Beat Sneak Bandit
Stealthy grooves, pulsing puzzles and screen-tapping tunes
Beat Sneak Bandit is an ingenious rhythm action game that blends platforming, puzzle, stealth and music into a single concept that works on so many levels. When a nefarious duke steals all of the clocks in Pulsebury and takes them back to Clockwork Mansion, it’s up to the Sneak Bandit and his partner Herbie to infiltrate the lair and steal them back.
Each stage takes place in the mansion, and is set to a different tune with a distinct beat, as indicated by the beat counter at the top of the screen. Each time you tap to the rhythm of the beat, the bandit will take a step forward. Miss the timing however, and he will be rooted to the spot until you can get him to move again, leaving him open to being detected by guards, spotlights and vacuum traps.
The aim of each stage is to grab the big clock, although there are four smaller clocks that can be collected to add to your total, and to unlock bonus stages. Miss a beat on the same floor as a small clock and it smashes, which means you must restart each time to try and grab it again.
As the bandit can only turn around by walking into a wall, you must plan how and when you move, using moving walls to flip him around the right way. You’ll really need to plan ahead on later, trickier levels in order to grab every clock, especially when the hazards start to mount up.
Occasionally, you will sneak under a telephone receiver that triggers one of many cut-scenes that see the bandit and the Duke taunting one another, or Herbie giving you handy tips. The dialogue is snappy and well-written, dispensing plenty of laughs.
The main attraction is, of course, the soundtrack, which is a cool blend of lounge jazz and funk, underlining the suave Ocean’s Eleven-style heist vibe that runs throughout the game. Everything here works well, as the game can be played entirely by tapping one finger, and the difficulty curve is slow enough that anyone can master and enjoy the game over time.
Ice cool and highly playable, this is deserving of your attention, daddy-o.
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