Beat Sneak Bandit will wind up stealing a lot of your time, as well as your heart.
When it comes to fun ways to spend an evening, breaking and entering probably doesn't sit too high on your list. After playing Beat Sneak Bandit, though, you may want reconsider this. The game proves that burglary — combined with a little rhythm and a lot of style — is easily one of the most entertaining activities you could possibly be involved with.
Beat Sneak Bandit's story is definitely funny and charming. The world's clocks have all gone missing, leading to widespread chaos because people can't tell when their favorite TV shows are on or how long they're supposed to brush their teeth for. All clues point to the reclusive Duke Clockface as being the culprit, but the man's quick to deny stealing the timepieces in order to build a device that will allow him to freeze time. The eponymous Beat Sneak Bandit decides to infiltrate the Duke's mansion in order to set things right, and he receives some remote help from his sidekick, Herbie.
Gameplay is deceptively simple. In order to get Beat Sneak Bandit to move, you have to tap the screen in time to the beat of the music. So long as you keep tapping in time, the hero will shuffle across the floor to the next flight of stairs that takes him ever closer to the big clock he needs to steal in order to complete a level. Of course, the big clock is only the end goal; there are smaller clocks all over each area to pick up, though they'll explode if you're on the corresponding floor and tap the screen at the wrong time.
Of course, this would probably get boring if extra challenges weren't constantly being added. Things like trap doors, patrolling guards, security cameras, and vacuums (to name just a few of the hazards you'll come across) all operate on timed schedules, so you need to figure out the timing of each of these in order to figure out how to circumvent them. While it's tempting to try and figure out each level's timing based on visual clues, it's actually the audio that will let you pick up on when you need to move.
Because the core gameplay is so focused around sound and rhythm, it's no surprise that the soundtrack is great fun to listen to. In fact, the music is so good that a lot of players would probably be willing to buy it. What is surprising, though, is just how great the graphics are. Everything here looks amazing thanks to the vibrant, cut-out graphics that feel like they're straight out of an art deco illustration. Every level here is literally a work of art, and I'd love to get some hi-resolution prints to frame and hang on my wall.
Beat Sneak Bandit is a true work of art, in so many ways. It's smart. It's challenging. It's gorgeous. But most importantly, it's fun — dizzying, dreamy, and delightful fun. If you don't have a good time playing this, then perhaps Duke Clockface stole your heart, too.
- Stunning production values. Gameplay is wonderfully challenging and fun. Impossible not to grin while you play.
- You'll need headphones if you want to play this in public.