App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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Never Stop Sneakin’ is a sneaky game in more ways than one. In addition to being a pitch-perfect parody of Metal Gear Solid, it’s also somewhat of an arcade score-chaser. Aside from its appearance, Never Stop Sneakin’ is actually nothing like a Metal Gear Solid game, and this is 100% ok, though some people who were expecting a little more stealth action might be a bit disappointed.
You know how stealth games are often frustrating because you have to watch guard patterns, plan out your moves, and then fail a few times because of things that you didn’t see or account for? Never Stop Sneakin’ doesn’t have any of that. Instead, it gives you a super solider who does all of the complicated actions for you while you focus solely on moving around.
If you run up behind a guard, your character automatically cuts them down with a sword. If you get spotted, your soldier automatically shoots (provided you have the bullets). If you run up to a computer terminal, you automatically hack it. You get the idea. The take-away here is that Never Stop Sneakin’ isn’t really a stealth game. The stealth stuff is handled for you. What you’re actually playing is an arcade game.
The setup for Never Stop Sneakin’ is that some bad guy named Guildenstern built a time machine and kidnapped all of the presidents. Your job is to build up a base and team of soldiers to take him and his forces down, and you do that by infiltrating Guildenstern’s facilities and retrieving items of interest and gathering espionage, a sort of collectible currency.
All of Never Stop Sneakin’s levels are procedurally-generated, with new objectives only really appearing once you’ve gathered enough espionage to unlock or build certain parts of your base. This means that any given run of the game is all about gathering as much espionage as possible, which involves keeping a high combo multiplier and running through levels at a pace that feels more akin to Pac-Man gobbling up Pac-Dots than an actual stealth game.
The arcade action in Never Stop Sneakin’ is definitely its biggest strength, but the ways the game cleverly lampoons the Metal Gear Solid series are also a highlight. Ridiculously dramatic cutscenes, absurd bosses, and even the game’s PS1-era visuals all serve to poke fun directly at Hideo Kojima’s celebrated tactical espionage series. The only real bummer about Never Stop Sneakin’s humor is there isn’t quite as much of it as you might like.
Speaking of wanting more, that’s kind of the key issue with Never Stop Sneakin’ in general. You don’t have to play very much of this game to see most of what it has to offer. There are almost no new items, enemies, or bosses that reveal themselves as you get further in the game. This isn’t a huge problem, as the core arcade action of Never Stop Sneakin’ is solid and feels good, but the grind for espionage can get tiresome over long play sessions.
The bottom line
Never Stop Sneakin’ is a pretty great game, provided you aren’t looking for tactical stealth game with a deep set of systems or lore. The game includes suggestions of these things, but these only operate as a means of making fun of Metal Gear Solid and nothing more. That said, what is in Never Stop Sneakin’ is fun and feels great, I just wish there were a little more variety to make it feel a little less grindy.