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Spy Fox in Cheese Chase

Moby ID: 20990
Windows Specs
Buy on Windows
$4.99 new on Steam

Description

Something sure smells funny… the Limburger Cheese has been kidnapped! Spy Corps operatives have evidence that spy Russian Blue has stolen the prized cheese. There's only one agent suave enough to take on a case like this – agent SPY Fox.

In this Junior Arcade game, SPY Fox races after Blue and must deal with her henchmen and their weapons while he continues the chase through streets and snow, through air and water. You control the intrepid Fox's movement in this vertical side-scroller as he chases his quarry on SPY scooters, jet-skis, and ultralights.

When the going gets rough, a variety of Spy Gadgets will appear on the path in crates....but so will nasty surprises that Fox will want to dodge around. As with all Humongous titles, no one dies - a pie in the face or the "banana shooter" is about as violet as the action gets. Just be sure to watch out for potholes and streetlight poles!

Aside from the 100 levels that come with the game, there's a built-in Kid Editor too so you can make your own crazy levels.

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Credits (Windows version)

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Interactive Design
Project Lead
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Level Design Lead
Dialog Editing
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Macintosh Game System
Traditional Animation
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Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 5 ratings with 1 reviews)

Okay for some mindless fun, but seriously unrefined

The Good
Back when I played the previous Junior Arcade, Pajama Sam's Sock Works, I already had a feeling that the series may have become less of a priority to Humongous Entertainment than it was back in 1996, as that game had a pretty low budget feel to it. But with this game, it has become even more apparent.

It's basically a top-down runner where you control Spy Fox in various vehicles with your mouse while dodging obstacles and collecting items. You also often get a limited amount of ammunition to shoot enemies with, but that's usually not very important, as they're typically just minor nuisances that tackle you around a little, but can also be tackled back into obstacles. Somewhat reminiscent of Bear Stormin' and Circus Stormin', there is also a fuel gauge you have to prevent from depleting with the right items. There isn't a whole lot more I can say about the game mechanics in general. It's a pretty mindless affair, but it can provide some simple fun when it works as it should.

The Bad
Unfortunately, many aspects of the game are rather rough around the edges. The controls for instance are usually fairly responsive, but there are occasions where Spy Fox will just completely lose control and rapidly smack against an obstacle without you telling him to. I never understood what causes this. The unclear collision detection is also an issue. Some obstacles let you get away with partially moving inside of them, while others kill you just for getting close.

The graphics are also detrimental to the experience. In theory, the fairly large amount of different obstacles should be a positive, but it can take a while to figure out which ones are actually dangerous, given the very large amount of virtually harmless obstacles that exist just for the sake of visual spectacle. (The manual claims that some of those reduce your fuel, but if that's the case, the reduction seems to be very mild.) The air levels in particular are really bad at this. Even after I had gotten the hang of which things I actually needed to avoid, it was still challenging to quickly recognize them all amidst all of the chaos. These factors caused many deaths that didn't feel like they were my fault, particularly towards the end. The game is extremely generous in handing out extra lives, so I still had more than enough to make it through it all with plenty to spare, but this was still rather frustrating.

It also doesn't help that most of the game's death sequences are the same regardless of what kills you, which sometimes led to situations where I didn't even understand why I died. Because of this, there are spots where I kept dying over and over before even figuring out what I was doing wrong.

In typical Junior Arcade fashion, the game once again goes on for too long. An overly repetitive game that rarely introduces new elements really shouldn't have anywhere near 100 levels.

And just as usual, the level editor isn't very good, though it's far from the worst. It just gives you 15 pre-made levels and lets you fill them with items and obstacles. You can't change their structure or theme. Given that Spy Fox games are aimed at older children, I don't understand why Humongous felt they had to simplify things so heavily once again.

Furthermore, the game's low budget really shows in the presentation. The cutscenes inexplicably only cover a small portion of the screen, in addition to being pretty unspectacular from a visual perspective, though I will admit that the ending cutscene has a funny gag. The game also recycles the same cutscenes over and over again without even changing their dialogue. This causes it to lack any real sense of progression.

Voice acting is also surprisingly sparse, with nearly all of it reserved for the cutscenes. Nobody ever talks during the gameplay in particular.

Even the music department is a real disappointment. Apparently, the game's budget wasn't enough to commission a new soundtrack, so the game just recycles Julian Soule's work from Spy Fox in "Dry Cereal." There is only a single unfamiliar track, and even it could already be found unused in that game's data. It's still decent music, but it has nothing new to offer and completely fails to give the game an identity of its own. Some of the tracks are also a bit too calm for such an action-heavy title.

The Bottom Line
This is by no means a terrible game. There is still some fun to be had with it. But the core of the game just isn't very inspired or polished, and the low budget shows in a lot of places. Overall, it's just a pretty forgettable effort. Probably the most unremarkable of the Junior Arcades. I wouldn't warn people against playing it, but I can't find any reason to recommend it either.

Windows · by SomeRandomHEFan (164) · 2021

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  • MobyGames ID: 20990
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Dave Timoney.

Linux added by Sciere. Windows 3.x added by Kabushi. Macintosh added by Scaryfun.

Game added January 29, 2006. Last modified July 16, 2023.