Kat Reviews Vol. 2: Level 22
First, upfront, I'm going to apologize for the photo size. I'm having trouble with resizing on photobucket, and the pictures are just ridiculously large. Hope you're sticking with me here...
This was a pretty difficult review to write, because this game is so freaking weird. You play as an office employee, Gary, who thought it was a good idea to go out drinking when he had to work the next day, and you wake up hung over and extremely late. The bad news is that you've been late so many times, if you're late again you'll be fired. The good news is that you're so unimportant that no one realizes you're not there. The only way they'll notice you're late is if they see you when you're not at your desk.
So the object of the game is to sneak to your office- and everyone else who works there is a narc who will rat you out and get you fired. That's all there is to it. For some reason, almost every other employee spends their days standing around doing nothing, so the game is mostly about memorizing their patterns to get by them.
There are some clever ways the game assists you in reaching your goal. You can get coffee from the coffee machines and pour it on the copy machines to distract employees and sneak by them. You can drop laxatives in the coffee of unsuspecting employees, and wait until they rush to the bathroom. You can stand still and pull out a newspaper so no one recognizes you when they walk by... Or you can crawl around in a box.
If you remain in an employee's field of vision too long, you're busted. If you get too close to an employee when they're looking at you, you're busted. If you get too close to a really alert employee even while they're looking away, you're busted. If your box moves when someone is looking at it... You get the picture. Luckily the autosave is forgiving and getting caught doesn't force you to start very far back. It's a lot of trial and error, and memorization- of course.
There are collectibles in the game- puzzle pieces out of safes, and toys. The puzzle pieces are frustrating. You have to find the safe, then search the level to find numbers scattered throughout it and plug them in to find the safe's combination. I'm not going to lie, I really struggled. I couldn't find a single combination myself, but there are guides on the internet, so it's not difficult. The toys are clever little pun names based off comic book characters, and each one nets you an achievement, so they're worth finding. They're included in the guides. 😉
What makes this a difficult review for me is that the game is pretty solid. It's fairly unique for an xb1 game, it's clever and cute and quirky, and it's well made. But I just don't like it. I don't hate it, but stealth is just the worst part of games for me, and the reason I disliked Deus Ex the first few times I played it. It's also fairly difficult (for me, not being good at stealth), and frustrating. But... It isn't BAD.
So I'm rating it on a 5 scale, which I'll do for all arcade games in KR. The ratings mean:
And with these guidelines, Level 22 is clearly a 4. It's a good game. Glitch free, weird, and entertaining. It may not be my cup of tea, but I can appreciate it for what it is- a good way to pass time and get some achievements. YMMV, of course.
*the site received a code for this game to review. The opinions of the reviewer are her own*