ROM Computer Magazine Archive ROM MAGAZINE ISSUE 10 — FEBRUARY/MARCH 1985 / PAGE 59


by Jason Cockroft

    Stepping into the office one morning, I was informed that I was to cover the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The concerned looking editor handed me a list of instructions and reminded me that I would be there `on business.'
    It was past midnight before I got into that 'well-lit' town. I've heard a bunch about this place - a lot of 3 piece suits, carnations, expensive cars, and pretty faces. The town wasn't too bad though, even if the people were kinda weird. To give you an example, when I talked to the Gals at the rent-a-car they told me they were right out of `67 stratochiefs' and `69 Ramblers.' Imagine that! Instead, they gave me something they called a `cute little Honda.' Don't get me wrong, I like lowriders, but this was a different bag of tricks. The wheels were the size of a frisbee. It had the power of my mother's sewing machine while that little heap was no bigger than the size of my TV set. This baby was like a deep freeze on wheels!

Spy vs Spy

    Yet, these funny things didn't stop there! When I pulled up to the Hotel, some jumpy guy, decked out in a red jacket and white pants came running over to my car. He told me he would park the heap. Grabbing him by the nose, I pulled his head down into the car and simply told him I was quite capable of parking my own car. He told me he was a valet; I told him I was J.S.D. and did not speak a foreign tongue. Yet, when I agreed to let him park that embarrassing tin can, he gave me some sort of ticket. It was dark out; I couldn't read it, nor did I want to. I threw it out.
    Finally, when I was at the front desk, another sporty looking flake picked up my bags.
    "What are you doing Mac?" I questioned.
    "Taking your bags to your room, sir," he responded.
    "Oh, that's what I like to hear, OK then" I said.
    Yet, when I got up to my room he started acting really uptight. He just stood there as if he were waiting for something. I guess he was kinda slow. I told him to check to see if my car was doing alright. He flipped out! Hey! I'm pretty easy going, but this Hotel wasn't rubbing me the right way. I couldn't be bothered with the heap either, so I caught a cab to the other end of town and checked in.
    The following morning, I was down to business. I opened the envelope that the editor gave me to find several credit cards and instructions for my Vegas assignment. It said that I had to set up the ROM booth, the dinner, and the press conference according to the budget outlined. Suddenly, a brilliant plan hit me: if I could just rub the casino, just the right way, I could get some extra bucks, put on a super dinner and stuff, and get my long overdue promotion. Hey! I thought of this one all by myself!
    After a quick cruise around the casino, I realized poker was the game. But yah know since the ATARI'S been on the street, my poker game has gone down the drain. I figured the only way to make a comeback was to go for the bluff. I went to the cashier and charged the ROM credit card to the tilt.


    With a tray full of chips (poker), I sat down at a table. A half hour later, I looked down at the tray and noticed it was half-empty. As I looked around, I realized my chips were at the other end of the table with some dudes in dark shades.
    "What's your John Doe?" I questioned.
    "State-Side Freddy," he chuckled. "I Finally got to meet the legendary J.S.D.- he added.
    I was really surprised he recognized me, for I was a long way from home. To tell you the truth, I never heard of this Freddy guy before. I asked the dude to my right who he was. He told me he was `the greatest gamester this side of the great divide.' To tell you the truth, I've never heard of that river and really didn't care for this Freddy Dude either. I gave my own chuckle.
    Just then the waitress interrupted the game and asked if I wanted a drink or something.
    "A couple of cheeseburgers and a Coke!," I responded. Once again I got one of those funny looks.
    "So, Software Dud, it looks like you've met your match!" boasted Freddy.
    Looking over, I realized Stateside Freddy had half of my chips. This made him half owner of ROM.
    "How 'bout a little double or nothing?" he added. I couldn't back out of this one - I was in a hole - I had to get out.
    "OK Freddy, but I choose the game."
    For the first time, I saw him pull down his shades as he gave a quiet "you're on."
    Just then the waitress returned with the cheeseburgers.
    I didn't know what to say. I responded with a "HEY sweetie, what's your name?"
    "OK Jill, I'll remember that," I said, as I got up from the table. "I'll be in touch State-Side," I stated.
    "Where're you staying?," he asked.
    "Motel 9."
    I heard that fiendish laugh once again.
    As I was walking out the door, I heard a voice telling me to wait up. I turned and noticed Jill running over to the exit. She offered me a ride. I couldn't refuse.
    Once back at the motel, she asked me how I was going to get even. I pulled out of my duffel bag a MAD magazine and tossed it over to her.
    "It's all in there" I told her as I was setting up the of 800. She started to laugh. "You ever read the cartoon Spy vs Spy?" I continued.
    "Yah, of course, but I don't understand" she responded.
    Just then I loaded in the video game `Spy vs Spy.' I looked over and noticed her eyes light up.
    The basic goal of the game is to search a multistory house (depending on the skill level) to find different clues and artifacts faster than the other spy. While doing this you may set different traps for the other spy, or even fight him to the death. Sounds easy eh?
    Well, not really. To start with, the house (on upper skill levels) is huge. There is a multitude of different traps. Bombs and spring traps are some, just to name a few. But what makes this game completely crazy is that it's on a split screen. Top half is White spy; bottom half, Black spy. Believe me, this game's playability is as mad as the cartoon.
    On top of that, Mike Riedel and Jim Nangano, (the creators) really went to town on the games presentation. Before I'll get to the graphics, let me tell you it plays this super little tune that ranks up there with the ROAD RUNNER cartoons for all-time exciting music. As for the graphics, I'd say they're better than the comic strip! Like a, late in the eve'n if I'm kinda fade'n, I'm not sure what I'm a watch'n (excuse'M for the poetry), a cartoon or a video game. It's that good. What can I say? Hey! I recommend it!
    "So this is how you're going to do it?" Jill questioned.
    "A game I like, I simply don't lose it," I bragged. Jill gave a controlled laugh.
    The next day Jill arranged the rematch. It was to be at the Cheezer's Palace, played on a huge movie screen in front of a crowd of thousands. Clearly my reputation was on the line.
    As I walked into the theater and down the aisle, I was greeted by this great crowd. I could barely move. They must have had a lot of money on me or something, I couldn't really figure it. They started chanting "J.S.D., J.S.D..." I guess things were a little out of hand. When I finally made it, I saw State-Side quietly waiting. Quickly, the M.C. introduced us, as he handed us each a J-stick. "May the best man win!" he added. The crowd cheered. Just then I heard the START button go `click' It had begun.
    I could tell the crowd was overly excited as they screamed when I almost fell for some of the traps. Little did they know I was in full control. I noticed beads of sweat forming on Freddy's forehead, as he was in a complete state of panic. To tell you the truth, I was just playing with him so the crowd could get their money's worth. This guy was not even near a pro. I gave my own little chuckle and put that poor boy under. The crowd went nuts!
    Suddenly I remembered I had to meet the editor at the airport at 6:00 pm. I had 5 minutes to spare. Sneaking out the back exit, I ran over to the hotel where that `cute little Honda' was parked, and found that sporty looking wimp. He tossed me the keys, and I flew out to the airport, arriving only 5 minutes late! (I would have made it in a V-8). Anyways, I picked up the editor and headed back into town.
    "So JSD," the editor started, "What a cute little car you picked out! You are finally starting to show some taste."
    I was thinking about asking for a raise - obviously not a time to start an argument. Instead, I told him that since I had checked in across town, he had a hotel room to himself. He seemed most pleased.
    "Well Jake, have you arranged for the ROM dinner party tonight'?" he asked.
    "FRACK! I mean sure." I replied.
    I new I was in a mess now. I had to think fast. After parking the heap, I ran over to the casino and told Jill my problem. We came up with a great plan.
    Jill and I picked up the Honda and spun over to the restaurant where she bought the cheeseburgers. I told the chef the problem I was in, and he agreed to help. We made cheeseburgers on the fly. We filled up the Honda, and towed it over to Cheezers Palace. The crowd was bananas as ever. We started chucking cheeseburgers everywhere. It broke into a full scale riot. Jill went to fetch the editor. This was a dinner party he would never forget! (or forgive)
    Obviously, I didn't get my raise.


Playability: 10
Graphics: 10
Sound: 9.8

Overall Rating: 9.8