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Level 22: Gary’s Misadventures Review: A Quirky Little Stealth Game

Platform: Windows PC 
DeveloperNoego 
Publisher: Noego
Release Date: 5/2/2014

 

After a fun night on the town, Gary finds himself late for work. And if Gary is found to be late one more time he is going to be fired. So now Gary must sneak past his colleagues as he tries to reach his office on the 22nd level without anyone spotting him.

Level 22: Gary’s Misadventures would be best described as the little brother to games like Metal Gear Solid and Splinter Cell. Level 22 shares many of the same basic game mechanics but is more lighthearted in its approach. It is a fun game that will please not only fans of the stealth genre, but also those gamers that are looking for a casual gaming experience.

The gameplay for Level 22 is quite simple as you use mouse clicks  to move Gary around and use the spacebar to use items. In each level there are items that you have to use in order to avoid detection. These items range from newspapers to donuts to a well placed cabinet, and it gradually ratchets up the difficulty by slowly introducing new concepts and items. Like in a game such as Portal the levels get more complex but everything is drawn upon earlier levels and sections.

Just like the cardboard box in Metal Gear Solid a newspaper will make you invisible to almost all of your enemies.

Just like the cardboard box in Metal Gear Solid a newspaper will make you invisible to almost all of your enemies.

In Level 22 the gameplay is very fair, and there is a very gradual learning curve – not throwing anything at you without proper warning and training. The game is also not out to get you. That doesn’t mean that things can’t get difficult at times it just means that it is not trying to make you fail. So, any time you do fail a level it will most certainly be on you.

Thankfully Level 22 focuses on the use of intellect instead of reflexes. In the beginning of each level you have the ability to survey the floor layout and will be able to plan out your every move. Also, just running around will get you spotted in no time so you will be forced to take small steps as you spot the walking patterns of your co-workers.

There are also boss fights that are quite challenging, but are rewarding once you beat them. These fights are interesting in that you have to use the environment and other indirect methods to defeat a boss.

The best part of Level 22 is the humor. The dialogue between Gary and his friend Marty is genius, and there are a few laugh out loud moments. As you progress through Level 22 the situations you find yourself get in more and more outrageous and after a while you have to stop and just laugh at the absurdity of it all.

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You know someone is a boss when they ride around in a golf cart.

The retro style graphics for Level 22 fit the theme perfectly and the level design is also enjoyable. Each level has its own quirks and despite being in an office the levels are still quite vibrant. Also, each level plays differently as you will be forced to use different tasks to pass each level. Some levels will force you to crawl through vents while others involve dropping donuts or destroying office equipment with coffee. Collectibles are a fun addition; in each level there is a safe that is locked, but you can find the combination by just looking around the level. And, to say the least, there are quite a few fascinating ways that you will be able to find the combination.

Level 22 is perfect for those that are looking for a mellow gaming experience and for those that like the stealth genre. The humor is nearly flawless and there is a very well done stealth game underneath the colorful exterior. Though it’s quite short, I highly recommend Level 22 to almost any gamer.


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