Sneaky Sneaky: Putting the “steal” into stealth

November 24, 2014


Steal some rubies, lose them and then spend the whole game collecting them again. Sound fun? In Sneaky Sneaky, you’ll use daggers, bows and rock hammers to defeat and evade slime monsters, skeletons and the sultan’s army.

Everything runs in real time while no one has detected you. You’re free to move about the level, hide in bushes, pick up coins and rubies and move from screen to screen. Enemies patrol each level. Some, like goblin guards, move in a set pattern. Others, like slime monsters, move around at random. And still others, like burrowing skeletons, spend their time buried in the sand until you step on the sand and activate them causing them to seek you out.

Once an enemy is alerted to your presence, it will seek out your last known position. If you wound the enemy or it sees you, everything becomes turn-based. Each unit has a movement radius, and attacks do a pre-set amount of damage. If you’re spotted, the enemy moves first; if you strike first, you have priority.


Each unit gets three turns to move and attack, and what’s refreshing is that you’re not required to attack. It’s a perfectly valid strategy to snipe an enemy with the bow, begin a turn-based encounter and use your three turns to move across the map and hide in a bush. The enemy then uses its turns to move to your last position and then gets defected when it can’t find you. At that point you either continue to plink away at the Ham Troll (which is my new favorite name for a video game enemy), or book it for the exit because there’s nothing else worth picking up on that screen.

Each level is broken up into a Zelda-style map. You’re presented with a few enemies, some cover areas (bushes, haystacks and the like) and some large blocks that serve to block line of sight and keep you from rushing for the door to the next screen. My personal favorite tactic is to wait patiently for an opening, move to a bush, drop some bait in front of me and then execute a sneaky attack when a guard spots it. I can then pick the bait back up and do it all over again.


My preferred mode of stealth here is “if nobody says anything (hey, dead guys can’t talk), then nobody saw me!” It’s possible to make it through levels without killing any enemies. It’s also possible to make it through a level without ever being detected. Combining these can be especially challenging. I can prefer stealthily clearing a map and still avoid detection. And no matter what path I choose, I will earn experience, level up and upgrade my character as I see fit. As I favor stealth, I upgrade my movement allowance first and let my bow capacity languish at three.

All of the mechanics make sense, and they’re easy to grasp. I know how many turns I have left in an encounter, because they’re represented by chunky segments of a circle. I know where my bow shot will go, because the pull-back aiming mechanic is clearly explained and the direction is obviously shown while you’re lining up your shot. I know which squares are safe, because enemy vision is obviously represented. Everything that I need to know is clearly surfaced and immediately understandable.


Sneaky Sneaky is great for a quick level here or 15 minutes there. If you’re motivated it can be completed in an afternoon, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It offers enough to make the included four hours all enjoyable ones. New mechanics are introduced steadily, the included environments are varied and pleasing to the eye and there are a good number of enemies to fight or avoid. Everything I want in a stealth puzzler is here in a cute, concise package.

Pros: Many valid approaches to each level, fun puzzle-based combat, “Ham Troll”
Cons: Some players may feel the game is too short

Score: 5/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.