Be the ultimate spy in an upcoming stealth-based 2D platformer right out of the 1980s, with a distinct 8-bit look and the patience-testing difficulty level to go along with it.
Master Spy is developed by TurboGun, a two man independent studio with Kris Truitt doing the programming and John Coxworth creating Master Spy’s art.
The gameplay in Master Spy is straight-forward. The goal of each stage is to collect a key card and then escape the level without being caught. The game brings the challenge with more than 50 missions featuring retro visuals increasingly testing the player’s skill.
The Master Spy accepts a contract to recover a missing tape reel containing the blueprints of a communications system stolen from a top-secret research company, unraveling a massive conspiracy along the way.
Each stage in the game is made up of platforms, enemies and obstacles. Precise and quick movements will be necessary to grab the key and reach the exit door, because with only one detection the level could be instantly over. A jump flip mechanic helps reach platforms, get over enemies and dodge lasers. One of the game’s spy tools is a cloak that turns the player invisible, used to sneak past obstacles like guards and security cameras. Animals like guard dogs and even tigers can still sense you under invisibility, forcing a change of strategy.
As the game progresses each mission gets more complex, adding additional enemies, obstacles and more rooms. Another aspect of Master Spy is trying to beat the levels as quickly as possible, learning patterns and picking up new tricks.
The game’s pixel art cut-scenes are reminiscent of ’80s era titles, heavily inspired by the early Ninja Gaiden releases on the NES from 1989-91. Master Spy is filled with these retro cinematics throughout the story, which will sometimes last a few minutes between levels.
If Master Spy gets too hard, the game has a Novice mode that includes checkpoints on each stage.
There are also hidden levels throughout the game that once completed show alternative cut-scenes, changing the story in some ways.
Master Spy comes with other challenges like Time Trial and a Blind Master mode that features limited visibility of the stage. The game also has Steam Trading Cards and full controller support.
Master Spy has been in development since 2013. The game was put up for voting on Steam Greenlight in December 2013 and selected by the community for release on the platform in February 2014.
TurboGun listed its game influences for Master Spy as Golgo 13 (1988, NES), Ninja Gaiden, Metal Gear Solid, Super Meat Boy (2010), Shinobi and films like “Dirty Harry” and “The Matrix” series.
To go along with the game’s fast-paced espionage, the soundtrack is done by Andre Allen Anjos/RAC, who is known for collaborating with different artists and mixing genres of music. You can download Master Spy’s album with the full game for $14.99, which is also on sale for 15 percent off by pre-ordering. The soundtrack will be sold separately on iTunes and Bandcamp. RAC’s latest song is “Can’t Forget You” with Chelsea Lankes.
Watch the game’s launch trailer: