When it comes to 2D side scrolling video games, most of them involve you shooting or fighting your enemies head on.
Using stealth is an element that is usually featured in 3D action games such as the famous Metal Gear Solid and Splinter Cell series.
Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark takes a different approach and adds stealth gameplay to the 2D world.
It’s a concept that works brilliantly, although it’s a game that will require a lot of patience, brains and skill for you to advance in.
The neat thing that I love about Stealth Inc is that the game doesn’t require any type of violence for it to be fun. You don’t have to “take out” enemies in this game because the main goal is to never be found. Not to mention there aren’t any human enemies to patrolling the areas in this game either.
Most of the enemies that you have to avoid include cameras, lasers and robot sentries just to name a few.
The only things that your character can do are jumping, hiding from the shadows, pushing objects into places, hacking computers, teleporting and more.
You will have to make good observations of the level design to see where all of the traps are placed plus make note of areas where there are shadows. Hiding in the shadows ensures that you are invisible to the security cameras and robot sentries that are on guard.
The main premise of the game is to open up the main door that will allow you to escape from the level. This is easier said than done, because you will have to open other doors that are locked and even solve some puzzles that will open up more areas for you to explore.
Stealth Inc has some gameaplay similarities to Limbo because a little common sense and quick thinking is needed to progress in this game.
For example, there was one section where I had to push a button for an elevator to work. This elevator transported a robot sentry to a new area where it pushed another button that opened a new door.
There are also times you will have to push these crates that help you avoid lasers from killing you and help you reach new areas.
Stealth Inc is divided into eight areas each of them housing 10 levels each. If you are finding a specific level to be too difficult, the game allows you to skip it. You can only use the “skipping level” option a few times per area you are in.
Once you run out of it, you’ll have to solve the rest of the levels legitimately by yourself. Each area ends in some sort of boss fight which is basically a huge turret in the middle of the level. This turret has a wider view than the robot sentries and can instantly kill you if you are in its sights.
To “defeat” the boss, you pretty much just have to avoid the turret at all costs and escape through the end level door like any other level in the game. Again, this is easier said than done because the turret occupies such a large area of the level that it’s often hard to find a nice spot to hide in the shadows all of the time.
The gameplay in Stealth Inc is incredibly hard and you will die a lot of times. The graphics in this game are simple and cute, but it’s not nice seeing your character getting zapped by lasers or getting crushed all of the time.
This is because the game’s animations are quite jarring and you will see your character‘s blood and guts squirt all over the screen every time you fail. I guess this is the game trying to tell you each time to think things through more carefully every time you fail.
Dying becomes almost a common occurrence because this is not a game you can breeze through easily. The puzzles and levels get more complex the further you progress and trial and error is usually the best method to get through this game.
Still, there have been many times that I got totally stuck and needed to put my PS Vita down to clam my brain down. Stealth Inc is not the type of game that will frustrate you, but it is enough to make you need to take a break at certain points.
Thankfully, there are features in the game that will allow you to unwind and recharge your batteries if you’re finding the main game to be to o difficult. Another huge feature of the game is the level editor that allows you to create your own levels.
Sadly, you won’t be able to share your created levels during the game’s launch. However, the game’s developer promised an upcoming patch will address this.
To prolong the game’s longevity even more is that you can replay each level in hopes of unlocking new costumes. Some of the newer costumes you get to unlock have special abilities such as camouflage suits, teleportation devices and more.
I have to admit I wasn’t good enough to unlock these perks myself, but it’s something that I strive to do once I become good enough at this very difficult game.
Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark is a very fun stealth puzzle game that is unlike any other 2D game I’ve ever played recently. The game is available to play on both the PS3 and PS Vita system and is sure to be a title that will test your brains for weeks or even months due to its difficulty.
If you don’t like hard video games, this game may not be for you. If you think you’re up for the challenge though, Stealth Inc is a game I recommend if you like games that test your brains and patience…
Lasting Appeal: 8.5