Picture this, it’s the morning after a night out, you wake up incredibly hungover and miss your alarm going off – it’s a Wednesday and you’ve made the fatal mistake of drinking on a weekday and you’re running late for work.
You’ve got two options, phone in for a sick day, or alternatively, as Level 22 opts for, you can sneak your way into work unnoticed, make your way to your desk and pretend that you’ve been there all along.
You play as Gary, who spent the night prior to the start of the game celebrating a colleague’s birthday party. Gary finds himself in this situation and, aided by his friend, he’ll do everything and anything he can to sneak into work past colleagues and security guards who’re on the prowl.
Early levels start off basic, with you trying to avoid being caught in the security guards’ line of sight, but as levels progress you find that the security guards become more intelligent – luckily there are a range of tools at your disposal to catch the guards out.
The various tools at your disposal in order to avoid detection start off with cardboard boxes, paper balls to throw at colleagues and even such a simple thing as a newspaper to help guards not recognise your presence.
The game is split into four worlds, each consisting of five levels, with four levels consisting of puzzles, rooms full of colleagues and security guards, and a fifth level which is more like a boss fight. These stages tend to be considerably more difficult to figure out, but at the same time these levels are also the most fun the game has to offer.
Each level has teo collectibles to find, firstly there are costumes for Gary, which dress him in various attires based on pop-culture references, for example there is a Batman costume which is quite enjoyable to use, although it doesn’t particularly affect the game in any way. Finding each of these costumes does reward you with a trophy, so they may be worth looking for if you’re a trophy enthusiast.
Also hidden in each level is a safe that you will have to find the code for, these are less obvious to find however. Similar to the costumes, if you open the safe and get the collectible in them you’ll also be rewarded with a trophy. Admittedly with my time throughout the game I only managed to solve a couple of these puzzles as the pass-codes for them were rather elusively hidden.
Level 22 is a mobile port and as such allows for touch screen controls, thankfully though the developer have taken the time to program face button controls into the game – which feel more natural than the touch screen and offer a more enjoyable experience. In fact, if you’d never tried the touch screen controls you’d never think it was a mobile port.
Graphically the game is an excellent throwback to the days of 16-bit gaming and in turn looks beautiful on a PlayStation Vita screen. Sadly though the graphical beauty of the game didn’t translate quite as well when playing it on my PlayStation TV, which is a shame.
The soundtrack for the game is also comprised of some amazing chip-tune music that has actually become one of my favourite game soundtracks that I’ve heard in a long time. I found myself humming the tunes whilst out and about, there is some really catchy stuff here.
My main criticism about the game is it’s length, with only 20 levels in total, I found it to be a bit too short for my liking. If you know what you’re doing, or you’re good at stealth games in general then it’ll last you around 3 hours at most, but if you find stealth games enjoyable and challenging then you’re looking at 5-6 hours – which considering it’s price tag isn’t a bad deal at all.
Level 22 is a fun and quirky game that is definitely worth your time if you’re looking for a short and interesting stealth game with a relatable story. Players may be put off by it’s short length but getting all the collectibles and seeing the conclusion to the game is definitely a rewarding experience. Who knows, you may even learn some valuable tips for if ever you find yourself in the same situation one day.