DescriptionSpace Spy by the Russian developer Vasily Zotov is a surreal time that largely resembles an adventure title with a focus on puzzle-solving. Initially released with a single level, the game was extended over the months with several more chapters, eventually six in total, and the addition of sound for the Windows version.
From the main menu any of the six chapters can be accessed right away, as long as the correct code is provided. Codes were released right away by the developer with the addition of each new chapter, but they are also revealed by completing the preceding game part. Based on the developer's own experiences of being homeless, his time in a psychiatric hospital, the rejection of his US immigration request, time spent in the USA, his aspirations as an actor, and his chemical castration, each chapter explores a different setting, often with different gameplay mechanics. During all chapters the player is watched over by a director called Canavati (visible on the screen, making the actual game look like a stage set) and most of the game takes places in the vicinity of the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Each part starts with an introduction and the solution to completing segments is provided right away with all details laid out; which is often the only way to grasp the concept of the puzzles as there are very few visual clues of the goals. Most of the segments show the main character from a 3D third-person view, on a single, non-scrolling screen. He has the ability to walk around and interact with the environment. Sometimes there are short intermissions (non-interactive cutscenes) between the chapters or after completing a specific task.
The first chapter is set in the Hollywood sewers and shows a homeless man who needs to retrieve keys held by a tractor, while avoiding robots. In the second part the characters follows a red-haired actress to an Oscar ceremony where he has not been invited. By foiling a policeman and acquiring hypnosis as an ability, he needs to find a way to get inside. The actress is featured in the introduction and also returns in many other segments. The third chapter focuses on deportation, with a robot that launches balls and a big hairy creature called Hideman that is able to kill the protagonist.
The fourth chapter is set at the Merry Breakers Psychiatric Hospital and it stars a bed-ridden eyeball as well as various patients that constantly appear and vanish. The fifth chapter takes the player downtown, where the protagonist is suddenly in an airplane with no recollection of how he got there. Very different from the other segments the player now controls an airplane near the top of the screen that needs to avoid incoming rockets, and clouds that slow down movement. The aim of this segment is to influence the movement of a judge walking on the ground by interrupting radar rays sent out by a tank, in order to influence the movement pattern of rockets to target a specific building.
The sixth and final chapter takes place during a court session of the real-life Los Angeles judge Isabel Bronzina who deals with immigration requests, set at the then future date of 18th February 2010 at 1:34 pm, which the author claims refers to his own scheduled session. The player needs to manipulate items in a busy environment to bring various pictures to the attention of the judge, whose shadow is shown with a Hitler salute with a swastika on her chest. This is followed by a final scene, set in a bath tub and a vision of the US through the eyes of an immigrant.
In many segments it is possible to get stuck (e.g. moving an item against the wall with no ability to push it back) with no clue that progress is not possible from that point. Chapters can always be replayed and when dying the character often immediately respawns. Respawning is also sometimes part of progress in the game.
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Related Web Sites
- Spacy Spy (official game website)