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Beat Sneak Bandit Review
Review Score:

Beat Sneak Bandit, an awesome rhythm-based stealth puzzler from Simogo, is now available from the app store. With dead-simple controls, outstanding level design, and engaging graphics and music, Beat Sneak Bandit fires on all cylinders to provide one of the more uniquely stunning experiences we’ve had with an iOS title.

Beat Sneak Bandit Pros:

  • Artsy old-school cartoon style and rhythmic animations
  • Ultra-funky soundtrack
  • Simple tap-to-the-beat control mechanics with no room for error
  • Outstanding puzzle design and challenging Shadow levels
  • Nearly 2 dozen GameCenter achievements to earn

Beat Sneak Bandit Cons:

  • No timers, move counters, etc. for comparison to previous performances/other gamers
  • Casual players may find the rigid difficulty offputting

When Duke Clockface swipes all of the world’s clocks in a plot to create some type of doomsday device, it’s up to the Beat Sneak Bandit to recover them (and a bunch of other timepieces, too). The game contains 40 levels across 4 different environments (Mansion, Basement, Laboratory, and Clock Tower), with an additional 4 Shadow levels in each set that are unlocked by collecting enough clocks. Each level is four stories, forcing BSB to use staircases and trap doors to move up or down through the maze to grab the main clock denoted by its pink flag. BSB can only move forward unless he bumps into a stationary object, in which case he spins and moves in the opposite direction. Each tap of the screen will cause him to move one step, provided that you tap to the beat of the infectious soundtrack. Miss your cue and BSB will simply stand pat, which usually leads to being spotted on camera, discovered by a security guard, sucked up in a hovering vacuum, or busted by some other security measure put in place by your nemesis. As an additional punishment for stepping out of time, a bonus clock on the same floor will disappear. All aspects of Duke’s household move to the same beat, so learning their patterns will allow you to anticipate their state (open/closed, left-facing/right-facing, etc.) in order to sneak safely throughout the jazzy abode. There is no timer and no points are scored, so you can take your time, plot your course, and enjoy the experience.

Graphically, the levels are very colorful, with an artsy cartoonish twist to their make-up. The security features and doors/staircases/buttons all work in conjunction with one another to create a unified entity that feels almost alive. This quality is even more noticeable in the Shadow levels, where everything but the background is in silhouette. The ultra-funky soundtrack is terrific, making it easy for even the rhythmically-challenged to follow the beat. The visual indicator at the screen top is also a helpful feature, and telephone messages from your froggy sidekick and taunts from your nemesis add some flavor. The simplicity and responsiveness of the tap controls make Beat Sneak Bandit a breeze to play, leaving the screen largely unobscured so that you can enjoy the experience.

Replay value is good, though limited by its lack of any quantifiable data other than clocks collected. A tap-tracking feature, mistap counter, level timer, or anything of that sort would give gamers feedback on their performance and a metric by which to measure subsequent performances and compare against other gamers. Of course, the sheer enjoyment of completing levels with all clocks is enough to bring us back for more. GameCenter integration allows for nearly 2 dozen achievements to earn. A universal app for $2.99, Beat Sneak Bandit is a fantastic 4.5-Dimple winner.

Beat Sneak Bandit Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2012-02-19T13:55:03+00:00 rating 4.5 out of 5

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