By Jeff Neuenschwander / February 27th, 2015
|Release Date||PC: November 12, 2014
iOS: December 10, 2014
|Genre||Adventure, Casual, Strategy|
|Age Rating||iTunes Rating: 9+|
Let me introduce you to Naiad Entertainment. This new indie developer was founded by a duo of industry veterans named Donald Wurster and Jay Epperson. Donald had a old venture named Gastronaut Studios, which created the XBLA game Small Arms, was nominated for Best New Studio at the Game Developer Choice Awards and was eventually acquired by PopCap Games in 2009. On the other side, Jay worked for Retro Studios on the revamped Donkey Kong Country series and also had a hand in games like Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, Bastion and Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure.
Why am I telling you guys this? Well, because they released a game called Sneaky Sneaky on Steam and iOS. As you might have guessed from the title, this is a stealth game where you play as the character Sneaky as he goes around being… sneaky.
I must say that this game had some great gameplay. I thoroughly enjoyed toying with my enemies in order to stealth kill them. This can be done by baiting them into a certain area and getting the jump on them. You can also attack them from a distance with a bow and arrow. I think Sneaky Sneaky also benefited from being on a grid-based design. It certainly made it easier to control the situation with enemies since you could tell what their range was.
Be careful not to get caught in someone’s line of sight or you’ll be frozen in place as the gameplay switches to a turn-based system. They’ll move towards you and get some free shots on you. Then it is your turn to attack. If you’re running out of life, you can jump into a hiding area outside the line of sight, which can get the game back in its normal mode. Again, really well done.
And that’s it, ladies and gentlemen. This game was provided by the developer for purposes of review. You can find this on Steam, as well as the iTunes App Store. See ya.
…This seems a bit short for a review, right? Well, to be honest, this game felt a bit short.
Overall, the experience was done in about three hours, although plenty of that time was just waiting for enemies to get within range. The numbers of levels totaled in at 15, split into three main sections. While that’s more than a certain other stealth “game” that released last year, it still felt a bit lacking.
Music was serviceable, but nothing memorable. Just… bland.
The story was pretty much the same way. You had jewels until a bird took them. You run off to collect them with each level holding three jewels. Get to it.
And, while this game is available on PC, it feels like it was designed for mobile platforms (which it kind of is). What I mean by this is that Sneaky Sneaky is designed to have levels completed in small doses — which helps if you only have time to game in small doses. This is by no means a negative. It’s clear that mobile was something they wanted for the game and they developed the game to fit an audience that enjoys gaming in small bursts — which is generally what you get on mobile platforms.
But the problem is that they missed the biggest thing you need for a game to succeed in the mobile space: replayability. The game has none. You beat a level once and you don’t feel like going back because there’s no incentive to do so — save for one or two levels because you didn’t unlock the right item to get the jewel until later. For a game that doesn’t last long, that is the biggest problem.
Overall, Sneaky Sneaky feels like a Ground Zeroes-type game, where it’s more of a proof of concept versus something you want to throw money at. However, even with that feeling, there are positives here in gameplay that do make it something you should try out, although I would advise waiting for a sale. Naiad gave me a good foundation, but I was hoping for a bit more. Hopefully, that will be rectified next time.
You can get Sneaky Sneaky right now for $4.99 on Steam and $2.99 on the iTunes App Store. Review based on the Steam version.
Naiad entertainmentSneaky SneakyStealth