"Perfect" Spy Party fakeout frames NPC for player's crimes

Spy Party is a tense two-player showdown between a spy at a party and a sniper peering in with a laser sight some distance away. The spy must accomplish a series of tasks without the sniper suspecting anything. It's just as nerve-wracking for the sniper. If they hit an innocent partygoer, it's game over.

A blog post on the Spy Party site dissects a particularly skillful performance from a spy who frames an NPC in a red dress by timing his actions perfectly with hers. "It's a risky gambit," says Spy Party creator Chris Hecker, "because you can waste a lot of valuable time trying to frame somebody, and it's very hard to recover when you're running low on time." Patience, timing, and a bit of luck all combine to set up the perfect crime.

One of the spy's tasks involves contacting another secret agent at the party, which triggers an audible "banana bread" command that the sniper can hear. The spy can tell where the sniper's gaze is from the direction of their laser sight. In this example, the spy takes advantage of the sniper's interest in the woman in the red dress to combine the audible command with her speech animation, sealing the deal for the suspicious marksman. Here it is from the spy's perspective.

And the sniper's.

"It's important to point out the title of this post is A Perfect Game of SpyParty, not The Perfect Game of SpyParty," says Hecker. "I don't want to imply this is the only or the best way to play. Any deep competitive game—which is what I'm striving to create here—needs to make multiple overlapping strategies available to the players at any one time, and the players need to constantly react to the current situation to choose the best one, or the least-worst one. However, this particular game exemplifies the pinacle of a certain style of SpyParty play,"

Spy Party is getting a makeover from former Spore artist, John Cimino , but hopefully isn't too far off, because it was already fascinating when we played it a while back .

If you'd like to watch some top class Spy Party stand-offs, the Spy Party twitter account will be posting links to live streams.

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.