Spy Hunter

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Spy Hunter Game Poster Image
Average arcade racer is full of car wrecks and weapons.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Spy Hunter wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Positive Messages

The focus is on car combat with high-speed action and explosive destruction. The main theme is violence, but of a kind that is both fantastical and without human casualty.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There aren't really any people in this game, save teammates who occasionally appear via a communication system to offer advice. They're nice enough, providing tips and encouragement to players, but not really the stuff of role models.

Ease of Play

Like its arcade-based predecessors, this game comes with a high degree of difficulty that players can't change. The path to success is paved with many failed objectives and mission restarts. Patience is required.

Violence

Players engage in vehicular combat involving not just collisions but also weapons including machine guns, flamethrowers, shotguns, electrical shocks, and mines. People are never shown injured; all players see are explosions and damaged vehicles.

Sex
Language

Players will be exposed to mild profanity, including "damn" and "hell."

Consumerism

This game is part of the long-running Spy Hunter franchise of games.     

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Spy Hunter is an action-racing game involving high speed, lots of car-wrecking collisions, and a large arsenal of weapons. That said, the violence is highly unrealistic and focused solely on the vehicles; players never see anyone get hurt. Parents should also be aware that this game isn't for the easily frustrated. It has a high learning curve that may deter kids accustomed to games where players experience more success than failure.

User Reviews

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Kid, 12 years old August 26, 2017

Really Common Sense Media

Honestly, I don't know what common sense media was thinking with this one. There is really no blood or gore, only cars being destroyed. Parents, your only... Continue reading

What's it about?

SPY HUNTER for PlayStation Vita is a reboot of the nearly three-decade-old arcade classic. Players assume the role of a secret agent driving an interceptor sports car souped-up with a large arsenal of weapons designed to blow enemy vehicles off the road. The game plays out over a series of point-to-point missions, beginning with a few simple chases. Mission complexity quickly evolves, with challenges that involve calling in and guiding air support, taking your car off-road and through watery zones, and manning a turret mounted to the top of the truck the interceptor travels in. As play progresses players earn credits they can spend on weapon upgrades and car customizations. Outside the story mode lie local multiplayer games via ad-hoc connections.

Is it any good?

Spy Hunter offers a challenging and old-school arcade experience that ought to appeal to fans of retro combat racers. The focus here is squarely on action and speed, with a small but satisfying between-mission dash of RPG-style growth and upgrades. It'd be nice if strategy weighed in a little more -- mission success sometimes seems to be at the mercy of luck -- but the overall experience is recommendable.

Sadly, the action is marred by below average presentation. The vehicles, environments, and special effects are all pretty low fidelity, especially in the case of the Vita version, which has plenty of processing power. Still, Vita and 3DS owners starved for a little road action may squeak out enough fun to make it worth the investment.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the dangers of driving recklessly. Have you seen pictures of the results of careless and daredevil driving? What would you do if you were in a car in which the driver wasn't obeying the rules of the road?

  • Families can also discuss the notion of facing a challenge. How do you feel when you overcome minor obstacles compared to major? Is the satisfaction worth the effort, or do you prefer enjoying many small victories rather than working up to a bigger one and experiencing failure along the way?

  • How do you go about finding the best games?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love racing and fast action

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