Agent X

Agent provocateur.

Version tested Retro

We (the British) have funny ideas about spies. Either they're ultra-suave, tuxedo'd public school boys with expensive, deadly wristwatches (who'd stand out a mile in a crowd), or they're sleazy, rain coated, privacy invaders wearing off-the-rack trilbies and carrying a newspaper with eye holes cut in it (who'd also stand out a mile in a crowd).

As far from the truth as these comic book stereotypes might be, Mastertronic chose to wedge the latter archetype into their comical espionage pigeonhole in Agent X (In The Brain Drain Caper). Naturally, any spy-based game, whether it's got a tongue jammed firmly into its cheek or not, requires some kind of world threatening motivation to spur our sneaky superman into covert action. Agent X has been called into duty after the President of ‘Merca was kidnapped by a mad professor. A ransom note tells the world powers of a plot to brainwash the Pres and turn him into a warmongering manic (I know! That's totally poignant and just as hilarious today, eh?!).

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The only thing that's buying the Agent any breathing room is the mad professor's difficulty in finding the Yank's brain (it just gets better, and more relevant! Someone should send a copy of this game to Dubya. Tee hee!). Racing through the isometric streets in his prerequisite spy mobile, then taking to his loafers in a pretty standard fair platformer, Agent X must get to El Presidente before his already addled brain succumbs to the dose of Ariel soap powder and five minutes on boil wash.

What would be a fairly mediocre multi-loader was actually very well received since Agent X was released directly to the Mastertronic budget label, weighing it at an impressively affordable 1.99 from new. A more white-knuckled publisher would certainly have put this varied and enjoyable title out at full price, making Agent X a well remembered favourite for many an underprivileged Speccy owner (which we all were, otherwise we'd have owned Amigas, wouldn't we).

7 / 10

Read the Eurogamer.net review policy Agent X Spanner Spencer Agent provocateur. 2007-10-10T15:03:00+01:00 7 10

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