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Beat Sneak Bandit

Clock rock

Different drum

Like every great puzzler, Beat Sneak Bandit draws you into its infuriation-elation reward cycle by starting off simple and gradually upping the challenge. As you inch towards the game's thrilling final boss battle, new mechanisms are layered upon each other: airborne vacuums that pursue and suck you up, teleporters that flash you to different floors and levers that freeze time.

Beat Sneak Bandit iPhone game screenshot

For all its wonderful rhythm, the game's true challenge arrives through dissonance. Moving to individual beats, it can be tough enough to pick out the mechanisms' squeaks, buzzes and swooshes from the hypnotic backbeats, but it's their visual disharmony that most distracts.

Success demands nothing less than Herculean levels of visual and aural focus, as you strain to recognise mechanical patterns through the cacophony of movement and sound. Lengthy play can prove exhausting - especially given the music.

Beat Sneak Bandit iPhone game screenshot

It's all highly infectious drum machine stuff, with catchy hooks sticking in the mind for hours afterwards, but it's too unvaried to prevent tedium during continuous play, meaning Beat Sneak Bandit is best consumed in ten-minute bites.

Beat Sneak Bandit iPhone game screenshot

Verdict

RH Recommended Medal

That tedium only detracts slightly from the aesthetic charm and near-flawless mechanics. Like the clocks you're compelled to collect, it's a game exquisitely engineered with meticulous precision. Simple to pick up and difficult to put down, Beat Sneak Bandits easily claims a place alongside the top iOS games. ®

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Beat Sneak Bandit iPhone game icon

Beat Sneak Bandit

A precisely engineered rhythm-puzzler. For iDevices only.
Price: £1.99 RRP