Developers beware, stealth mechanics are probably the most difficult to master of all gameplay types. Moreover, doing stealth wrong will pretty much immediately ruin your game. With that in mind, Naiad Entertainment jumped right in and made an attempt at the shadow lurking style with the awesomely named Sneaky Sneaky. I seriously love that name, and I’m not even sure why.
At it’s core, Sneaky Sneaky is a stage based game with an emphasis on picking up collectibles and passing each screen through either avoiding combat or approaching it carefully and on your own terms. You use cover and deft movement to avoid being seen by enemies while collecting health potions, equipment, extra ammo, and optional gem collectibles on your way to the exit. In the early going you’re given a dagger and a bow-and-arrow to use in an emergency, but largely you’re going to want to avoid conflict.
If you need to fight, doing so is INFINITELY easier if you’re the one to initiate combat. If you’re detected the enemy gets to move first on you. If you start the fight you get to move first. This is usually the difference between life and death. Combat plays out in a turn-based system, with each side getting to make 3 actions, whether they be moving or attacking. You can land bonus sneak attacks that one-shot bad guys if you get right up behind them without them seeing you. You can also shoot your bow from cover, but doing so will expose you, and arrows are limited. Mostly, the gameplay is about memorizing and exploiting patterns.
Upon entering a room, you can clearly see all the enemies you’ll be facing, and they have very obvious vision cones. It’s then up to you to decide how to handle things. The penalty for death is virtually nonexistent, so you can really tiral-and-error your way through it if you like. Gems are optional and often in difficult locations, so they add a nice optional boost in difficulty. At the end of each level you’re scored based on detection, kills, stealth kills, and how many gems you collected. Doing well will grant you XP you can use to increase your damage, health, and movement. You can also pick up money in the levels and use it to buy health potions and utility equipment.
Let me just get my most important impression out of the way right now. Sneaky Sneaky looked to me like the most obvious mobile game ported to PC that I’d ever seen. This game just screamed “I’M MEANT FOR TABLETS!” at me from the moment I hit the title screen. Huge UI elements, click, point, and drag motions, and zero keyboard input all suggested Sneaky Sneaky had been adapted from mobile. With that in mind I took a look to find out which mobile platform it was available for to maybe play on that instead. To my absolute shock I found that Sneaky Sneaky isn’t available on mobile. For the moment it’s only available on Steam, which I find absolutely crazy!
Okay, so it’s not on mobile for some reason, but it still has the appearance of a mobile port. Usually mobile ports provide a relatively poor value for PC users, so I wanted to find out how much this game was going to cost. To my pleasant surprise, I found that Sneaky Sneaky only costs about 5 dollars on Steam. This brings up an interesting argument about value for your dollar in reviews. Personally, I feel like the cost of a product absolutely should affect your impression of a game. For 30 dollars, or even 15, I would find Sneaky Sneaky to be a shallow experience. For 5 dollars on the other hand, it’s a fun little time waster that you can come back to in bits and pieces and routinely find enjoyment from in small bursts.
There is no question people enjoy playing mobile games. Seriously guys, put this game out on mobile! A simple platform change would change my impression of Sneaky Sneaky from shallow but well made and affordable PC game to fantastic, engaging, and addictive mobile game. Make it happen, Please!
***This game was reviewed on PC and a code was provided by the Publisher***