Save the world from a mass clock theft in this enchanting and deviously unique platformer
Beat Sneak Bandit : All the clocks are gone. People don’t know when it’s lunchtime! No one knows when the soaps are on! Children are brushing their teeth for hours, because they don’t know when to stop! Such a dastardly scheme could only have been hatched by evil villain Duke Clockface. “Are you implying that I need clocks to build a time freeze device? That’s absurd,” he contends, not entirely convincingly. But our heroes Beat Sneak Bandit and his frog sidekick, Herbie — aren’t fooled, and they decide to use their pilfering skills for the greater good: sneaking into the mysterious Clockwork Mansion to liberate clocks and the townspeople.
But Duke Clockface is no halfwit super-villain — he’s peppered his mansion with traps. And being someone with too much time and money on his hands, he’s made everything move to a 4/4 beat (including amusingly wide-eyed and presumably hypnotised security guards). You must work within these clockwork confines, move on the beat, grab the clocks in each room and avoid being spotted. Mis-time one of your steps and a clock unhelpfully explodes, although the main clock, cheerily flying a flag and denoting the level’s end, always remains.
With full control over the masked anti-hero, your mission might be more straightforward; but here, the prod of a thumb to take a single step is all you get, and in simplifying controls to the extreme, Beat Sneak Bandit becomes significantly more involved and ambitious. The bandit’s inability to turn except when facing a wall – along with only being able to climb stairs when facing them – transforms a simple game based on rhythm into one that’s a series of perplexing puzzles. Demands for precise timing are matched by a need for careful planning.
It’s easy to become frustrated. The rigidity of Beat Sneak Bandit combined with deviously designed levels is enough to make you consider tapping out a beat on your device with a large mallet. This is compounded on later levels, where serpentine routes are required but a single mis-timed step can mean starting again, But while the game seems punishing at first, there’s a point when it clicks.
Not only do collected clocks unlock bonus levels, but also it’s like the game is taunting you regarding imperfection. An incomplete level becomes the iOS equivalent of peeling the stickers off half a Rubik’s Cube, gluing them back on and looking at iot with a false satisfaction.