In this game, the player must help Agent GK and his partner as they battle enemy agents on land, sea, and air. Make the Skill Shot to open the safety gate, then take to the air with missiles and a one-man jet to double and triple the playfield targets. Drive through the Weapons Warehouse for armament, then drop out to engage the target in a deadly battle over the drain. Knock down the drop targets to build the score towards a Special, hit the SHOT targets to light the spinner, then enter the saucer hideout and collect the Hunter bonus.
Pinheads end up sharply divided over Spy Hunter. Critics bemoan the highly unorthodox design, with a trisected playfield that leaves the left side wasted, a dearth of satisfying shots, and lackluster sound effects. Fans, in turn, embrace it as a change of pace from conventional games, with three separate areas that provide a good variety of play. There is, however, consensus over the music, a catchy synthesized version of "Peter Gunn."
In 1985, Bell Games of Italy released Saturn 2, a conversion kit for Bally pinballs based on Spy Hunter. Although the layout remained the same, the software was altered a bit, and the game was rethemed to a space battle between unspecified factions.
Spy Hunter and Saturn 2 demonstrate the following tropes:
- Always Accurate Attack: The Missile Attack on the upper playfield; hitting it spots a letter in AGENT GK.
- Badass Driver: Agent GK performs a bootlegger reverse to shoot an enemy car behind him.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: The upper-left region of Saturn 2 is named the "Combact Area".
- Code Name: The protagonist is only identified as "Agent GK".
- Cool Boat: A speedy white powerboat can be found in Agent GK's stable.
- Cool Car: Agent GK's white sportster, complete with Machine Guns, Oil Slick, Smoke Screen, and surface-to-air Missiles.
- Cool Plane: Two of them — a white private jet appears on the backglass, while the playfield shows off a one-man mini-plane.
- Distaff Counterpart: Agent GK is accompanied by an unnamed female partner.
- Eiffel Tower Effect: Landmarks include the Capitol Building and the Eiffel Tower.
- Home Base: The Weapons Warehouse, a safe haven for the player to collect more weapons. Collecting a complete set scores the current lit bonus.
- Hotline: The playfield features an unseen caller using a red phone.
- Plagiarism: Invoked by Saturn 2, which shamelessly copies spaceship art from other sources. The playfield has a Klingon Bird of Prey and several TIE Fighters, while the backglass features the Gunstar from The Last Starfighter.
- Rated M for Manly
- Spelling Bonus:
- In Spy Hunter, S-H-O-T collects the current Hunter reward, while A-G-E-N-T-G-K gives an increasing bonus and doubles or triples all scores.
- In Saturn 2, F-I-R-E gives a 5,000 point bonus, while S-A-T-U-R-N-2 gives an increasing bonus and doubles or triples all scores.
- Vehicular Combat/Weaponized Car: Part and parcel of the series.