I played Stealth Inc 1 sometime last year and thought it was a neat little puzzler, but this is a much better game. As it should be really, considering it’s the second entry in the series.
I enjoyed the puzzles much more in this game than in the original, and that’s mainly due to the gadgets you get throughout it which help a lot in terms of variety. In the first game, at some point I ended up only playing it in little bite sized pieces. Things got worn out a bit quicker there. Stealth Inc 1 did throw in different types of obstacles at you as you progressed, but the gadgets that you get throughout the second game I felt changed up the dynamics of what you’re doing and how you’re thinking about solving the puzzles much more than the first game did. Because of that, I ended up playing this game in much larger chunks and was generally engaged most of the way through. I say “most” mainly because the beginning I thought started off a bit slow, but it definitely picks up.
The metroidvania-esque overworld progression is brilliant. This is definitely the main thing that separates the two games from each other. In the first game, you chose your levels from a level select screen, and that was really it. In this game, there’s a whole map to walk around in with the individual test chambers spread about. Basically, it’s one big level that hosts a bunch of smaller levels. Each section of test chambers is focused on one gadget. In each section, you go through 7 regular levels, and then a boss. You don’t get to take a gadget outside into the overworld until you’ve completed all of the levels within that particular segment, which I really enjoyed and also found kind of remarkable for a couple reasons. One being because I just like the idea of you having to “master” a particular gadget before you are allowed to carry it with you outside. The second reason is that after you’ve cleared multiple sections, you’ll have multiple gadgets to carry with you only in the overworld.
So then it gets to a point where you have to use multiple gadgets to get through parts in the overworld while whatever particular section of test chambers you’re on only focuses on one of them. Oh, and if you haven’t figured by now, the overworld has it’s fair share of puzzles and platforming challenges to clear as you make your way to the other test chambers. While there are parts where you do have to use multiple gadgets to get through sections of the hub, I don’t think this aspect of it was as fleshed out as it could have been. The overworld puzzles are generally easier than what you find in the test chambers, but that’s a good thing since it gives you moments of relaxation in between the more demanding parts of the game. Still, there was a missed opportunity for more multi-gadget puzzles. I didn’t go for many of the optional collectible costume parts that were spread around, though the ones I did get had more challenging puzzles, (at least in comparison to the mandatory sections around it) so that’s probably worth mentioning.
I found Stealth Inc 2 to be overall easier than the first game, which was good for me at least. Actually, I ended up giving up on the original because I got stuck somewhere in the last set of levels. I generally suck at puzzle games, so take from that what you will.
There was a much more involved story in this game than in the first. (Not like that it’s hard to top) It did a good job of making you feel bad for the clones and made you want to free as many as you could. The end is anti-climatic though. I suppose I expected there to be a bit more to it, but there wasn’t.
The soundtrack was cool and added a distinctive vibe to the game. I wouldn’t say it’s amazing, but it was worth putting on earphones for.
Extra Notes –
I Played Stealth Inc 2 on PS Vita.
There is an co-op mode included that I wanted to try but couldn’t.