Stealth Inc, or by its cleverer original name Stealth Bastard, is one of those indie games that seems like it was made specifically for me. While not completely lacking in story, it’s really not that important. You play a clone, assumedly, stuck in some kind of facility that is designed to test your stealthing abilities. Throughout the game you are bombarded with taunting messages from some other stealth test subject. And thats about it, but thats not the point. Like a lot of great indie titles of late, this game lives and dies by its mechanics.
Stealth Inc is a 2D puzzle platformer, with stealth elements as the name implies. Shadows are cast around the room allowing you to hide from deadly security turrets and things only get crazier. Your clone has a pair of goggles that turn red when he’s visible, orange when partially visible, and green when you’re good to go. As the shadows move around the room you need to access terminals and switches in order to open the exit door. Take one step in front of a turret while being completely lit up though, and you will die almost instantly with a gruesome laser blast to the head, followed by a taunting message from someone…
The game has 80 levels to start and they are split into chapters. Each chapter adds a single element to the game making things extremely complex by the 5th or 6th chapter. Moving pillars around to cast life saving shadows, using warps in interesting ways, and even walking clone killing robots to ruin your day. With each chapter focusing on a new mechanic, without getting rid of the old ones, the game rarely feels stale. Stealth Inc does what every puzzle game should, and thats making you feel ever so cleaver for solving it. And unlike some puzzle games, just because you know the solution doesn’t mean finishing the level will be a walk in the stealth park. Precision timing and jumps are vital throughout the entirety of the game.
The games characters and interactive elements are all 3D objects with walls being a flat black. This does cause some issues when it comes to knowing whats a floor and whats instant death. I spent several levels running back and forth trying to figure out where to go, only to realize the thing I thought was a shadow, was really a solid black box I could jump on. Not being able to tell whats what, isn’t a fun puzzle to solve.
Stealth Inc is a great puzzle platformer, if youre a fan of puzzle platformers, or stealth, you should definitely check this out. Its $9,99 and that includes cross buy! You can buy it on either PS3 or Vita, and the game will show up on both, and with the press of a button your progress is synched between them. Indie games like this are what make the Vita and PS3 such an insanely good combo. So keep em’ coming Sony.