. The game is a blast to play and was one of the earlier games to allow multiplayer.

Three Different Game Modes

Critics have blasted this game for not having the same level of humor as the original Mad Comics. This doesn’t get better in Spy vs. Spy III: Arctic Antics either. The game is more focused on the basics of cat and mouse in different ever more creative backdrops.

Despite this, the game has three different modes and they all offer something to the player. The story mode does have some plot to it, and without any voice actors, the characters rely on physical humor to communicate. There is a lot of slapstick comedy in it, just like in the comic strip. There’s also a single player mode, and a multiplayer mode to play with friends.

Despite critical reviews, the majority of players look back at the multiplayer with friends with warmth. Many people grew up with this game, playing with their friends and trying to trick them into traps or exploding them with dynamite. It’s a fun game that allows your imagination to help you win.

Safe for Kids

While its true that Spy vs. Spy is essentially about killing enemy spies, it’s not very graphic. When spies die, they simply float up with angel wings to indicate they were killed. Players set traps for each other, but deaths are comical rather than scary.

This game is appropriate for children 12+, possibly younger with kids who are more mature. Parents should play the game first to decide if it is appropriate for their child.


This game is a wonderful trip back in time for those who grew up with Mad Magazine. Many of the traps are true to the original, and the game is lighthearted and fun. Although there isn’t a lot of plot to it, players don’t really need a plot to have fun setting sneaky traps for their friends. If you’re a fan of Mad Magazine or slap stick comedy, it’s likely this game will be enjoyable for you.


  • True to the original Spy vs. Spy
  • Multiplayer
  • Endless replay value in multiplayer


  • Not as funny as the original comic strip

Download Spy vs. Spy


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Playstation 2

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Sega Master System

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • P-200, 32 MB RAM

Game Reviews

I was kind of blown away to learn that Spy vs. Spy for the Game Boy Color was a port of a game that was originally released back in 1984! This is a game that from what I can tell was ported to over 10 different systems over the year which is just nuts. It is crazy to think that in 1999 someone thought this needed one last port for the Game Boy Color.

Classic Comedy

If you know what the deal with Spy vs. Spy is then you will be right at home with what is going on here. As this is a game that was released in 1984, story is not exactly in large supply in this game. You are a spy and you need to complete your mission before your rival spy does, that is all there is to it.

1984 Was A Great Year

It really was! Just take a look at some of the movies, games and TV shows that happened in 1984 and you will see why it is such a memorable year. This game as a big hit when it was released and at the time, the original version which was released for the Atari 8-bit computer was quite the looker. Spy vs. Spy on the Game Boy Color has not really done much if anything to improve the graphics at all. It has that Spy vs. Spy look, but it also looks like an old game.

Get To The Exit

What about the gameplay? The gameplay of the Game Boy Color version of Spy vs. Spy is the same as every other version of the game. You have four different stages which are, Stealth Jet, Speed Boat, Rocket Ship, and Spy Car. Each stage has its own set of levels, you beat one and then move onto the next one. The way that you complete the level is the same for each one! You need to find a briefcase and fill it with four specific items and then make your way to the exit before your rival does. You need to explore to find the items in all kinds of places. To keep your rival at bay, you can lay down traps to cause them trouble. The best thing to do is to lay your traps at the exit and just go about your business. It is not a difficult game at all, but there is a bit of charm to it that is kind of hard to explain.


I was never really into Spy vs. Spy as a comic as a kid so I might be the wrong guy to give an opinion on this. However, I can tell you that as a Game Boy Color game, Spy vs. Spy is not bad at all. It has many of the trappings of a licensed game made all the way back in 1984 in terms of its game design and especially the visuals, but it is the kind of game that is fun to play in short bursts which makes it ok as a handheld game.


  • The game captures the look of the characters well
  • Trapping your rival spy is funny
  • I liked some of the facial animations
  • Each stage has multiple levels
  • Some of the levels can be rather challenging


  • The game shows its age in the graphics department big time!
  • I think you need to be a fan of the comics to appreciate this
  • Manufacturer: DATA EAST

If you've ever wanted to play an arcade game in the James Bond mold, this thriller is the ticket. It features a battle royal over a variety of locations including underwater and free-falling from the sky.

  • Manufacturer: KONAMI

This game features Contra-like action with a changing perspective on the excitement.

It's the Superbowl of spying. Two super-sleuths frantically search the embassy for Top Secret documents affecting world security.

The world is in big trouble... because these bumbling secret agents are the heroes of MAD Magazine's Spy vs. Spy cartoon series. Your mission: escape with the secret documents -- and your life! Because the other spy is trying to do you in with devious boobytraps.

Get MAD.

Get even.

Get weird.

Get Spy vs. Spy.

Snapshots and Media

XBox Screenshots

Playstation 2 Screenshots

NES/Famicom/Dendy Screenshots

GameBoy Color Screenshots

Sega Master System Screenshots