Sneaky Sneaky

Game review by
Carolyn Koh, Common Sense Media
Sneaky Sneaky Game Poster Image
Cute graphics lessen violence in puzzle-solving game.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn to analyze situations, make decisions, test assumptions, and think strategically by solving puzzles. Players frequently experiment with the tools they're given, learning that there are multiple ways to complete each map or solve each problem. The game focuses more on getting through each dungeon with as little combat as possible rather than fighting every monster. Sneaky Sneaky shows that the best tool in a player's arsenal isn't necessarily weapons or stealth -- but the tool between his or her ears.

Positive Messages

Focus is on killing monsters and guards to steal back stolen coins, jewels.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You play as a thief, acting in your own selfish interests. 

Ease of Play

Simple controls and character development. No tutorial, but tool tips teach what you need to know.

Violence

You have to kill at times to advance. You get extra points for a sneak attack (killing from behind), but there aren't dying animations or blood. Cartoon characters simply vanish.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sneaky Sneaky is a downloadable adventure game with turn-based combat about a thief retrieving his stolen loot. Although there's no tutorial, the controls are simple to understand, and players receive plenty of tool tips when they try to figure out the the best way to use the game's various tools. The thief will sometimes need to kill monsters and guards; the impact is lessened by the cartoonish 2-D graphics, and defeated enemies don't produce dying animations, sounds, or remains. 

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What's it about?

In SNEAKY SNEAKY, the title character, Sneaky, is ambushed after a heist and his sacks of stolen treasure are scattered throughout the kingdom. Players roam through dungeons, forests, and city maps recovering the twice-stolen treasure and killing or dodging everything that stands in their way. You get points for making it through each area with as much loot as you can carry, along with completing specific tasks. Tasks can range from remaining undetected by enemies, successfully performing sneak attacks, and not retrying multiple times on a level. Points can then be redeemed to improve a thief's stats, making him faster, able to carry more treasure, or able to better heal himself with potions.

Is it any good?

Sneaky Sneaky is a stealth-based adventure game. There isn't a tutorial, but the game provides lots of pop-up hints and tips along the way. And instead of constraining players, this encourages them to experiment with tools and items to figure out new, creative ways of solving each map's puzzles. Sometimes, the puzzle solving involves getting into combat -- but, as a thief, you're much safer performing sneak attacks that instantly kill opponents. Direct attacks, by contrast, result in turn-based struggles with enemies that are frequently stronger and much harder to kill.

Although you may choose to kill enemies, it isn't the sole goal of the game; in fact, the game focuses much more on exploration and puzzle solving than combat and rewards you more for coming up with creative ways to clear maps without engaging in battle. That gives players a reason to replay stages and attempt to beat their scores with new strategies. Overall, Sneaky Sneaky provides a great brainteasing challenge to players young and old by forcing them to think and adapt to their environment to succeed. If you can overlook the fact that the character is a thief who sometimes backstabs his way to success, you have a game that virtually the whole family can enjoy.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the cartoon violence that's part of Sneaky Sneaky. Does the cartoonish nature of the game, along with the lack of blood or noise, make the violence OK?

  • Families can talk about character motivation. Is there really honor among thieves? Can the story of a thief retrieving stolen loot be viewed as a "hero's journey"?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love puzzles

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