Spy vs Spy

aka: MAD Magazine's Official Spy vs. Spy
Moby ID: 7332
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Description official descriptions

MAD magazine’s comic strip of the same name comes to life in this game which was designed for one or two players. The split-screen shows both spies at the same time. Play with a friend or against the machine.

The black spy and the white spy are out to outsmart each other before the time bell rings. Find the needed objects (money, passport, secret plans and airport door key) by searching rooms in the embassy, which include desks, file cabinets and other furniture. Foil your opponent by setting creative booby traps in the various rooms (a bomb in a dresser drawer, for instance). Traps can be disarmed with objects found in rooms (a water bucket from a firebox on the wall will disarm the bomb in the prior example). When all the items are together in the secret briefcase, head for the airport door.

Fights ensue when both spies enter the same room and are armed with clubs.


  • スパイVSスパイ - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Commodore 64 version)




Average score: 73% (based on 35 ratings)


Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 94 ratings with 2 reviews)

MAD Magazine's SPY VS SPY comes to life!

The Good
I loved the strategy aspects of the game. I really loved the cartoon-like violence! I used to call the SPY vs SPY games a exercise in casual sadism.

The Bad
Having the Black Spy escape the Embassy through the Airport door with the passport, secret plans, money and Airport door key all in the Secret Briefcase and flying his airplane off the screen to victory. (i.e. Losing the game).

The Bottom Line
This game could be played against the computer or a human opponent. When playing against the computer, you were the White Spy. The game screen was divided in half horizontally. Each half had a viewing monitor for one spy(the White Spy had the top half). To the right of the viewing monitor was the Trapulator. This apparatus housed tools/weapons to aid the corresponding spy in his mission. The mission is to search the Embassy to find the passport, secret plans, money and key to the Airport door. Each spy could only carry one item, unless he had the Secret Briefcase, in which case all items could be carried. To make matters worse, each Spy had a personal timer and when it went off, that Spy would blow up. When the Spies were in a room together, all items were dropped and they were instantly armed with clubs. Anytime a Spy was killed in combat or by a trap, he would float off of the screen as an angel and be gone for half a minute while his clock ticked down. The time allotted increased with Embassy size and some of the Embassy sizes were maze-like. The screens scrolled horizontally and vertically. Each room in the Embassy had furniture such as filing cabinets, desks, televisions and paintings. These could be armed with a trap by double-clicking the joystick button and selecting a trap, then walking to the item and pressing the joystick button again. The items in the Trapulator included a bomb, a spring, a bucket full of electrifying water, a pistol with string tied to it and a time bomb. The first two could be used on furniture, the second two on doors and the last in any room. All but the time bob had remedies to disarm them. The last Trapulator item was a map of the Embassy to tell you where items were hidden. The Airport door was blocked by a guard and you couldn't pass without all the items. When you escaped from the Embassy, your Trapulator's monitor would show the Spy walking on the airfield. He would stop to snicker, climb into his plane and fly off of the screen revealing your score and rating (What A Guy Spy, Grabd Master Spy, etc.)

Commodore 64 · by Christopher Whittum (7) · 2007

Less than playable.

The Good
The MAD property should have been better used, but it wasn't.

The Bad
Barely a game, Spy vs. Spy has no distinct objective. The graphics were sub-par for NES. The sound effects were ear-splittingly awful -- without the charm of the original Atari blips and beeps.

The Bottom Line
What was the point of this game? Really, I never knew. Spy vs. Spy features extremely poor gameplay. There is no real goal, just a lot of object interaction. The entire experience becomes tiresome very quickly.

NES · by Game22 (35) · 2004


1001 Video Games

Spy vs. Spy appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


  • Commodore Format
    • November 1994 (Issue 50) – #25 The All-Time Top 50 C64 Games
  • Zzap!
    • May 1985 (Issue 1) - #11 It's the Zzap! 64 Top 64!


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  • MobyGames ID: 7332
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Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Jeanne.

SEGA Master System added by J. Michael Bottorff. BBC Micro added by POMAH. Amiga added by Famine3h. Sharp X1 added by Infernos. Commodore 16, Plus/4, PC-88, Electron added by Kabushi. ZX Spectrum, Atari ST added by Martin Smith. Atari 8-bit added by Terok Nor. Apple II, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 added by Katakis | カタキス.

Additional contributors: Ben K, FatherJack, Kayburt.

Game added September 30, 2002. Last modified January 14, 2024.