Simogo is making quite the name for themselves with such imaginative and colorful games that are each truly unique in the App Store, and any platform. Beat Sneak Bandit is their newest effort following Bumpy Road and Kosmo Spin, and it’s a stealth game unlike anything else around. You play as a bandit trying to steal back the clocks stolen by Duke Clockface to return to those who were stolen from. The most interesting aspect of the game is the control system which is tied to the rhythm of each level.
You need to tap to the beat to move forward, and it’s such an innovative movement mechanic that it does take a bit to get used to. Once you do, it feels so good to tap to the beat, and you really get your whole body in-tuned to the distinct beat of each level. If that wasn’t challenging enough, there’s the true stealth gameplay as you maneuver past guards, lights, trap doors, and vacuum bots. There are plenty of puzzle elements as well with buttons, dropping doors to shift direction, clocks to collect, and simply getting a feel for the particular rhythm. This is a game that you will need to take your time with, as there’s no rushing ahead. You can only move as fast as the beat, and you really need to pace yourself around obstacles.
With so much challenge in the game, it does become frustrating relatively quickly because there’s not much leeway in hitting the beats. It’s easy to move once you hit the first beat, but all movement in the game is choppy because of the obstacles. You need to move to the next obstacle sequence, and start and stop to the flow of the beat over and over again. It’s very tough to catch the beat, and deal with security guards, lights, or trap doors. The toughest thing is really getting started again after stopping the rhythmic movement, and the game would be tough enough with just on screen movement arrows.
Beat Sneak Bandit ($2.99, Universal) isn’t for everyone because of the difficulty level. The entire innovative experience is dragged down a bit by trying to hit the beat so perfectly. Still though, it’s a wonderfully designed and thoroughly engaging experience that easily stands out from the crowded App Store. You will be fully involved in this game unlike any other, and if you give yourself some time to get used to the rhythmic controls, you will no doubt love it.
Beat Sneak Bandit is worth the price, but isn’t quite perfect, but is in a class of its own in the App Store. The game’s lack of leeway despite ragged pacing is the one factor that lowers the enjoyment, similar to Bumpy Road where the screen doesn’t properly scroll with speed.