SpyParty is a competitive espionage game about subtle human behavior. A Spy hides in plain sight at a fancy cocktail party, trying to accomplish missions while blending in with the other guests, while a Sniper with a single bullet looks inward, searching for the Spy.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (316) - 80% of the 316 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Apr 12, 2018

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“I want SpyParty to be an incredibly deep competitive experience about subtle human behavior (and not getting shot), and to do that, I need players exploring the depths of the game design. The game has been in beta for a looooong time and has evolved a lot since it was first revealed years ago. There have been hundreds of thousands of games played, countless tournaments, leagues, and ladders, too many gaming convention booths, and now it's finally time to broaden that testing to involve the Steam community!”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“I am very bad at estimating dates, but I think it will be in Early Access about two years. I'm a perfectionist, and hopefully you can see the trendline from how the game started with the original prototype art (you can catch a glimpse of some if you look for the waiter or bartender in the screenshots above) to where it is now. You're invited to come along for the next part of this ride!”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“The goal for the 1.0 release is even better graphics, even more maps and missions, and even deeper competitive game mechanics. I'd also like to do single player modes and experiment with other multiplayer modes, but those are riskier and will have to wait until I get the 1v1 mode perfect, so I don't know if they'll make 1.0 or if they'll be later experiments and updates, but I have a lot of plans!”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The current version of SpyParty is a two-player online experience. Players connect through a lobby and play a match usually consisting of multiple games, alternating playing Spy and Sniper each game. The games last about 3 minutes each, and people tend to play 10 or 20 games in a match. There is a very advanced spectation and replay system, so players can both spectate matches in progress, or look at replays of previous matches, and even play Sniper against the game they're spectating/replaying for added challenge while watching a match. There's an active online community of experienced players that love helping new players learn, and there's a brand new tutorial to ease players into learning SpyParty because it's such a different game design.

Qualitatively, SpyParty has been playable at a highly competitive level for years. The top players have thousands of hours in the game and tens of thousands of games played, it has been invited to e-sports events like EVO, it has long lines waiting to play at shows like the Penny Arcade Expo, and it was the secret final game of the PAX Omegathon a few years back. It's a pretty good game already, although maybe I'm a bit biased.

That said, it's beta, so there are bugs. And mistunings. And clunky UI. And if you look hard enough, there are places in the game where there's still old ugly prototype art. Usually the old-timers are hanging out in these dusty corners, but if you approach them slowly they'll often tell you the deepest gameplay secrets and they might even offer to play a mentoring match with you, teaching you to destroy your friends with their forbidden ancient SpyParty knowledge.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“I will probably raise the price on full release, but I haven't decided for sure yet.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“I plan to continue as I have during the pre-Steam beta, which is to say having an open constructive conversation with early-access players, taking feedback and suggestions, and talking freely about design tradeoffs as I make development decisions. The elite players are much better at SpyParty than I am now, so getting their feedback is crucial to making good design choices. A number of the existing maps and missions and mechanics have come from player suggestions, and I expect that to continue, because I love getting constructive feedback from the community! So, as long as your feedback is polite and constructive, I'm very interested to hear it!”
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Recent updates View all (7)

May 29

Bugs and Performance...

Lots o' fixes...

The big stuff, details are below:
  • tons of bug fixes for gameplay bugs, ui bugs, crash bugs, bug bugs
  • fixed two big performance things
    • the internal profiling system would slowly take more and more time requiring a restart
    • the gamepad detection code was super slow, which wouldn't be a problem except a bunch of devices send spurious device changed messages, so this caused framerate hitches for some folks (like me)
  • lots of better pad collision stuff to prevent pad pathing overshoots
  • some animation polish

Enjoy, and let me know if there are bugs!

  • code
    • big optimizations for longer runtimes with the prof system (this actually was partly due to floating point denormals which is kinda funny if you're a programmer)
    • ridiculous mode is just ctrl+shift now
    • split breaking glass sound effect into normal and endgame for endgame sound damping
    • fix purloin delegate bug, at least vastly reduce the chances of it hitting again
    • don't display weirdly broken floating amba personal space timer when the mission isn't selected (revisit this?)
    • put "simplified" in the mission display in a few places
    • switch practice mode handicapping testing to absolute wins, and save in config, display computed handicap in settings now, remember you can click and drag in the numberspinner to scrub
    • also save practice mode quickplay group to config
    • fix draw order on mission checkboxes in hud
    • use previous replays sort as secondary sort key
    • only guests invade amba personal space
    • fix sliding accidentally introduced on going to bar
    • stop bartender walking if queued guests and current guest bails
    • remove UI from dossier preview on ui toggle ctrl-shift-u
    • don't crash if venue not in custom qpg
    • fix the out-of-convo stop but still in convo bug
    • fix issue with amba leaving convo as bug should finish bypassing walking bug time window
    • better threaded gamepad detection to avoid hitches, including if spurious notifications which happen with some devices for some reason?
    • when making new replay dir, actually put cursor on it when done
    • allow non-holding inspects, disabled for now
    • add default_missions to qpg props so can do alt balcony modes without surprising people
    • fix issue with custom quickplay props overshadowing normal quickplay modes on loading screen, now should display correct name
    • more fixes for focus issues on ui transitions
    • remove any customized quickplay mapping when switching venues, now you just have to customize every venue, which is less surprising
    • fix issue with replay sets hanging if auto next is on
    • more button options for replay sniping in results screen (go to replay, continue, next game, menu, etc)
    • I think I fixed the bookcase fingerprint thing? also, now takes and returns by civs both smudge, spies be warned
    • fix leaving spectation lobby sort bug
    • speeling
    • replay timeline and playback quality of life changes
      • ctrl-click in viewport toggles play/pause
      • more robust mousewheel and shoulder button event scrolling
      • timeline events track timeslider scrubbing
      • fix some bugs with timeline not recentering on maximized toggle
      • add left/right keyboard event scrolling, and repeat for gamepad and key event/timeline scrolling
      • in free cam, if you click on an event in the timeline, it tries to move the camera to that event's noun
    • use generic game result messages in practice mode because it switches to spy results after sniper shot and the "you were shot" message is wrong
    • no more instasip at bar
    • don't instasip at statues either
    • don't instant check watch, little buffer
    • don't detach briefcase if we get interrupted and are blending out, so avoid flying briefcase
    • try to fix flying briefcase book raise case
    • fix text fringing on 16x multisampling, add 1px border to each glyph
    • fix infinite pending delegated purloin bug
    • settings for vsync and frame rate limits
    • blank screen for spectation sniper buffering...not great but prevents long freeze frame
    • settings for separate draw spectator list while playing and spectating
    • replay auto play next seperate controls for all games or only live spectation
    • fix some spectation ui stuff
    • add simple network buffering to correct sniper side stutter if there's a lag spike in play, like with spectation
    • log num logical processors
    • setting to allow y invert shortcuts (ctrl-y and y/triangle), disabled by default since most people aren't demoing at trade shows

  • content
    • fixing ik weighting on statue anims for devi, dom, danielle, danger to not spaz out while theyre holding statues
    • fix ballroom sniper camera and keep backwards compat for replays because I'm a nice guy
    • typos in unlocks
    • fixed morgans walk so that his right foot doesnt slide
    • update quickplay props to latest
    • add default_missions for balcony surprises
    • aquarium adjust hard colliders to keep people out from the corners behind the curtains
    • fix a ton of bookshelf, statue, window, and painting pads to avoid overshoot, almost all venues (pub, aquarium, gallery, library, high-rise, moderne, ballroom, terrace, teien, courtyard)
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March 27

Is that a shark?!

It's hard to see the Spy doing missions with a Great White Shark in the way!

The big stuff, details are below:
  • Brand new Aquarium venue, complete with a bulletproof shark named Kiel that really likes to hog the limelight.

  • Tons of work getting ready for Matchmaking, including automatic Handicapping and the all new Recommended QuickPlay Group that will dynamically adjust the game settings based on the skill levels of the players.

  • Venues and missions now unlock as you play so new players aren't snowed under with options where they're learning.

The new Aquarium venue is the second in a collection of three venues focused on "occlusion", the first being Teien, discussed here: https://steamcommunity.com/games/SpyParty/announcements/detail/1721960431557729429
In Teien, the occlusion was the shoji screens showing only silhouettes of the action behind them, but in the case of Aquarium, there's a giant shark that is constantly swimming back and forth in front of the Sniper's view. Spies need to learn the shark's patterns and do missions while in shark-shadow, because otherwise the Sniper has a commanding view of the entire floorplan.

Speaking of floorplans, the in-game Dossier now has floor plans for every venue. As you can see from this one, in addition to the shark, Aquarium has a slight asymmetry to it in the statue layout:

The shark follows a set pattern that occludes the back, middle, and front mission sites and then repeats going the other direction, so timing your missions is essential. Some players are already saying Aquarium is the most strategic venue due to the timing predictability of our fishy friend.

Handicapping, Unlocks, and Recommended Mode
The shark is cool, but what really took the most development time in this update was the completely new handicapping system and the Recommended QuickPlay Group. It's always been possible to handicap games in SpyParty to compensate for a skill gap between players, but now it's automated if you're set to the Recommended group, which is important for the upcoming matchmaking system. Now, if an experienced player is in a match with a new player, the game will automatically adjust the number of missions, guests, and duration to try to make a balanced game mode. So far it's working pretty well according to the data, but it needs more testing, so please try it out. It's easy to try, just go into a match with a player with different number of wins than you (either more or fewer) and see how it feels.

You can still access the other groups but Recommended is, uh, recommended now. I'm very interested in feedback on how these handicapped modes feel to play...they could be balanced but be no fun, which would be a problem, so please let me know what you think here in the forums or in the discord (linked below).

Unlocks for Missions and Venues
SpyParty is a pretty difficult game to learn. I'm very proud of the tutorial with its full voice narration and interactive teaching puzzles, but it only tutorializes less than half of the game, and so we used to just dump players directly into the thick of things and hope they could swim. This wasn't going to work very well in the long run, so now we have an unlock system that opens up the game a bit more slowly, and gives you a chance to learn the new stuff as you go along. Missions and venues unlock slightly differently: missions unlock only if both players in a match have unlocked them to avoid surprising a player with a mission they've never seen before; venues unlock when either player in a match has unlocked them, to give players access to venues faster, and it seems like learning to play on a new venue is not as hard as learning a new mission.

As part of the unlocks system, I've increased the amount of information in the in-game Dossier and updated it. Now anytime you see a (?) icon anywhere, you can get contextualized information to learn more.

You can play with the handicapping and unlocks in Practice Mode, it's just a bit odd. In the Gameplay settings, you can set your Practice Mode number of simulated wins (meaning how experienced you are), and the handicapping level of the opponent, and see what changes about the setups. I need to figure out a slightly more clear way to do this, but it lets you experiment for now. You need to set the QuickPlay mode to Recommended to see this, and remember you can hit escape and get to the settings on the game setup screen so you can see the changes easily.

Oh, and if you're hard core and don't want any handicapping, you can go into the Gameplay settings and restrict the amount of "up handicapping" you get. This controls how much the game will try to help you out if your opponent has more experience. You can't restrict your down handicapping obviously, because that would allow you to farm less experienced players, but if both players in a match have this set to 0 the game will always give you the Standard balanced modes (while still respecting the unlock schedule).

As always, let me know if there are bugs, either here in the forums or join us on the discord for fun SpyParty chats.

  • code
    • unlocks system, list, and popup
    • handicapping and recommended quickplay group
    • dossier updates
      • simplified mode missions preview
      • venue floorplans and description text
      • intermediate/simplified and standard mode in special tab
      • bar purloin preview finished
      • add percent meters to match in game missions
      • more contextual (?) icons throughout
    • misc fixes
      • actually use Display Name and Username correctly in lobby details
      • when taking screenshot, also put it in the clipboard because that's a nice thing to do
      • log /whoroom results in addition to chat them
      • "randomize" button to "random setup" to be more clear that it's everything
      • game setup ui keyboard/controller fixes
      • randomize which qp chosen on level change
      • shift and control and mouse drag for number spinner acceleration
      • beginner/intermediate -> simplified naming
      • joining state and packets so joinmsg and unlock popups don't happen when you're in the lobby, future away possibility
      • ui try to fix interaction layer being below a top level screen at least
      • ui slightly better edge triggering of mouse clicks for not missing button clicks at low frame rates
      • view last replay menu item kicking from lobby bug fix
      • add intermediate and standard game modes to special dossier tab
      • no briefcase in simplified fingerprint dossier preview
      • don't make info icon on unavailable qpg venues
      • don't allow matchmaking while not joined or away

  • content
    • Aquarium
      • SHARK 🦈
    • misc fixes
      • fixing the weird AO line on the left wall of ballroom
      • boots fixes so that her phone doesnt go too deep into the floor, becoming visible on the balcony of highrise
      • The president says Santa Claus doesn't exist so...
      • make new school balcony 2:30 8, this will get picked more due to better randomization, watch out!
      • kill the intermediate and standard qpgs because they're generated from the table now
      • adding floorplan venue maps to the dossier
      • abearrawr's experimental group
      • tuning preview ribbons on a bunch of venues for dossier
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“There has never been a videogame like SpyParty. … SpyParty is as cerebral and personal experience as I’ve ever had with a multiplayer game. … Despite being two years away from completion, the early version I saw still remains one of the most subtle, enjoyable, and surprisingly playful multiplayer games I’ve yet played.”

“Part of what is so exciting about Spy Party is the stuff that happens around the game. Hecker has seen the game trigger strong emotional responses. I even felt it… guilt of all things. I’ve killed thousands — millions? — of enemy characters and even some friendly characters in video games with none of the pangs of consequence. I shot one innocent partygoer in Spy Party after tracking them for a few minutes, after being sure they were Chris Hecker’s avatar and up to no good, and then, as they lay dead on the floor I realized I was wrong. I felt bad.”

“SpyParty is like nothing else I’ve ever played. … When the laser focuses on you, the tension is intense. And the relief, when the beam swings away, is powerful.”

About This Game

SpyParty is a competitive espionage game about human behavior, performance, perception, and deception. While most spy games have you machine-gunning stuff, blowing things up, and driving fast, SpyParty has you hide in plain sight, blend into a high-society cocktail party, deceive your opponent, and detect subtle behavioral tells to achieve your objectives and not get shot. Finally you can be like the suave and confident spies you find in films or books, risking it all by doing the final mission right in front of the sniper as the clock runs out! There are plenty of games that explore being a super-powered commando with an infinite supply of ammunition and no brains; SpyParty is a new and quite different game about the more interesting, deeper, and more subtle aspects of being a spy.

The current main gameplay mode is 1v1 Spy versus Sniper online multiplayer, although there is limited single-player Sniper play right now, and a single player Spy and Sniper practice mode for trying out missions and whatnot.

See the SpyParty Steam Discussions for an FAQ and links to more information.

If you're wondering where the MacOS X port went, see that FAQ! I need to delay it until after SEA launch because I hit a few technical snags, but the non-Steam MacOS will continue to work, and I'll get it working on Steam soon after SEA launch hopefully!

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Celeron
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 3000
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 300 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: I develop the game on a really ancient laptop to keep myself honest and keep the game running fast on low end hardware, so it should work on quite old computers!

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