- Retro 2D platforming goodness
- Midi sounds (I love the 90s)
- You play as a sneaky bastard
- You’re a bastard
Being a bastard is not easy, even more so when the need to be stealthy is required. The fondly named Stealth Bastard Deluxe: Tactical Espionage Arsehole is a puzzle platformer by Curve Studios. Not only do you become a complete bastard, but also the biggest arsehole in our little 2D world armed with camo and other gizmos. Your job as a clone, should you accept, is to navigate the different test chambers avoiding surveillance cameras and deadly Resident Evil-esque lasers. A cross between Portal and 2D classics such as Commander Keen, you jump and shadow your way to each exit point. Of course the plot is thin to say the least, and more of an excuse for some pixelated fun.
You get the feeling that the brainchild of Stealth Bastard was having a few pints at a local Fuller’s to come up with the game title. And rightly so, as there’s nothing more humourous than having your Steam friends ping you a message asking what the hell you are playing. 2D platform games are making a comeback; upon first loading a catchy midi soundtrack bounces along like a Jazz Jackrabbit and everything about the menu takes you back to the early 90s. A blinding flash of nostalgia whisks you away into your first level; you can forget about changing the graphics resolution but you can enlarge the screen and in fact there is a fondest for the pixilation of yore.
There are some enemies thrown in, including those pesky cameras and other obstacles such as aforementioned lasers and deadly cargo bay doors. I say deadly, as stepping into the camera’s field of vision will trigger the doors to be slammed… unfortunately directly where I was standing which ended in my squishy demise. Hiding in the shadows is key to survival, with some shadows rotating across the level so prompt timing of runs and jumps will keep your intestines intact. There are some tricky encounters to navigate through; however being the sneaky bastard you are, some of these can be made easier with the use of upgrades. Your clone can be equipped with additional equipment such as camouflage and decoys. The use of decoys is particularly fun and an air of satisfaction can be had when you trick a camera into triggering its defences too early.
The Deluxe version comes with hundreds of community made levels for your playing pleasure; all levels in Stealth Bastard have a leaderboard for the quickest completion time from players across the world. Also included is a level editor to make your own tricky challenges for others to play; it quickly becomes quite competitive as I could not for the life of me figure out how one person completed a level in under 40 seconds.
At £6.99 on Steam, it is a bargain and will keep you entertained for hours. A simple yet addictive platformer that doesn’t break the bank, it is a nice gift for yourself or for a friend over the holiday season. There is also the added bonus of legitimately shouting, OI YOU SNEAKY BASTARD ARSEHOLE! Stealth Bastard Deluxe is out now for the PC on Steam.