Spoiler alert! Beat Sneak Bandit bored me to tears. I lost interest on the first level and by the third level I decided my first impression was correct. This may be Apple’s iPad game of the week, but it isn’t mine. Two (very generous) stars.
Okay, let me revise that a little. Your preschooler might like it. It’s bright and loud. And if you have a kid who wants to play drums in the school band but has no sense of rhythm, this might be a decent game.
That being said, there are so many better games in the $3 price range, that this one seems pointless. And if your kids need rhythm, let them listen to James Brown.
Still, I suppose I should explain my concerns. The game is professionally designed with hip art and bright colors. It has a strong Nickelodeon feel. Players navigate the burglar up and down four floors to collect a key clock and smaller clocks that deliver rewards and punishment.
The houses are burglar proofed with guards, trap doors, lights and alarms. If your burglar gets nabbed, it’s game over. The catch is the game control. The game plays music with a strong four beats (which are also signaled with flashes for the hearing impaired). If players can match the beats, the burglar moves. If they can’t, nothing happens.
This is the game at every level I looked at. Collect clocks, the clock with the flag ends the game, avoid the guards and other booby traps. It will get harder, but harder doesn’t always equal funner.
The only way to turn the burglar is to bring him next to a door or wall. To sneak past the guards, the burglar has to wait until their backs are turned and move through the level. That’s it. The entire game.
Yes, the game control is innovative. Yes, the art is bright and cartoonish, the music bright and fast. It looks like a game players should love. But I don’t. You may, but if you don’t love it on the first level, you won’t warm up to it as play improves. Even if you’re tempted to download it to try for yourself, I have to say there are a number of games in the price range I think would be fun. And you don’t have to play the beat until your finger’s numb to enjoy them.
Here’s a list of $3 puzzle games the AppStore mentioned as notable that are far more fun:
- Ragdoll Blaster 3 (great)
- Feed that Dragon (good)
- Pizza vs. Skeletons (which I wouldn’t necessarily recommend, but it seems a little more fun)
Jenny Manytoes rates Beat Sneak Bandit
Actually Jenny watched me play and put it down after three rounds. When I handed the iPad to her, she couldn’t believe I would make her try something I wouldn’t try. So Jenny didn’t give out any stars. Since it at least shows a professional effort, I’ll give it two.
The Jenny Manytoes Rating System