Beat Sneak Bandit

App review by
Kim Alessi, Common Sense Media
Beat Sneak Bandit App Poster Image
Groovy music game requires rhythm and logic.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn rhythm and practice strategic thinking by moving The Bandit in time and around obstacles. Levels start easy, with just a few obstacles, then become more difficult and require strategy and foresight. The Bandit doesn’t have to always be on the move, though. Players can get him into place, take a break to plan their stealth retrieval (without tapping in time to the music), then go in for the goods. While kids could benefit from learning beats in different patterns or tempos, this app is a wonderful way to practice rhythmic hand-eye coordination.

Ease of Play

Beat Sneak Bandit is a game of strategy and rhythmic coordination. Advancing through higher levels gets tricky as multiple obstacles move to different rhythms. The game's music is in 4/4 time (4 beat rhythmic patterns) and can help players anticipate the beat.

Violence & Scariness

While The Bandit can fall or get zapped under lights, he can't get hurt or die. Levels repeat offering the player another chance to advance through the game.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Beat Sneak Bandit is a clever music arcade game that's multi-level, strategic, and has high replay value. This game's all about logic and rhythm -- maneuver The Bandit through a booby-trapped maze to capture prized clocks while avoiding numerous time-triggered obstacles. There's an ingenious in-app hint feature that guides players through levels and boosts morale. High scores can be posted in the player's Apple's Game Center social network, but participation is optional.

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What's it about?

Players guide The Bandit through different mansions to rescue clocks stolen by the evil Duke Clockface. Tap the screen in time with the music to maneuver The Bandit up and down stairs, around trapdoors, zapping spotlights, and past doofy security guards and other obstacles. Collect five clocks in each level to advance and open special shadow mansions. Mistime your tap and you lose a clock. A clever in-app mobile phone simulation at the beginning of each level offers players hints and moral support.

Is it any good?

The BEAT SNEAK BANDIT is a virtuous soul out to save the world's clocks one beat at a time. This is a fantastic app that'll suck you in with its wacky plot, brain-burning logic, and rhythmic challenges. It's smartly designed with great visuals and music (complete with a funky/jazzy horn section). Advancing through levels takes focus and rhythm, yet is achievable, so stick with it. Players can choose to snag just the Big Clocks (which will advance you through levels quickly), but the game's best when players strategize their moves to get all five clocks in each level. The effort's worthwhile and unlocks special "Shadow Mansions" that have even groovier music and cool visuals. 

There are some shortcomings. Some players may not have a good sense of rhythm or may want to play the game with the music off, which would make gameplay tricky. Likewise, the game may fatigue players in its uppermost levels because the intricate network of teleporters is very challenging. Beat Sneak Bandit would be even better if it had an in-app tempo slider to adjust the speed of the music as well as a way to explore other rhythmic patterns or time signatures like 3/4, 5/4, or 6/8.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Help your kids practice keeping a steady beat by clapping along to music. Try music with different time signatures and tempos.

  • Practice strategic planning by asking your kids to talk about their plan before they move The Bandit through his maze to retrieve the clocks.

App details

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