SPY x ANYA: Operation Memories Review | A Big Dose of Cuteness

It might not be the most exciting game, but SPY x ANYA offers a lot of heartwarming moments that fans can enjoy.

Following its initial release in Japan back in December 2023, SPY x ANYA: Operation Memories is finally available now globally on the Switch, PlayStation, and PC.

It has been two years since the Spy x Family anime’s first season premiered, and now, the first proper game adaptation can be played by fans outside Japan. While most anime games are either fighting games or RPGs, this one is a more wholesome slice-of-life title that fits the anime’s more heartwarming vibe (not counting the times when Loid and Yor are on a mission).

To be exact, this game lets players take on the role of the ever-adorable Anya Forger, and her mission is to fill up a diary with fun family memories. She can do this by taking photos of outings with her parents. As such, the core gameplay loop is part photography and part social simulation.

Anya’s New Mission: Complete a Photo Diary

The game’s story mode starts with Anya as her class gets assigned with making a diary. To complete this assignment, photos of Anya enjoying outings with her family must be taken.

Operation Memories isn’t just a constant stream of outings though. Instead, each outing is preceded by two school days. Each of these days is divided into four phases: Morning, Afternoon, Evening, and Night.

In the morning, players can practice minigames, though no points are awarded. Anya then goes to school until the afternoon. During this phase, players can chat with Becky, Damian, and Professor Henry Henderson. These chats are short, but they give Anya a boost in Play Points or PP acquisition (these are the game’s main currency). Doing them every School Day will also increase a meter that, once filled, will unlock a scenario with Anya and the other characters in school. This school phase also features photography opportunities, with each daily photo getting added to Anya’s diary.

After the School phase, Anya returns home in the evening where she can do the same. She can talk with Loid and Yor for chats and to unlock special scenarios, and take a photo in their apartment. Sometimes, Yuri and Fiona also come to visit, and at these times, Anya can also talk to them.

At night, players can try out one of the many minigames that Operation Memories has to offer, though only a few minigames are unlocked at the beginning. Players can access more of these by unlocking more outing locations. To play these games, players will need to spend Eureka points (denoted by the lightbulb at the top right of the game’s UI). These points are gained by taking photos at school, at home, or in outings. By playing minigames, players can earn more PP which can be used to buy new outfits for the Forger family and key items for outings.

When the two school days are over, it’s finally time for an outing. At the start, only a few outing locations are unlocked. By completing these outings, more locations are unlocked. In total, there are ten locations (not counting the school and home), most of which should be familiar to fans of the anime.

For instance, there’s the Aquarium which the family visited in Episode 12. There’s also the Castle that was prominently shown in the anime’s fifth episode. Players can also match the family’s outfits with their outing location, though the game doesn’t give any bonuses when doing so. Thus, you can go with whatever outfit you like for these outings.

During outings, Anya can take two photos. By default, three are unlocked, with another three being locked until you buy specific key items in the shop. By unlocking these three photo-ops and completing them, you’ll then unlock the main family photo scenario. This is the photo that counts towards completing the main story. As such, you won’t need to take all the photos that are available in each outing location.

As for the photography minigame, it has simple mechanics as you can only control the angle and focus of the camera. It’s an easy minigame as the camera indicates with colors when you’re in focus, on the right angle, and at the right moment. By getting these perfectly, you’ll also get bonus Eureka points that can be used for minigames.

After the outing is done, the cycle repeats, meaning each “loop” consists of two school days and one outing day. While there are plenty of photo opportunities and a selection of unlockable special scenarios, this game won’t take long to finish as you can complete everything in around eight hours or so.

Aside from being short, it’s not exactly an action-packed game as the gameplay loop is simply a mix of visual novel-style scenarios and the simple (but incredibly adorable) photography game. Thankfully though, the game does have some variety thanks to the minigames that can be played to get more PP for the game’s shop.

Cute Minigames Add Some Replayability

SPY x ANYA features 17 minigames that range from a vegetable chopping game with Yor to a dodgeball minigame at school. Many of these minigames are inspired by popular titles such as the Anya and Bond platforming game that’s based on Super Mario. There’s also the Pac-Man-style mini-game where Anya must collect peanuts while evading enemies.

As mentioned above, these minigames are unlocked in the story mode as more outing locations are made available. Aside from being a fun way to switch up the game’s pace, the minigames also reward PP which is important to buy the outing key items to progress the story.

While I had fun with the minigames, I didn’t really get an itch to play them while going through the story mode. Thankfully, the game is fairly generous with PP, not to mention that the key items for outings aren’t expensive. There’s also the fact that you can simply exchange your Eureka points for PP at Night, so you can skip the minigames if you’re not in the mood for them.

What’s also nice about the minigames is that 11 out of the 17 can be played with another player locally. This can be done in the game’s main menu where the tw0-player mode can be accessed. Even if you haven’t progressed through the story much, you don’t have to worry as all the minigames are unlocked from the start.

Playing these minigames alone solo can be fun, but they shine when played with two players. Sure, they’re not the most unique out there, but the Spy x Family theme do make them fun to play with fellow fans of the anime.

Still, if you ask me, the game’s story mode is still the main reason to get this game. But it’s not exactly a game I can recommend to everyone. Instead, I can only really recommend SPY x ANYA to big fans of the anime like myself.

Made for Slice-of-Life Fans

The Spy x Family anime is one of the rare shows that can be recommended to pretty much anyone as it features a mix of slice-of-life, action, comedy, and even some hints of romance, all held together by a loveable cast that you can’t help but love.

SPY x ANYA is a game that focuses on the show’s slice-of-life aspect, meaning this adaptation isn’t exactly for those who like Spy x Family for its action and plot. If you’re like me though and enjoy the adorable and heartwarming moments of the anime, this game is made for you.

While I’m not the biggest Spy x Family fan, I do have a certain attachment to the show for personal reasons. Given this, I enjoyed my time with the game even if it can be quite repetitive.

For instance, the gameplay loop can be a bit dull at times as there are many cutscenes that get reused during the school and outing days. Aside from photography and chats with friends/family, there’s also not much to do.

There’s also the unlockable scenarios with characters which are basically remixed versions of moments from the anime. Thus, many of these moments aren’t new which is a shame. New scenes would add so much in the enjoyment of these.

Despite these drawbacks, I still enjoyed my time with the game, enough that I finished every photo-op and unlocked every special scenario to get a Platinum trophy. Even with its fairly repetitive nature, the photography moments make up for it by being incredibly cute and heartwarming.

Again, this game is not for everyone, but if you’re like me and have a certain attachment to Spy x Family, there’s a lot to love here.

SPY x ANYA Operation Memories Final Verdict – 7.5/10

Thanks to its heartwarming photography moments and cute minigames, SPY x ANYA: Operation Memories is a game that Spy x Family fans can enjoy, at least if they love the show’s slice-of-life elements.

As the gameplay loop doesn’t have any action while being a bit repetitive, this game isn’t for every fan of the series. But for those who think of Spy x Family as their comfort show, Operations Memories is worth looking at. Plus, the minigames also make it a nice game to play for families and couples who love the anime.

[This review was made with a PS5 game code provided by the publisher]


SPY x ANYA: Operation Memories isn't the most exciting anime game as it's mostly about experiencing and taking pictures various scenarios with Anya with her family and friends. While it would've been better to see more original scenarios, the heartwarming moments will delight Spy x Family fans. Plus, the minigames are fun to play with family or partner.