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Are You Sneaky Enough To Escape The Brutal Labs In Stealth Inc?

November 20, 2013

Stealth Inc. ($4.99) by Curve Digital Games is a tricky stealth platformer game that will keep you coming back for more. If you enjoy other stealth games like Beat Sneak Bandit or Tiny Thief, then chances are Stealth Inc. is right up your alley.

There’s something about challenging games that keeps you coming back, over and over, even if you end up dying a lot. I’m not sure about you guys, but I love a good challenge every now and then. After all, games aren’t fun if you can just breeze right through them, right? That’s why stealth games, when combined with platforming action, can be brutal, and that’s just what we have here with Stealth Inc.

The graphics in Stealth Inc. are gorgeous. You will find detail-rich labs that are filled with dangers, and the colors you see are beautiful, even if it’s a bit dark. Even though the game fits a lot on my iPhone 5s screen, I could still make out all of the little details that you’ll find throughout the levels. The game also features quite a fast-paced soundtrack and realistic sound effects so it really feels like you’re in the game world itself.

The main character seems to have been held up in a lab for experimentation (my guess, as that’s what it looked like). You will find others, but they are all making their escape as well (and some aren’t as lucky). Soon enough, you will find yourself thrown into the game without any armor or weapons, and the only thing you have is a pair of Stealthing Goggles. Being seen in this game means death, so you have to use your environments wisely and to your advantage. Avoid hazards and obstacles, take cover in the darkness, and just be sneaky, yet fast, to reach the exit.

The controls in the game feature a non-sticky directional pad and two buttons on the right for crouching/going down (from ledges) and jumping. When you reach a terminal, you will need to hold down the hack button that pops up in order to reveal the exit door. To move objects around, you just have to run up to them and continue moving in that direction. And if you jump on a wall, if there is a ledge available, you will grab on to it if you are still holding the directional pad while jumping.

While I really enjoy the concept of Stealth Inc., the controls are kind of killing the game for me. It’s very similar to how The Other Brothers did their controls at first, and it’s incredibly frustrating. Since the directional buttons do not stick (and there is no way to make them stick in the options, I checked), they can end up anywhere on the screen, depending on where your finger ends up. It’s also much easier to go right instead of left, as I have to basically swipe my finger a bit to the left to move in that direction. And since you need to basically pull on the controls, it’s quite hard to move just one space to the left or right, which you may end up having to do since this is a stealth game, after all.

The action buttons for crouching and jumping are not as bad, but I do wish that they were not in a diagonal fashion, but rather just adjacent to each other, like how they are in Mikey Shorts and Mikey Hooks.

Aside from the controls, the rest of the game is enjoyable, although a bit masochistic. You are graded on each stage based on how fast you can complete the puzzles and reach the exit, and you can see how your score (basically your time) compares to other players from all around the world.

It may seem easy at first, but then you get trapped in rooms on lockdown thanks to security cameras, face booby trapped areas with lasers that will disintegrate you on the spot, and more. You’ll probably fail a lot, so I would learn to appreciate the smooth animation you see when you die and explode into a bunch of red pixels. At least you get taken back to the last checkpoint after death, which is basically just the last puzzle you started at.

If the single-player campaign is not enough for you, then you can also check out the community levels section. From here, you can check out the stages that other players created and download them to your device to play. You can even favorite levels, search through three different filters, and sort levels based on rating and other criteria.

As I mentioned, the game will show you how you do on each level as compared to all other players. Yet, oddly enough, while the game does support Game Center, leaderboards are not included there. But there are 18 achievements, which add to the replay value of the game.

I’m enjoying Stealth Inc. so far, but I do wish that the controls were better. It’s the only thing that I don’t like about the game at the moment, and I would like to see the developer optimize them in the future, or at least give players the option to customize it to how they want. I suggest this because the controls do not work for me the way they are right now, but it may work for others. Having choice is nice, though.

If you’re a fan of stealth and platformer games, then I highly recommend checking this one out. You can get Stealth Inc. in the App Store as a universal download for $4.99.

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