Well, the short answer is yes, it is. Although not as technically stunning as Real Racing or as original and addictive as Flight Control, the game has one thing that those titles never had; charm and personality. You play as Agent Squeak, out to get as much cheese as he can from the clutches of his pesky feline foes.
A simple line drawing game at heart, you simply trace a line and Agent Squeak will follow it. Find the cheese on the level and get to the exit, avoiding any cats and other obstacles along the way.
The cats are really the stars here, despite all the brilliant Bond-esque moments that Squeak gets, as they are comically evil, and stupid as anything. When they see Agent Squeak, they will quickly follow him and when near enough, pause for a second and then pounce. It’s here that you can fool them by getting them to jump into walls and the like, and the animation for them is hilarious and will keep you smiling through some of the frustrating bits.
There are a few annoying sections, but nothing that will make you tear your hair out, and most of the levels are extremely well designed and you can tell that Firemint poured a lot of work into perfecting them. I don’t want to give too much away about the stages, but lets just say that there are a lot of cool gadgets to use and even some really clever boss fights. The difficulty curve is spot on, aside from one or two small spikes.
The music is a highlight, and matches the theming spectacularly, and there will be several times that you will almost recognise a tune from a spy movie or TV series. It is great fun. The graphics are equally good, with a lovely cartoon feel and brilliant animation. The introduction sequence is a thing of pure genius and is almost worth the price of entry alone. Don’t worry about the whole game being set in rooms like the first few, as there is a lot of variety in the worlds.
There are over 70 levels top play through, and each stage has its own extra challenges, like finishing without being seen, or tracing a single line from beginning to end.
There are a couple of very small negatives. The very nature of the game means that there will be times where your hand or fingers obscure the action, but this is a very rare occurrence. The game is also not optimised for iPad, which is what Firemint did with both Flight Control and Real Racing in the past, but I was hoping that as dual HD and non-HD releases get rarer, they would follow suit, but alas no.
Firemint have promised lots of updates to this in the future, so it is a game that is really difficult not to recommend. Fun and interesting from start to finish, with a comedy heart and lots of original gameplay flourishes, this looks like it will become one of the staples of the App Store and a classic in its own right.
Polished, full of content and character, Spy Mouse is another win from Firemint and is perhaps their best game yet.