Modern gaming has seen an understandable movement towards first person shooters and 3D adventure games, but anyone who grew up playing games in the 80s and 90s will remember the fun that could be had with 2D platform games. While such games till exist, they are few and far between, and the amusingly named Stealth Bastard – with the equally pleasing sub-title of Tactical Espionage Arsehole – is an even rarer beast. This is an old-schoool platform game available to Windows users completely free of charge.
The idea behind the game is simple. You need to work your way through a series of increasingly complicated levels, avoiding the glare of security cameras and lasers, hacking terminals to open locked doors and avoiding the enemy every step of the way. If reaching the end of each level is not enough of a challenge, you can try to hit the leaderboards, or simply try to beat you best time.
There is little danger of tiring of the game as even once you have completed every single level in record time, there is a built in level editor available that can be used to create your own from scratch. Creating your own fiendishly difficult levels is a great way to extend the life of the game and put your friends to the test.
It would be easy to be drawn into Stealth Bastard out of sheer childish pleasure at the title – and there’s nothing wrong with this. But there is more to the game that just a name. For older gamers it serves as a slice of nostalgia that demonstrates that a game does not need to be unendingly complex or feature photorealistic graphics in order to be entertaining. This is simple gaming fun at its very best and one that should not be missed.
It’s fun. It’s silly. It’s free. If you don’t take your gaming too seriously, Stealth Bastard is well worth a look.