Beat Sneak Bandit is the third game from Simogo, who are quickly proving to be a real force to be reckoned with in the App Store. All of their games have been creative and innovative, and they get more polished with each new project. Their unique art style definitely helps this game stand out, but the extremely well done music and rhythm-based mechanics are the real star here.
After Duke Clockface somehow steals every clock in the entire world in a single night and hides them in his Clockwork Manor, the complete incompetence of the human race shines through, and they're devastated. He must've had Santa Claus as an accomplice. It's the only way this could have worked. It's up to the Beat Sneak Bandit and his faithful froggy sidekick Herbie to pull a Robin Hood and steal them all back.
Your job is to go through each four-floored level, bypass security, and collect the big clock, as well as four extra clocks which unlock bonus levels. In this world, everything moves to the music. Traps, security guards, gates and even you. You simply have to tap the screen to move the Bandit, but you can only tap with the beat. If you're off-beat, you won't move, and any extra clocks on your floor will shatter. These inventive mechanics take some getting used to, but once you get over the initial difficulty hump, the game gets really brilliant. You can only turn around when facing a wall of some kind, and learning the rhythmic patterns of each level feels very rewarding.
The art style is outstanding as usual. Especially in the bonus "shadow" levels, which isn't just a random title. The writing is full of clever humor, and of course, the music is the star of the show here. All of the elements fit together so perfectly. The music that plays while Duke Clockface is around combined with his perfectly pompous face are great, and you really start to hate the smug jerk. Game Center achievements are supported, and they're fairly creative and interesting. Definitely don't miss out on this rare gem of a game. It's iOS Universal, and at the time of this review, it's available for three dollars.