Level 22 Review

Level 22 was developed and published by Moving Player. The game was originally released as a Smartphone game, and will be available for Xbox One, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, PSVita and WiiU from January 29th 2016, at a price of £5.59/$6.99. A press review copy was provided for The Hidden Levels.

Title

Level 22: Gary’s Misadventure (to give it its full name) is a stealth game with a difference; it is set entirely in the workplace. You play as the titular Gary, who has overslept after a drunken night out on the town. You have to work your way through the building avoiding your colleagues with disguises, acts of sabotage or in some cases by knocking out whoever stands in the way between you and your desk. For a game that started off as a Smartphone title this has a surprising amount of depth, with some cleverly thought out puzzles and exploration needed to be able to complete 100% of the game.

Disguise

What I enjoyed:

The theme – When a game introduces you to the main character by telling you how you have overslept due to going on a massive drinking session the night before, it sets up the game as something a little different to what we currently have available. Gary is a likable protagonist who exudes personality even though he doesn’t have a voice. Instead he is often caught up in conversation with his friend on the phone, recapping why he is late and looking for ways to progress through the building up to his office on the 22nd level. This is a game that revels in its 8-bit roots; the music throughout is charming yet also manages to evoke memories of the NES era, while the blocky retro graphics also help with this.

Exploration – Like I mentioned in my introduction at the start of this article this game has a surprising amount of depth to it. You can quite easily go through the entire game missing every single collectible. There is a safe in each level that you need to crack; the codes are found scattered through the levels and can be really difficult to find at times. There is also one toy for each level, which is themed on familiar characters like Wolverine, Solid Snake and Wall-E. There are achievements tied to all the collectibles too so if those are your thing you’ll need to check every room and vent for some of the deviously hidden items.

Car park

What I disliked::

Erratic A.I – The various A.I characters in the game have a fairly linear routine that can be worked out with a few simple observations. There are times in the game however where this doesn’t apply. A lot of the times I got caught were out of my control. Enemies would suddenly turn around with no indication and I even experienced it where I was spotted through a solid wall. It didn’t happen that often and the game is quite generous with checkpoints, but when it does it can still be a cause for frustration. There is also an issue at times with your field of vision. You can use the right stick to manipulate the camera a little but there are areas where you have no other option but to go in blind. It can cause a lot of annoyance when you have to repeatedly play the same section due to not being able to properly observe where enemies are.

Level 3-3 – Level design is clearly a difficult thing to carry out effectively. Make a level too easy or bland, and you’ll only give players a feeling of déjà vu or boredom. Make a level too difficult however and you’ll only succeed in driving players away. Level 3-3 is a level that is played in the dark. When you play in the dark the game takes away the ability to move the camera to look for enemies further away from you. The field of vision you have is incredibly small, yet enemies can spot you from a significantly larger distance. Overall I feel that it is an incredibly weak level that handicaps the player just to make it feel more difficult.

Boss

Level 22 is a fun title that has more than enough here to keep you entertained. There are a few flaws that make the game slightly more frustrating than it maybe needs to be, but overall it is a fun packed game that is definitely worth a look.

Score: Buy it now

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jamiereloaded23

Livestream Manager and review writer for The Hidden Levels. An avid Xbox gamer with an addiction to Gamerscore, massive Manchester United fan and someone who is obsessed with watching MMA.

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