Review: Stealth INC: A Clone in the Dark

[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”Stealth Inc: A Clone In The Dark” developers=”Curve Studios” publishers=”Curve Studios” platforms=”OSX / Windows / Linux / PS3 / Vita / Android” genres=”” release_date=”Out Now” version_played=”PS3″]

Taking control of a nameless clone you are tasked with escaping 80 levels of puzzling fun. Taking them head on you must successfully navigate a string of increasingly difficult puzzles. Ducking and dodging lasers, turrets and enemies. Only the shadows can help you and provide your only protection from this dangerous world.

Graphically Stealth INC doesn’t offer anything amazing or spectacular but it gets the job done without any dramas. What I found performed really well graphically are the gruesome deaths of your clones and trust me there will be plenty of them. A string of fantastically intricate pieces of music set the mood for your puzzling experience; working towards building suspense, confusion and pressure, adding to a well formed atmosphere.

Part of the presentation in the level designs are messages from the game to the player, sometimes offering advice but more often than not giving the player sarcastic comments, which at times degrade your gaming in a humorous way. A feature which I found offered a bit of relief from the strain of consistent challenging puzzles.

Like any puzzle game it takes you through the motions to find your footing and introducing different elements to the game which is all paced along quite well. I found the difficulty peaked around the higher 60’s of level count. Although some puzzle games have difficulty finding a perfect balance of challenging tasks, some become too easy and others beyond completion. Curve Studios have struck that perfect balance to their credit. I found the challenges to be smart, smarter than me but not so smart beyond my skills that I couldn’t solve the puzzles, to my own personal satisfaction.

Logic and precision are your tools to survival for Stealth INC. Shadows provide your cover from the thousands of dangers and a very smart feature that indicates your visibility to enemy sensors are in fact your clone’s goggles. Not a huge in game tool but charming none the less.

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Stealth screen
Whilst 80 levels might not sound like a lot, with the average level taking roughly 2 to 3 minutes. I found myself spending a lot more time than I had originally estimated. Mostly through trial and error to get a perfect error free run to cement my position on the leader boards. Leader boards are something you will painfully see a lot of during your game, appearing at the end of each successful level completion. It got to the point where I wasn’t even bothered with waiting for the leader board to show.

The one and only real problem I encountered with this game though was the level creator. The opportunity to inflict some puzzling punishment on other gamers but unfortunately could not be fulfilled. Perhaps it was due to my lack of imagination or inexperience in creating levels. An introduction could have been a real game changer for me on this aspect.

The story behind this game certainly isn’t its strong point but there is so much more behind this game. Yes the puzzles do need precise movements. Yes you will have to restart a few levels to get that successful level run but when you get that successful completion. All your thoughts and precision all coming together to show a successful path to the goal, all on your own independence. Giving the gamer that revered “Ah-Hah!” moment.

Curve Studios have created that perfect balance of challenging puzzles with the right amount of stealth and platforming aspects to challenge gamers and also provide lots of variety. This certainly is a product they should be proud of.