Recently, the smartphone game James Bond: World of Espionage was taken down. The servers closed and players, including the author, lost their game progress. I played the game often and would like to put down some thoughts for future Bond gaming.
- James Bond WOE did receive careful thought. The game was better than most pundits wrote. The graphics and music were top notch and looked and felt splendid on phones. The game dropped with the then-new Bond movie, Spectre, and game characters included not only the flight of Spectre folks but characters from the original Ian Fleming novels!
- A slightly different game engine would have worked wonders. If JBWOE used the engine from Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, a similar card matching fighting game, people would still be playing it now. SWGOH uses more complex thinking about character building and promotion, strategy and tactics. JBWOE fell into routines more often.
- Better daily rewards would have encouraged more gameplay. I toughed it out some with JBWOE and the free play rewards were stinting.
- More 007, 007! It was costly and difficult to acquire James Bond as a character. Multiple Bonds, Ms and Qs in their different iterations would have been fun.
- The critics didn’t dig deep. Critics have the game helped kill it. The reviews came so quickly I knew the critics didn’t play the game for any length of time. A few days of avid play brought players into guilds where there was great conversation and group strategy and tactics. I’m not an avid smartphone gamer but I liked JBWOE and it gave a fix of 007’s world after Spectre left theatres.
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Following Sean Connery’s return to British intelligence in Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Roger Moore is the new Bond, James Bond in Live and Let Die. Note to trivia buffs: this is film number eight based on Ian Fleming’s second Bond novel and Moore is the third James Bond–following Connery, George Lazenby, and Connery again.
The man who once essayed the title role in the tv series based on Leslie Charteris’ The Saint books imbues agent 007 with a lighter touch than Connery. Moore brings a charm to the role and shows more ease in his first Bond outing than Lazenby displayed in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).
When Moore is first seen (following the pre-credit sequence), he is at home in the company of a gorgeous woman. The tryst is interrupted by the early morning arrival of Bond’s boss M (Bernard Lee) and his secretary Miss Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell). They send 007 on his way to New York for his mission. One which will involve voodoo, heroin, and a lovely fortune teller named Solitaire (Jane Seymour).
It has been noted that the producers were hoping Connery would return to the series–and not for his 1971 mission. One can only imagine how certain moments of the film might have turned out had that happened. Like a sequence in Harlem when Bond enters a restaurant which serves as a front for his adversary’s illicit operations. And everyone in the place is black. An approach which an undercover operative calls a “clever disguise.”
“Voyage to the bottom of the Sea” regular David Hedison becomes the fifth actor to play 007’s longtime ally CIA agent Felix Leiter. His rendering of the role is a far cry from the most recent Leiter (Norman Burton in Diamonds Are Forever, who seemed more like light comic relief) and makes for probably the best Leiter since Jack Lord played the agent in the first Bond adventure Dr. No (1962).
Yaphet Kotto makes for an OK villain but his claw-handed henchman Tee Hee (Julius Harris) makes for a delightful scene-stealer. Clifton James is amusing as a redneck sheriff though he comes off as being too much of a buffoon. Former Beatle Paul McCartney’s title tune certainly makes for the liveliest Bond theme song ever. Seymour is quite a stunning presence despite the fact that her accent makes her sound like a fairy tale princess. However, she does establish herself in a pantheon of such Bond beauties as Ursula Andress, Honor Blackman, Claudine Auger, and Diana Rigg.
While the film is a bit chatty, director Guy Hamilton–who also helmed 1964s Goldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever–keeps the narrative going at a slightly brisk pace. But hey, this is a new Bond; Hamilton is breaking Moore in, presumably saving the heavy stunt extravaganzas (though there is a jaw-dropping boat chase which includes a moment which made the Guiness Book of World Records) for later entries in the series–hopefully. Moore relies primarily on being witty and charming to get himself out of trouble than the fisticuffs frequently employed by Connery (when there was no available gadget or PPK around to do so). to extricate himself from sticky situations.
Following a near three-year absence from the screen, James Bond returns to cinematic service for the Queen. The Spy Who Loved Me firmly establishes Roger Moore as the suave operative and pits him against a malevolent marine magnate (Curt Jurgens) with designs on destroying the world. This entry marks a first in the series as producer Albert R. Broccoli has parted ways with partner Harry Saltzman. Which accounts for the approach to Bond who, in Moore’s first two efforts seemed more like Michael Caine in Get Carter (1971)–which Saltzman produced. Caine’s Jack Carter was influenced by Sean Connery’s 007. Here Moore gets to show his knack for humor while on his new mission.
Two submarines–one British, one Russian–somehow disappear. MI6 recalls Bond from Austria to search for their country’s vessel. Shortly thereafter, the KGB contacts one of their own (Barbara Bach) to get their boat back to the USSR. They both wind up meeting, unexpectedly, in Cairo. As both the UK and the USSR are each a craft short, an Anglo/ Soviet partnership is formed by 007 and Major Anya Amasova (Bach) and their respective superiors: M (Bernard Lee) and General Gogol (Walter Gotell, who previously appeared in the second Bond film–albeit in a different role–From Russia with Love). They head to Italy by train to investigate the operations of Karl Stromberg (Jurgens) but the mission is nearly derailed due to the unwelcome visit by an assassin in Stromberg’s employ: a steel-toothed giant named Jaws (Richard Kiel, last seen making travel tough for Gene Wilder in Silver Streak).
Later the pair are received by Stromberg aboard his impressive aquatic citadel and later utilize the latest marvel created by Q (Desmond Llewelyn): a Lotus capable of traveling the roads and underwater. The car also sports an array of options which Bond employs to escape pursuit by Jaws, Stromberg’s pilot (alluring Brit genre actress Caroline Munro), along with a few unnamed henchmen. Then comes a bit of news which threatens to put a chill on the relationship between Bond and Amasova both personally and professionally.
Lewis Gilbert, director of Connery’s next-to-last Bond appearance You Only Live Twice (1967), returns with a recycling of that film. The screenplay exchanges the hijacked rockets for shanghaied submarines and a secret base inside a volcano for an underwater one. Jurgens makes for an uncharismatic nemesis for Moore. He almost seems to be like an adversary which David Hedison and Richard Basehart might have encountered on the old series “Voyage to the bottom of the Sea.”
Marvin Hamlisch, substituting for usual 007 composer John Barry, crafts a score which lacks the excitement of prior Bond film scores. “The James Bond Theme” sounds rather dull and unimpressive when heard in the pre-credit sequence. Such an amazing feat performed by Rick Sylvester certainly deserves better. It’s really a shame that Barry didn’t compose a work to complement the efforts of John Glen’s second unit work. The score and Jurgens are about the only flaws in an otherwise solid adventure that should hopefully get the series back on its feet. Hopefully the next installment–the end credits note the upcoming one will be For Your Eyes Only–will be here sooner than the nearly three year gap between Guy Hamilton’s lackluster The Man with the Golden Gun and Gilbert’s The Spy Who Loved Me.
Roger Moore’s humor helps him put his own stamp on Bond’s passport to adventure. After starting up with Hamilton putting him through his paces on his first two cinematic missions for British Intelligence (Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun), Moore and Gilbert click and the third time is the charm for the actor’s presence to completely differentiate his 007 from Connery’s hard-edged approach.
Ready To Bond, Mister Bond?
Are you ready for Bond: World Of Espionage, a free, fun mobile game?
Why should you play Bond: WOE? It’s enjoyable without having to spend money on gold or extras. Collect and assemble weapons and vehicles, fight legendary book and movie villains, build your team of agents, and battle with individual agents and alliances.
“Mother Has Been Bad, Or Is It Good?”
Take a mentor to show you the ropes. Mentors and mentees earn rewards inside BWOE. I’ll be happy to serve as your mentor. Just shoot me a note.
The graphics of BWOE are as good as that of any mobile game online. And the villains you’ll encounter are taken from the EON film franchise and from Ian Fleming’s novels and short stories.
Wint and Kidd from Diamonds Are Forever are truer to the books than the films, but Moneypenny, Q and others are taken straight from Spectre and Skyfall. The dozens and dozens of agents like Honey Ryder, Silva and James Bond himself are sharp looking and carry deadly weapons and gadgets.
Agents you know and new creations, all each have a glossy dossier describing their strengths and bonus abilities for matching to conflicts, missions and alliance wars.
And the gorgeous mission scenes are beautiful. It’s worth the effort to get all the way up to Spectre, to see the beautiful Day of the Dead and other artwork in-game.
Hint: Just shoot me a note if you want free mentoring in the game, to get better, fast. There are rewards in it for us both!
Players earn attribute points for completing special missions and going up in level, which happens fast in the early stages of the game. Hint: Don’t add points to your Offense, Defense or HP stats, ever. You may not even need to add them to your Stamina rating.
Hint: You should add them to your Stamina rating, at least up front, as Stamina for conflicts and villain battles and Energy for missions auto-reset on timers. And Stamina hits on a villain count for double leveling-up points, and for certain hits one-on-one, triple, even quadruple points! Regardless, come away from the BWOE for some hours and you will have 2x as many points to “spend” to level up, faster, if you build both Stamina and Energy points. But as you grow stronger, you will want lots of points for missions! You can even buy facilities for millions of cash dollars in the game to upgrade your energy levels, permanently.
Completing missions gives you cred, money to spend and advances you in level. Developing the level of your agency and your individual agents gives you bonus Stamina, Energy, Offense and Defense, so you need not earmark points for those categories. Hint: Save the big push for the end. If you have 100 points left in both energy and stamina, and are on the edge of a new level, (where both refresh to full) instead of doing a mission, for say, 17 points, or a villain hit for 20 points, play one of the “spin to win missions” for 100 points–you’ll be 98 points closer to the next level plus you might win a cool prize or even a new agent.
Hint: Save a big burst of points for the end of an agency level. Say you have 200 points in Stamina and Energy but are approaching an experience rating to take your energy next level, where both Stamina and Energy will fully recharge, meaning you cannot use all of those 400 points. Use points precisely until you are 1 or 2 shy of the next level, then spin for a free agent, say, in Russia, for 145 points. You will start the next level with 143 or 144 experience!
Conflict is a fun way to earn dollars in the game, but you can also earn dollars from redoing missions you’ve completed, plus after completing secret missions you earn spins for free new agents. Don’t waste your points. Put most of them for Energy toward missions. Hint: Conflict gets fast cash, especially against high-level agencies. $25,000 to $100,000 or more per punch or kick! Good times.
Hint: Speaking of conflict, watch out for battles with members of strong alliances. It’s better to fight some dude or chick with a Level 210 Agency, allied with 21 other playing pals, than it is to take on a Level 150 Agency, allied with 35 other bad-mamma-jammas.
Hint: Know thy enemies. If a level 200 cannot take out a level 100 in a straight-up duel, it’s because of the level 100’s alliance. If you’re in a alliance, use espionage instead of dueling.
Hint: Be judicious in fighting villains and henchmen. “Choose your next enemy carefully, Mister Bond, he may be your last.” Don’t just plunge into a villain confrontation but 1) see if this battle was begun by an alliance teammate and 2) see which villains are close to 100% defeated already, so you can put the killing moves on and get the swag.
Super mean and nasty hint: We all need friends. Add players you can beat easily to your friends list, then make “friendly visits” whenever you need some quick conflict points or cash. You did not read that here!
You’ll want plenty of gold in BWOE to advance your agenda. There’s plenty of free gold, with more to spare, from completing in-game achievements at early agency levels. Once you are strong enough, you make your own agents by spinning for new ones, without gold. Don’t buy anything–just enjoy the free ride.
Be patient, as free-play timers take a while to load. If you play a bit in the morning, then again in the afternoon, and one more time near bedtime, you will gain a level or two a day, and have fun exploring Bond’s world.
There are free offers you can complete for gold in the game–but take screenshots to document your progress, in case the offers don’t hit your account properly. There is also plenty of enjoyable gaming without the free offers and without making any in-game purchases.
Hint: Get to detonate faster, free. You need not acquire all six conflict powers to have the power of detonating (exploding) your enemies. Just run the three along the top of the powers (Shoot, Strangle, Defenestrate) then straight to Detonate! And now you know.
Enhancers are used to combine agents to make super-agents. Go to the right location to get the bang for your game bucks, where you get not only enhancers but gamble for new agents:
- Skyfall: Gold
- Thunderball: Purple
- From Russia With Love: Two Greens and a Blue, for 145 points
- Slow Down Faster: Gold and Green
- Diamonds Are Forever: White
- Dr. No: White and Green
Join an alliance as soon as you are able. Alliances protect you from losing too much money during in-game conflicts. But choose your next alliance carefully, Mr. Bond–it may be your last.
A weak alliance is just kind of there to protect one another from losing too many dollars in conflicts.
A strong BWOE alliance enjoys fellowship during in-game chat. They also band together to fight alliance wars effectively, sending teams of spies, commandos and other agents to time attacks and defense. You’ll know the better alliances immediately by their leaderboard status.
Hint: See if you can get accepted to an alliance above your level rating. If you send a message letting them know you are active in alliance wars and serious about play, they’ll sign you on in most cases. Top alliances receive free gold and status badges to wear in-game, every few months.
Much game fun ensues when you not only collect Bondian swag, but build it, using components in Q’s Lab. Hint: When you get an e-mail, “Hey, you can build a PPK!” wait on your pleasure, saving up for bigger and better things. (I held wheels, an antenna, leather, etc. and that lovely ejection seat, so that when my self-destruct timer comes in, I get an Aston Martin DB5!)
Hint: You can also collect cool stats. Example, if you never retreat from a conflict battle by hitting the “Leave” button, but rather back out of the screen using the back button or another button, you will have a 0 in your “You Have Been Finished” battle statistic. And that’s something only Bond himself can say otherwise.
Just shoot me a note if you need any assistance in the game, a mentor to lean on, or have questions. See you online inside Bond: World Of Espionage!
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands – The Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam inaugurated on Monday an exhibition titled “The 007 design, 50 years of Bond Style,” which sheds light on how the British secret agent influenced art, music, technology and design.
The exhibit, which features more than 500 objects and environmental recreations, shows the Bond effect on contemporary culture since the character was created more than 50 years ago by Ian Fleming.
“Not only does the exhibition show James Bond’s history, but also allows living an experience,” Kunsthal curator Jannet de Goede told Efe.
Documents, models, prototypes, scripts, music and film clips, large selections of costumes and accessories, as well as original photographs, many unrevealed to date, provide an insight on how the Bond series were done.
With 23 Bond films in five decades, the museum shows the glamour of the renowned Bond style, which is not only a landmark in the history of cinema, but also for the world of art, music, fashion, technology, car design and lifestyle.
Eight halls of the museum are dedicated to Bond themes and to recreate the atmosphere of the series, since the debut film “Dr. No,” which was produced in 1962 and starred Sean Connery, until the latest, the 2012 production “Skyfall” which starred Daniel Craig.
In the “Gold Room,” a circular bed covered in white linen and a woman’s body painted in gold are a reminiscence of the classic 1964 production “Goldfinger.”
There are also sections dedicated to the author who created Agent 007, British writer Ian Fleming, and a reproduction of the office of M, where the secret agent received his orders.
The exhibition and the multisensory experience of this extensive retrospective of the world’s most famous spy also includes the “Q” branch, the fictional research and division of the British Secret Service, the casino of Casino Royale, foreign countries, villains, enigmas and the Ice Palace of Die Another Day.
“What impresses me most is the way the exhibition has been set up, in an unconventional manner. It is different because the public really strolls through the James Bond movies,” De Goede added.
In the tour through the Bond world, more than 500 objects can be seen, like the white bikini worn by Ursula Andress in Dr. No, Q’s briefcase in From Russia with Love, Scaramanga’s golden gun from The Man with the Golden Gun, and the shark teeth that first appeared in The Spy who loved me.
The spy’s elegance is reflected in the tuxedo Roger Moore wore in 1983’s Octopussy, or one of the suits of Italian firm Brioni which Pierce Brosnan wore in 1995’s “Goldeneye.”
Another section features 007’s famous cars, such as the silver Aston Martin DB5 that first appeared in Goldeneye and made a return to the screens in Skyfall.
The exhibition, which was first seen in London in 2012, will remain at the Kunsthal until February 2015.
Mark your calendars for October 24 – 26, 2014 (Thursday evening for early arrivals and) Friday – Sunday for the itinerary posted at Live And Let ‘Leans!