Monday, February 20, 2012

'Beat Sneak Bandit' Review

It’s rhythm! No, it’s puzzle! Actually, it’s both: Rhythm AND puzzle! Simogo’s Beat Sneak Bandit is a rhythm puzzle game where you attempt to sneak your away around police officers, spotlights, and vacuums and you attempt to save the city from a terrible misfortune brought by Sir Duke.

The core of Beak Sneak Bandit’s gameplay lies in its simple one-tap control. You tap to move, turn around if you’re facing a wall, and climb stairs. With that, every level is presented as a puzzle, with obstacles such as police officers who cause you to fail if they see you, moving platforms, and buttons that open or close walls (which works both ways, because the wall allows you to turn around). As you move around, you attempt to collect 4 clocks as well as reach a final 5th clock. Basically, it’s your classic 3-star level, but with 4 now. At the very heart, Beat Sneak Bandit is a basic puzzle game, however, when you add the rhythm element into the genre, it becomes a totally new game; it’s now a music puzzler. What’s fascinating is that the focus is not on a person’s ability to perform rhythms; the time signature is in 4/4, and you simply tap on one of the four quarter note beats to move. Instead, the game is about your ability to observe patterns in the level. As every obstacle makes a noise when they perform an action, you put your auditory skills and combine them with your visual skills to plan out your action, and these two elements blend perfectly. I cannot say how much joy I’ve gotten out of this game; it’s not just how fun it is, but how utterly creative it’s core element is; I’ve never seen it done before and it just works splendidly.

As a music aficionado, you can say that I may favor music games, but I can always easily find any flaws within the game. I can say with confidence that there are none to be found. However, those that do have trouble with rhythm may find the difficulty to be high, but I personally found the overall game to have a nice difficulty curve.

Beat Sneak Bandit presents itself in a charming, funky sort of way, loaded with personality. I do have some minor complaints about the level select system, as you need to scroll through levels instead of simply picking one. Overall though, the game executes itself extremely well and is a refined piece of art. I can honestly say, it’s games like these that make me appreciate videogames as art.

Flows well, no lag or crashing, and the artwork is nice and bright. It’s everything you could ask for. I don’t need to say anymore.

Oddly enough, as a music game, the music soundtrack isn’t as amazing as I thought it would be. With that said, there is nothing wrong with the funk and jazz tracks that it brings, as well as the noticeable music cues to aid your timing in the game; it’s still a strong element.

Beak Sneak Bandit offers 40 core levels, 16 shadow levels, 12 remix levels, and 1 boss level, for a grand total of 69 levels. Considering how each level might take a few tries to learn the pattern, you’ll be spending a decent amount of time trying to figure out how to 4-clock every level. It’s a game that will last you a decent amount of time, and if you’re still not done, then go for the achievements from Game Center.

Unless you’re continuously had dreadful experiences with any type of music or rhythm game, you’ll find Beat Sneak Bandit an immersive and unique experience. You’re not simply playing the game, but when you play, you’ll have immense appreciation for the game. And that’s why I can say with full confidence, Beat Sneak Bandit will be a top contender for Game of the Year.

Gameplay: 5/5
Presentation: 5/5
Graphics: 5/5
Sound: 4/5
Replay: 4/5


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