Developer: Royal Pixel Service
Size: 104 MB
Platform: iPhone & iPad
Two Spies is a game of Cold War intrigue and deception. But while the turn-based action takes place between two rival super-spies across Europe’s capital cities, it’s designed to be a very intimate experience.
This is a game that’s been built from the ground up with pass-the-handset multiplayer firmly in mind. And that turns out to be both a blessing and a curse.
While it’s described as a turn-based strategy game, you could well imagine playing Two Spies as a physical board game. Play takes place across a series of simplified maps of Europe, and you move a little counter representing your agent around each marked capital city.
You get two actions per turn, which can be used to move to an adjacent city or to play a special technique card, the latter of which is fuelled by limited Intel points. These action cards can have you covering your movements for a turn, preparing extra moves for the following turn, exposing the location of your opponent and more besides.
The most important card here is Strike, which initiates an attack on your rival spy. If you do so when your rival is in the same city, you’ll win the round.
This simple setup forms the basis for a tense game of cat and mouse with a surprising number of tactical permutations. Controlling cities is important for mining Intel points and informing you of your opponent’s movements, but the process of capturing a city will also give your location away.
The potential for bluffing your rival is huge – and hugely satisfying when you pull it off. This is amplified, of course, when playing against a human opponent.
Which is why it’s so frustrating that Two Spies has such a limited multiplayer setup. You can play locally, or input a friend code to play a friend online. But there’s no online matchmaking provision whatsoever.
We understand the benefits of playing such a game locally, and against someone you know. But the impracticality of such a scenario means that you’ll be left playing a limited smattering of bot games more often than not.
Indeed, the lack of a full suite of multiplayer options makes the lack of a proper single-player campaign even more problematic.
Two Spies is a smart, finely honed two-player strategy game. But you suspect it needs to dare to stray outside of its limited borders if it’s to stand a chance of flourishing.