Holy potatoes Spudman! They’re back! From the makers of Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! / What the Hell?! / A Weapon Shop?!, comes the fourth instalment in the Holy Potatoes (HP) series, Holy Potatoes! A Spy Story?!
At some point we must wonder, is there really so much demand for the previous games that it warrants so many sequels?
Holy Potatoes! A Spy Story?! is an adorable spy agency simulator where you manage your own spudtastic spy HQ. You play as Ren and Rexa, tater twins that run the agency, train an elite spy team and plan top-secret missions. On top of all that, you have to uncover the truth behind your parents’ disappearance. Be prepared to outwit, out-strategise and out-smack security guards, high-tech security systems and an evil corporation.
The character design, story, cut scenes, basic controls and BGM don’t differ too much from the previous games. It’s clean, cute and typically Daylight Studios. They know what works for them and they’re milking it for all it’s worth. After all, taters gonna tate.
There are four basic types of spies in the game: Thief, Fighter, Charmer, Analyst. It’s important to pay attention to the classification especially at the start of the game. While you can raise the stats of each class any way you like, some missions can only be assigned to a specific class. Each class will level up slightly differently but all roads will lead to two ultimate classes: Trickster or Superspy. Eventually, you’ll be able to splice two characters together to create new GMO spies.
Every spy is a twist of a legendary pop-culture personality—a staple in every HP game, so no surprises here.
Fortunately, there’s a new twist that prevents the game from being too much like its predecessors—town building. As you progress through the game, you will unlock unique buildings where you can train different spy traits, decrypt super secret spy floppy discs, build gadgets, design spy gear and more. Your spies need actual roads to get to access each building. So you can’t just build things willy-nilly. Also, having certain buildings and decorations give you a boost, so be sure to plan your town carefully. In the previous games, it was just blatant station building which became too familiar and boring. So this is a welcome change.
This map is where most of the game happens, it’s the all-in-one-setting that HP fans will be familiar with. Here you can watch the mission currently being carried out while training your spies, upgrading buildings and more at the same time. You can play the game at three different speeds. You obviously get things done faster at max speed-up but it can also give you slight anxiety as you watch the mission time limit counter count down faster than the Flash. Be prepared to multi-task #LikeaBoss.
In the game, there’s the main mission and a series of side missions. Every mission has a different time limit, requirements and stages. So keep an eye on your main mission countdown timer while you’re doing side quests or grinding characters. Not completing the main mission in time will result in game failure.
Each mission comes with a brief, list of requirements (if any), mission routes, and equipment and actions list. Some missions have multiple routes, each with differing actions that can be taken to complete them. This is where paying attention to how you’ve raised your spies comes into play as every route could be carried out by a different spy. Some class specific missions could also throw you for a spin—like requiring a fighter to have high intelligence or evasion skills. So you may not want to stack one trait per class.
The mission stories are wacky, punny, thoroughly enjoyable, and unfortunately, predictable.
There Special Missions which can only be carried out by specific spies or Ren and Rexa. These are played out in a pesudo-VS platformer. You’re actually required to take a more active role in the VS battles which helps the game break away from the monotony of the regular missions. They’re also fun to watch and engage with.
While Holy Potatoes! A Spy Story?! isn’t a James Bond epic by any stretch, it’s enough for an afternoon of fun. It’s familiar without being too reminiscent of the previous games. Fans will enjoy it and newcomers will find it an easy entry-level sim to enjoy.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
A decent addition to the Holy Potatoes! series that just unfortunately doesn’t stand out from the rest.
Gameplay - 6/10
Story - 6/10
Presentation - 6/10
Value - 6/10