The Game: Players control a spy sneaking through a building looking for secret information. High-speed elevators zoom up and down their cables throughout each floor at random intervals, making it difficult to accomplish the goal of crossing to the other side of the screen (the only way to ascend to the next floor). It takes skill, timing and nerves of steel to keep one’s spies from their demise. (Penguin Software, 1982)
Memories: An addictively fun and frustrating early entry on the Apple II computer, Alan Zeldin’s Spy’s Demise gave players some real elevator action.
Though, in a way, the issue of Elevator Action itself may have caused a bit of confusion for late-adopting players who expected to be able to board the elevators. The elevators of Spy’s Demise are deadly to the touch at any angle, as many unlucky virtual experts in covert intelligence no doubt found out.
Spy’s Demise is purely a game play experience; the graphics are Penguin Software standard-issue (almost certainly made with Penguin’s own Graphics Magician package), and sound is minimal, though the simple rendition of the guitar riff from “Secret Agent Man” – heard upon losing a life and starting over – is worth a chuckle. The game play is pure gold, however – it’s hard to not sit and play the game over and over, trying to do better than that last score. And back in the day, that’s what it was all about.