Apogee Entertainment, a classic shareware publisher, has published a surprise HD remake of Secret Agent, a 1992 action platformer. This year’s Crystal Caves HD update, like previous year’s, provides much more than simply HD graphics: in addition to the old levels, there are 16 new ones with new adversaries, powerups, and more. There’s also a level builder through Steam Workshop, online leaderboards, and a new soundtrack, but don’t worry: you can switch between the original and new AdLib soundtracks, as well as the graphical update.
It makes sense: Secret Agent is based on the same engine as Crystal Caves and is essentially a sci-fi spin on that slightly older game. These ancient platformers aren’t renowned for their compelling narratives, but if you’re curious, Secret Agent chronicles the exploits of ‘Agent 006’ as he battles the Diabolical Villain Society. Heavy, philosophical material.
Back in the early 1990s, when I couldn’t afford to buy games and the first episode of hundreds of shareware games was my diet, Secret Agent was a lot of fun. Is it still relevant today? I’m not sure, but the pixel graphics (both the old and the new HD version) is still gorgeous, and it’s just $8 / £5.79 / AU$11.50 on Steam.