In his debut review for CIG, Ryan Cook gets his stealth on.
Stealth Inc. is an immersive stealth game where you must dodge, sneak and efficiently time all movements in order to reach the next level. The player controls a small creature and has to use shadows to shield their movement. When hidden the characters’ eyes glow green, when crouched and out of shadow they are amber to show that they are partially hidden, and then red for fully visible. This helps when trying to hide in a minute amount of shadow as you can tell whether you will be spotted or not.
Shadows help you to hide from enemy vision. In the above example, we must dodge a camera it has a field of view which is clearly shown by a green cone. If you happen to enter the green cone without shadows to hide you, then expect to be blasted into little pixel-sized, bloody giblets. The idea of using shadows is a theme which plays through most of the levels of the game. Some of the shadows are affected by the environment and move, requiring the player to time movements rather precisely or face the pixel-sized bloody giblets once more.
This brings me to the only real issue with Stealth Inc. The movement controls. Jumping and crouching are simple enough movements as there are two green triangles on-screen which you press for these actions. The main quibble is that to move left and right you have to place your finger on the left hand side of the screen and drag it in the direction you wish to move. It sounds like a reasonable idea, however it was is difficult to make precise movements, the character seemed to either move too much, or not at all. This, in turn, lead to the character’s demise a lot more often than it should have. This could be due to large, clumsy fingers though, so do not let this put you off Stealth Inc. The sheer amount of content more than justifies the meagre £2.99 pricetag. There are 80 levels for crying out loud. That’s right, 80! That is enough to keep anyone busy.
Numerous interactive objects litter the world. Switches on the floor, which you run over and they can activate small doors for movable blocks to drop through, or they can turn off the lights. The movable blocks mentioned are key objects, they can be used to reach ledges that are too high for you to jump to on your own, they can also be used to cast shadows to allow the player to sneak past enemies unnoticed. The terminal does many things, from opening the door to allow you to complete that area, to shape-shifting the world into something almost totally different, in turn breaking areas into 2 or more parts.
A very cool feature – although somewhat hidden – was the fact that Curve Studios have put messages/clues into the rooms that you are working your way through. These can be very easy to miss, but can give you a good idea of what you are to achieve at that moment. It looks a lot easier to spot in the picture, but when you are immersed in the game it is much harder, honestly!
Stealth Inc. is a fun, quick thinking puzzle game that draws the player in. Most levels are almost impossible to do on your first attempt and require a slow approach; you must be willing to look over the environment, thinking about how to overcome the obstacles ahead. The only drawback the game has is its unintuitive control scheme – it can be difficult to get to grips with, initially. Despite this issue, we still highly recommend the game for fans of the stealth genre
Stealth Inc. is available to purchase for iOS devices from the Appstore now.