Spy Chameleon Review

One of the hardest things to let go of in the transition from the Xbox 360 to the Xbox One was the immense amount of arcade and indie games that were available. Many gamers had a vast collection in their library where they could spend a few minutes or hours in a game. Recently the Xbox One library has been expanding with some pretty impressive titles and new games are always on the horizon. Unfinished Pixel recently threw Spy Chameleon into the mix which actually appeared on Steam and the Wii U last year, but does this unique puzzler offer enough to drop a little change on for a permanent place in your library?

You assume the role of an RGB agent who is tasked with procuring different evidence or objects to crack a case. Did I mention that the RGB agent is a chameleon? In order to advance through the 15 levels of each of the 5 missions you must use your innate ability to change colors and avoid detection from the various security measures that have been installed throughout the levels. Each button corresponds with a color ( A – green, B – red, Y – yellow, and X – blue) that instantly changes your color to blend with the environment. Sometimes you blend in with rugs, other times color changing panels, or you can kick over a can of paint to hide in to avoid detection. There is even a nod to Metal Gear Solid allowing you to hide in a cardboard box to evade discovery.

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All of this occurs from a top down perspective as you dodge security cameras, robots, patrolling lab rats and goldfish on the lookout. While this sounds comical it is also very challenging as you try to not only complete each level, but any of the 3 different tasks per level. Obviously there is a default time to beat, but your spy lizard can also collect flies to snack on which are located throughout the level. Collect all of the flies for the level and you’re tasked with a new objective to collect lady bugs scattered in more difficult locations that make avoiding detection a feat to be commended. These 3 challenges add longevity to Spy Chameleon that pushes the player to use skill to complete them while remaining at the top of the leaderboards. A speed run can get you through all the levels in about 3 hours, but coming back for the challenges adds more than twice that amount of time. If you’re afraid of getting caught and having to start the whole level over there are check points located throughout the missions (the levels aren’t that long anyway) and feeds an addictive “Just One More Try” mentality to keep you playing longer than you initially intended.

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The aesthetic pleasure of the game comes from the bright and vibrant colors and cartoony character models. While this may look like a Saturday morning kids cartoon, the gameplay has a way of drawing the player in despite the quirky visuals. Pairing the graphics with a funky soundtrack gives Spy Chameleon an upbeat vibe that never gets boring and doesn’t grate on the senses like some games do. Few games merge gameplay, visuals and sound in a way that it is hard to imagine one without the other, but Unfinished Pixel does it almost flawlessly.

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Spy Chameleon may be the first puzzler I’ve played that engages the gamer with a steady challenge and appeals to all of the senses. Appropriate for all ages, but more challenging for the younger audience you’ll find adding this little lizard for $5.00 USD to your games library is a steal. It is almost absurd for anyone to pass on this little gem that can be used to pass a few minutes or sink an hour into. Sure this game isn’t something you’ll be playing for years to come, but with the different challenges, leaderboards, and 75 different levels it will be hard to find a game that offers so much for so little.

Score – 8.5/10

Written by: Jake Lyons

Jake is our long standing North American based writer and player of many video game genres. Jake is equally fair and critical in good proportion and tells it like it is.

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