Sneaky Sneaky is probably not a bad game, but it's certainly not the game that I thought it would be; On the surface, this is a sneaking game where you move on a grid to try and go to the end of dungeons while avoiding enemy patrols, traps and other obstacles, collecting jewels and killing foes along the way. The core concept is quite interesting, but the execution is flawed as the game is played in real time. Whenever you get spotted by the enemy, the game switches to a turn-based mode that I wish was the whole game, really.

Moving along dungeons, trying to collect optional gems and avoid being spotted by enemies, Sneaky Sneaky sure makes an okay first impression, with its simple first rooms where unmovable guards show their vision cones and let you exactly know where you can and can't go. The game quickly fell apart for me the second enemies could move around, worst yet was it when they didn't follow fixed patterns. The game strangely begins a turn-based mode whenever you get spotted - which usually allows enemies to hit you a few time before you can do anything - but otherwise moves at it's own speed. I really wish all of the game was turn-based and would be more of a puzzle game than a tile-based sneaking half-guess. Something like LARA CROFT or HITMAN GO, something that makes you think, not fumble around and trigger alarms when there was almost no way you could've known that you were going to get spotted in that bush.

There is an experience system that allows you to upgrade your health, the damage of your ranged and melee weapon and your movement range. This would work even more in fully turn-based mode, upgrading your movement range is useless if you're playing in real time and you're rarely going to go attack enemies anyways because they usually overpower you pretty quickly. The sword can be used for sneak attacks - easy on the first guards, increasingly impossible for me on later, randomly moving opponents - and the bow is used to initiate combats with some damage on the enemy, or to trigger switches and other apparatuses when needed. I kinda like that you can chop down trees to replenish your arrows, but I find kinda weird that you can shoot in any direction, it's a real conflict with your grid-based movement.

Each level is divided in a few maps and there are sometimes dead ends with treasures in them - gold to buy upgrades, gems that you can collect for your overall completion of the game, text logs - but otherwise your goal is pretty clearly labeled out in the minimap. I kinda wish you could restart the room you're currently in, it happens if you die anyways, so why not leave the player save itself the trouble when things go terribly wrong? Each world has a few particularities, such as the desert world being home to sandbound skeletons and giant snakes, and the visual style of the game is quite nice as well, but didn't manage to save it for me.

Sneaky Sneaky wasn't the game I wanted it to be and that soured the whole experience on my end; Your millage may obviously vary as I went in with different expectations from what I've actually got. I think that games about sneaking around on a grid can work as long as they're not too frustrating and give enough information to the player, but in this case, that wasn't what I was presented with.

AuthorJérémie Tessier
Categories3/5, Strategy