Review: Stealth Inc.

Curve Studio's Stealth Inc., defines perfect portable playability, so its odd the game started out on the PC (as Stealth Bastard). Its also so slick and polished, that it seems rather crude to tag it with the "indie" label. But since that's the way the Vita rolls these days, there you go.

Puzzling your way through 80 levels (plus the was-free, now cheap, DLC The Teleport Chamber levels), you need quick reactions, muscle memory and a sixth-sense to work your way around the tricks-and-traps that litter each scrolling area, packed with buttons to activate, computers to hack and security systems to navigate, using shadow and silence as your weapons. From scanning lasers and patrolling dustbin robots to roaming (but blind) sentries, its your task to open the final door and escape undetected, or more likely seen, but-unscathed and slightly smouldering.

To encourage you to do better there are the fierce challenges of medals, global fastest-time boards, and awards for not being seen or dying on a run. That's where the muscle memory comes in as you practice and retry a level to shave a few tenths off your time, trigger slides or blocks with nano-second precision and avoid cocking-up a series of jumps. Its all invigorating stuff and there's a host of unlockable Stealth characters with special features to add some tactics to your progress.

If you just want to get to the end, or master every level with an S rating, you can pick-up-and-play Stealth Inc forever, most levels take a minute or two to complete, but you can spend 5 minutes or so figuring your way around a tricky one, and then trying to do it "properly". Then there's the hidden secret Snitches on each level that provide a final layer of challenge, finding these requires extra exploration or mastery of a particularly challenging sequence.

So easy to describe, so fun to play and yet a right bastard to master, that's the game in a nutshell, its only a £1 more expensive than the PC version, and you get Cross Buy with the PS3, but it doesn't look quite as perfect on the big-screen.

Price: £7.99 (PSN) Curve Studios
Score: 9/10
Progress: Set of Doors No. 6
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