App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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Stealth Inc., originally released for Mac and PC under the name Stealth Bastard and then later for the PlayStation 3 and Vita under its more family-friendly name, has been well-loved from the start. And rightly so as it mixes stealth and brutal platforming challenges so effectively. So how does everything hold up on iOS? Ridiculously well, actually.
The basic premise of Stealth Inc. is to escape. Players control a very unfortunate clone (several, really, since there will be lots and lots of dying) whose only purpose is to sneak out of a facility that's absolutely packed with death traps. Now that I think about it, all the place seems to do is make and kill clones. In order to guide their little fellas to figurative safety, players will need to solve a series of challenging environmental puzzles and make a bunch of intricate jumps while also trying to avoid detection at all costs. The game uses a simple left/right slider for movement along with jump and duck buttons to great effect, while a contextual button for interacting with computers and the like pops when needed.
Stealth Inc.’s 80 original levels are as brutal and punishing as they are brilliant and gorgeous. Each one is comprised of several rooms that can shift and change around as players progress - creating some surprisingly beautiful lighting and shadow effects in the process - and the collectibles deviously hidden in each one (plus the at-a-glance leaderboards) will definitely keep them coming back for more. There’s also an option to unlock access to community-created levels after a one time in-app purchase. None of this would mean anything in an intricate platformer such as this if the controls weren’t spot-on, though. Thankfully they are indeed spot-on. Heck, if it weren’t for the occasional mis-tap I’d say they’re virtually perfect.
Almost nothing was sacrificed to bring Stealth Inc. to iOS, really. The lack of equipment (camo suits, portals, etc - each with its own leaderboard) is something of a downer, though. As is the absence of a level creator. Although I suppose the addition of extra equipment would turn the interface into a nightmare of extraneous buttons. Still though, it’s kind of a bummer that they’re not included.
Even without the level editor and equipment, Stealth Inc. is still a rock-solid game. There’s a bunch of original content, tons more thanks to community levels, and some incredibly rewarding (and punishing) platforming to be had. It's is an absolute treat on any platform, and iOS is no exception.