| Silverfin

The idea of being a secret agent is naturally appealing. With the lure of beautiful people, exotic destinations and a license to be the slickest guy in the world, it's a job most of us have fantasised about. That fact that secret agents typically end up being fed to pet sharks or sliced in half by lasers doesn't seem to put anyone off – they're in it for the glamour and the thrill.

Well, in Silverfin, you get to play as the archetypal dashing spy – a certain young James Bond. From your humble beginnings at spy school, it's up to you to become the 007 we know and love, though the Celtic accent is optional.

The missions are broken down into bite-sized levels that mainly involve avoiding bad guys, unlocking doors and finding items. There isn't much in the way of shooting or Hollywood stunt action. Rather the focus is on old-fashioned cloak-and-dagger fun, accompanied by cunning puzzles that test your logic skills.

Silverfin adopts an overhead, diagonal playing area, with simple controls to move from room to room. If you're sneaky enough to evade capture, you'll be graded and you'll progress along the spy chain of command. The main skills demanded – other than a general knack for problem-solving – are good timing and the ability to plan your route and remember where you came from, whilst of course continuing to look incredibly cool.

There's plenty of legwork in real-life spying, of course, and equally there's a tendency here for the levels to become slightly repetitive. It isn't a major problem, but things can get a bit tedious at times, especially when you're caught and you have to repeat a level all over again. Each level is quite short though, and this flaw tends to be forgiven just as soon as you're assigned your next mission.

The presentation of Silverfin is smooth and refined, like the star of the game himself. With clearly structured menus and colourful visuals, it really looks the part. The characters and backgrounds are big, crisp and well-animated, and the personalities come across in their design. The only let down is the compulsory title music, which grates like a crumbly cheddar. The in-game music, however, boasts a jazzy feel that's perfect for the art of spying. On balance, Silverfin is a good-looking and decent-sounding game.

With a real sense of progression and lots of humour, Silverfin manages to capture everything you'd expect from a young James Bond. Dashing, daring, and just out of diapers, this is a game for anyone to get their teeth into.


A compelling yet easily accessible game that's fit for Her Majesty's Service