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Mossad: an augmented reality spy game for Windows Phone

Location-based games and mobile are a great fit since smartphones usually have a GPS built in and people take their phones around everywhere. Why not work that into a game, right?

Israel-based developer GreenShpits recently released its own location-based/augmented reality game for Windows Phone 8 called Mossad as part of the AppCampus program. The word “Mossad” means “Institute” in Hebrew and is used to refer to the Israeli equivalent of the CIA. Mossad allows players to travel around playing spy and acting out their own missions, but some major bugs cut into the fun.

Secret agent man

Mossad has a fun character customization component in which players dress up their own paper doll-style characters as agents. You can choose between a couple of male and female body types, but not skin color, unfortunately.

To start with, players will only have access to the free clothing and hair styles available. You’ll have to complete missions or make an In-App Purchase in order to get the credits needed for the nicer stuff. Tapping a category of item reveals the stuff for that category, but the menus don’t always like to load – as shown in our hands-on video.

Head to base

Between missions, players can head to base by selecting the icon at the bottom of the screen. The base consists of a single grainy panoramic picture, from what I can tell. The player’s boss stands in the middle of the base and provides instructions.

Oddly, the boss’s instructions are too wide for the screen, forcing players to scroll in order to read them. The text can be scrolled up and down, so it’s not “baked in” to the background art…

At the start of the game, there’s nothing else to do at the base. Tapping anywhere just takes you back to the map screen. Presumably, more interactions will unlock as players progress.

Gameplay

The core gameplay in Mossad involves finding and completing missions from a map of the player’s real-life surroundings. As you do this, you will (presumably) earn credits and progress through the ranks of the game's spy agency.

After selecting a mission, you’ll read a short description of its objectives. These tend to involve locating or delivering an item or message, from what I’ve seen so far. You then press the camera icon at the right side of the screen and start looking into the camera feed…

Mossad uses augmented reality to hide items and objectives within the environment surrounding the player. You’ll have to watch the camera feed and allow the red arrows that appear on it to guide you to your destination.

After reaching the destination (which can be either close or far, depending on the selected mission), an item should be hovering on-screen somewhere in the vicinity. Line it up dead-center in the camera and tap the screen to complete your objective.

Bugs located

Completing objectives is where things get hairy. I’ve only been able to actually finish a mission once. Every other time, the game either doesn’t recognize that the mission is done, and continues flashing the camera indicator, or it simply crashes. So for me, it’s impossible to progress. See the problem in action in our video above. Maybe you guys will have better luck?

The game has potential. Hopefully the developer can iron things out with the next update.

  • Mossad – Windows Phone 8 – 13 MB – Free – Store Link

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

37 Comments
  • Sounds promising. Really like Qonqr which is also real world location based. Add me as a recruiter: Aonach am I first comment?!?
  • Qonqr huh? I play that. Awesome game. Mossad looks good too.
  • Not my type of game, but thx anyway.
  • I had one game like that it was iphon android WP... Became to much work to compete. One day someone started to take my teritorys over. Jumped 8miles in 1min. To take over other areas. I quit that day. There's a way to cheat GPS somehow
  • I wouldn't trust anything with that name.
  • I have to agree. Its got a creepy recruitment feel to it.
  • It's a fun name.
  • I know, I just wanted to show my disgust to the terror organization. :)
  • But this has nothing to do with the CIA.
  • Mossad's best buddy. :)
  • Mossad isn't a terror organization.
  • Not officially.
  • +920
  • I'd rather have one named "Mossad" than NSA!  The Mossad will just kill you if they don't like you, not watch over you without you knowing! :P
  • Ugh would love to try it but I don't have a car and my neighbor hood isn't... the greatest. It'll be more of a risk to walk outside this late blaring my phone that I want for some points ): I can't wait to move.
  • If the developers are reading this: you can make these games available here in Brazil using PEGI/ESRB. I know how to do that and I can help.
  • Thanks for the note.. Just added DJCTQ for the market in Brazil. You should get this in the next release .... waiting for MS review
  • Hi!! Thanks so much!
    If you plan to port this game to Windows 8 know that you can use the same method to publish in here.
  • The only game i miss on WP is minecraft...
  • I know right I have on everything from iPhone and iPod to 360 going to get it for the ps3 soon and also have it on android
  • Have you tried survivalcraft? Fairly similar...
  • Well yea I have. But it is still not as good as the real minecraft. Agree?
  • Please give wpcentral app for free
  • Oh dude, please stop. It has the trial that works great. Why everybody keep complaining about this ?
  • You want wpcentral app for free, I can send you a special link to the store for just $29.95 just send me your name and credit card information,.
  • Please get a job. :-D
  • Redeem Bing points for 3 dollars to use in the market place there you go
  • ^This. I have 5 email accounts and have been using the points from each for awhile now to give people those 3.00 gift codes.
  • Yeah, there's really no excuse for whining about a $0.99 purchase.  Either use some Bing points, pony up, or quit whining.
  • It's a trap..
  • Not supporting anything with that name
  • Don't download that app
  • Downloading now, your misplaced hatred won't stop people from downloading a game :)
  • I had the GreenShpits over Christmas.
  • Ekhhhm... For first Mossad it's Israeli killing machine who collaborate of course with CIA controlled by the Knighthood orders as well have connection with NY directly.
  • You forgot the alien lizard kings who ........ fzzzzzt.....
  • Thanks all for the feedback and the excellent advices. Next version, with all bug fixed, waiting for MS review....   Meanwhile - any WPCentral that finds a new bug, send a bug description to our mail box ( mossad@greenshpits.com ) with his player name, will get 15 credits !!!! Enjoy the game, and have a very happy new year.