Spy vs. Spy is a video game based on MAD Magazine's Spy vs. Spy comic. It was developed by Vicious Cycle Software and published by Global Star Software. It was released for the Xbox and PlayStation 2 in 2005.

Single player game modesEdit

All game modes can be played on Easy, Medium or Hard difficulties. This determines the amount of health enemy spies and other enemies have.


The Black Spy receives reports of a rogue General who is attempting to build a doomsday weapon and is sent on a mission to stop him. Gameplay proceeds through the eight main maps (modified to be more elaborate) as the Black Spy encounters new enemies and the familiar White Spy along the way. Enemies drop coins which can be used to purchase inventory items from the Hideout installed in each location. Reports are received from HQ with instructions on what to do next, progressively unlocking other parts of the map as objectives are completed. A boss fight takes place at the end of each mission. Alternatively, the White Spy can be selected by the player to fight against the Black Spy, although this has no effect on the story.


Black, White, Blue and Red spies face off in one of eight main maps to collect all four secret items contained in safes at the end of hazardous routes before being able to escape the map (as indicated by large green arrows when all secret items are collected). The four sought items provide special abilities:

  • Gadget: Highlights all trapped safes and doors, but not activated environment booby-traps.
  • Key: Allows one-way doors at the end of secret item routes to be opened from the locked exit side.
  • Disguise: Allows enemy Hideouts to be infiltrated without being detected by their sentries.
  • Bux Bag: Doubles current Bux total and subsequently collected Bux. Losing the secret item will return the Bux total to half.

Spies have access to their own Hideouts to retreat to for healing and to purchase from a set of inventory items unique to each map. Killing a spy who possesses secret items will cause them to drop one item, which can be retrieved from the position they died at for 15 seconds, before the secret item respawns in a random safe at the end of the same route where it was originally located.

Once all maps have been completed in sequence, timed variants (otherwise the same) can then be played.


The Black Spy must race the White Spy to search safes for four secret items across a varying number of rooms throughout an Embassy, while leaving traps to hinder the White Spy's progress. The four sought items are a Passport, a Key, a Disguise and a Bux Bag. Only one item can be carried at a time, until the special Briefcase item is found, which then allows all the items to be carried at once. Dying will cause all collected secret items to spawn within a random safe within the room the spy was killed. Items can also be inserted back into safes and further trapped if so chosen. All five secret items are needed to escape the Embassy through a distinct elevator. Melee weapons may also be found within safes while counters to traps and First Aid healing points are also present at random locations. A minimap can be summoned to monitor spy movements and identify rooms containing items or traps.

Multiplayer game modesEdit

More customisability is available in multiplayer. Up to four spies are permitted at a time, and may consist of a combination of 1 to 4 human players and 0 to 3 AI players. Mode configurations include modifying the inventory based on what has been unlocked and other game mode specific options, prominently, Run and Gun, which when enabled, disables access to spies' Hideouts. Inventory items and full-healing first aid kits will instead spawn on the map. Game modes include:

  • Modern: Functionally the same as in single player, with more options.
  • Death Match: Players gain a point for killing and lose a point for dying. The first player to reach the required amount of points wins.
  • Last Man Standing: Players have lives and will not respawn once depleted of them. The last surviving player wins. Run and Gun is automatically enabled.
  • Armed and Loaded: Inflicting damage rewards bux, although purchasing inventory items costs bux. The first player to reach the required amount of bux wins.
  • Get Mad: Players must collect a MAD collectible from a specific location on the map which rewards a point per second, and keep it in their possession by not dying. When a spy dies, the collectible respawns at the same location. The first player to reach the required amount of points wins. AI are not available for this mode. Run and Gun is automatically enabled.
  • Classic: Functionally the same as in single player, with more options, including up to four players, and the same set of Embassy maps.


There are eight main maps and twelve Classic maps.


Main maps include a central open area for combat, which leads off into four secret item routes, the map exit, and spies' secure Hideouts (where they spawn, heal upon entry, have access to a Workbench to purchase inventory items, and is guarded by an instant-killing shock sentry). Secret item routes involve hazardous platforming challenges (which AI spies tend not to attempt) which are characteristic to each map, and will always result in instant death if struck by a damaging obstacle or by experiencing a pit fall. In addition, environment booby-traps which also cause instant death (often in a comedic fashion) are usually located near the start or end of secret item routes, often indicated by the presence of a power-up. None are initially activated, but can be by pulling one of two nearby levers at the start or end of a booby-trap. Once activated, they cannot be deactivated and a spy must be defeated for a booby-trap to reset. However, there are always separate detours, some which also have the potential to kill but are far less damaging or more easily avoided. Booby-traps can also be safely tiptoed over, although beginning running or stopping will initiate their kill sequence.


Embassy maps all involve interconnected rooms, with no dead-ends. Each room usually contains three safes, present within a desk cupboard, a photocopier and a wall vent. Wall-mounted first aid kits and counter dispensers are also present in random locations. It does take an extended period of time to interact with any of these, however, during which time the user is completely vulnerable. The exit to the Embassy, an elevator, is always located in a room with green walls and a wooden floor. Starting from the 12-room Embassy, there are multiple storeys.

  • 5 rooms
  • 6 rooms
  • 8 rooms
  • 9 rooms
  • 10 rooms
  • 11 rooms
  • 12 rooms
  • 14 rooms
  • 15 rooms
  • 16 rooms
  • 18 rooms
  • 20 rooms

Player, HUD and inventoryEdit

The HUD displays 'Bux' - the player's currency earned by damaging spies, to purchase inventory items from the Workbench inside their Hideout - in the upper left corner, their health as a circular red meter in the upper right corner, their equipped inventory item toggles to its left, and secret items below. A player possesses six inventory slots, two of which are assigned exclusively to counters, while the other four can include any other item, split into a weapon toggle and a mine/trap toggle.


  • Player Spy health: 20 HP
  • AI Spy health (easy): 20 HP
  • AI Spy health (medium): 27 HP
  • AI Spy health (hard): 40 HP


Power-ups are not available to purchase from the Workbench, but rather are found in specific locations in each map, often in the middle of environment booby-traps.

  • Suit of Armour: Grants invincibility against enemy spy attacks for 30 seconds.
  • Super Damage: Doubles attack damage for 30 seconds.


Weapons are designated by their icon possessing a red background. Long ranged weapons can be fired with precision aiming while in stationary position using the zoom mode.

Weapon Type Damage Firing mechanism Ammo Notes
Spy Fu Melee 4 Normal Default, cannot be sold; available in Classic
Club Melee 5 Normal Available in Classic
Chainsaw Melee 7 Normal 10 Enables headwear and constant sound; available in Classic
Slingshot Long ranged 2 Load/release Projectiles ricochet twice
Machine Gun Long ranged 1 Automatic 150
Bazooka Long ranged 9 Normal 14 Has area of effect, can self-inflict damage
Bomb Deployed 16 Load/release 4 max Enables constant sound; bounces; 5 second detonation period; loading initiates the detonation period, releasing throws the unit; explodes on contact with a spy; can self-inflict damage
Suicide Monkey Deployed 12 Normal 3 max 10 second detonation period; seeks the nearest opponent, will reprioritise to seek the nearest Banana Peel, or the deployer if neither are nearby; explodes on contact with a spy or Banana Peel; can be damaged to detonate prematurely; can self-inflict damage
Lightning gun Limited range 3.5 Automatic (45.5)^ Seeks targets in nearby proximity
Flame Thrower Limited range 2 Automatic (22.5)^ Has area of effect; marks a damaged spy with a flame above their head; defeated spies are smoldered
Ice Gun Limited range 0 Automatic ? Has area of effect; slows spies increasingly until they freeze into a block of ice and become invincible for 3 seconds, then receive 100% damage
(Plasma Gun?) Long ranged 1.666 Automatic ? Not normally available to players

^ Ammo calculation: (Price * Damage) / Player Spy Health

  • Price serves as an indication of ammo remaining, using the value from Modern mode.
  • Note that rate of fire can heavily differ.


Mines are designated by their icon possessing a yellow background. All mines, with the exception of the Time Bomb, can be carried up to a stock of 4. Positioned mines can be disarmed by being fired at using the zoom mode of a long ranged weapon. Mines will also automatically expire after 60 seconds.

Trap Type Damage Trigger Notes
Dynamite Positioned 20 Manual Explodes; can detonate multiple packs simultaneously
Proximity Mine Positioned 8 Proximity Explodes
Lectro Mine Positioned 12 Proximity Electrifies
Fire Mine Positioned 20 Trip Invisible limited range beam; burns, defeated spies are smoldered
Trip Mine Positioned 20 Trip Visible unlimited range beam; explodes
Banana Peel Thrown 0 Contact Stuns for 3 seconds; distracts Suicide Monkeys
Bear Trap Thrown 5 Contact Stuns for 5 seconds
Time Bomb Deployed 16 Room entry Available in Classic only; unlimited stock; becomes active once the deployer leaves the room; 5 second detonation period, makes a buzzing noise when activated; damages all spies within the room


Counters are designated by their icon possessing a blue background. All counters, with the exception of the Knight's Helmet, can be carried up to a stock of 4, and will be depleted by 1 with each use.

  • Decoy: Death from an activated environment booby-trap is prevented using a doppelganger.
  • Fairy: Forces respawning to occur at the start of a secret item route if having died from it.
  • Knight's Helmet: Grants an additional 15 HP to the wearer (available in Classic).
  • Wrench: Prevents a death and disarms a safe/door trap.


Traps are designated by their icon possessing a green background. There are two types, being safe traps and door traps. They will instantly kill the next spy that interacts with the trapped safe or door, unless the spy possesses a Wrench. Using the Gadget item highlights trapped safes or doors, otherwise there is no way to detect them. Outside of Classic mode, all safe traps are functionally the same as each other, as are door traps, but only with different animations with slightly differing lengths of time.

Classic mode uses three alternate counters that are found from various sources within the Embassy. They have unlimited use, but can only counter a specific trap and are automatically discarded if the player switches to deploy traps.

Safe trapsEdit

Safe traps are inserted into safes. The next spy to open the safe will be instantly killed.

  • Boxing Glove (available in Classic, countered by the Pliers)
  • Flambe (available in Classic, countered by the Fire Extinguisher)
  • 900 lb Gorilla
  • Mallet
  • Shocker

Door trapsEdit

Door traps are inserted into doors. The next spy to open the door will be instantly killed.

  • Acid Bucket (available in Classic, countered by the Umbrella)
  • Anvil
  • Electric Doorknob