Rhythm action games have a particular form and shape; tap buttons in time to the music, rack up scores depending on your accuracy. Those fundamentals are in place with Beat Sneak Bandit, and yet they're deployed in an unusual way. A stealth concept overlaid with sixties papier-mache visuals and a jazzy soundtrack, it's a minor masterpiece.
When the villainous Duke Clockface steals all the clocks in the world, chaos ensues. People are forgetting when to eat their lunch, or for how long to brush their teeth. It's up to the Beat Sneak Bandit to save the day by infiltrating Duke's mansion and retrieving all the clocks.
The thing is, B-dit is a funky sort of chap, and his world has a particular kind of logic. He can only move when players tap the screen to a beat, and he can only change direction when faced against a wall. Hit a bum note and he's frozen in place. Even worse, the clocks will shatter into pieces.
Working together with the soundtrack (or a helpful beat counter at the top of the screen), help B-Dit avoid detection by the security guards, spotlights and robot hoovers, and nab all the clocks on the level. You've got a froggy friend who will occasionally call you with advice and hints, but you'll also receive barbed taunts from Duke himself.
Beat Sneak Bandit is a beautiful-looking game, with visuals and audio that are effortlessly cool. It's like a comedy heist caper from the Pink Panther films, where a slinky sax punctuates your movements through each of the angular, colourful stages. It's also devilishly difficult, requiring pin-sharp reflexes to hit the right groove and figure out the puzzles, but it's well worth the effort.
Beat Sneak Bandit is available now on App Store (£1.99)