Level 22: Gary's Misadventures (Wii U) Review

By Camilo Aránguiz González 03.05.2016

Review for Level 22: Gary

Espionage, terrorism and advanced military tactics are topics closely tied with the stealth genre, but there's a stealth hero in all of us, waiting to emerge when we have to sneak into our job office without getting caught by our angry boss. After a review of Level 22: Gary's Misadventures on PC, Cubed3 looks at the Wii U version for another view.

If you are one delay away from getting fired from your job, what's the more reasonable choice: to be responsible and have a prudent birthday celebration, or to wildly celebrate your birthday, oversleep and sneak into your office? A sensible enough person will party cautiously, or during your free day. Gary - the protagonist - on the other hand, chooses to have fun and take charge of the consequences the next day. What are the consequences? Getting to his workplace, located in the 22nd floor of the huge company he works for, and not being seen by any of his numerous workmates.

The plot is funny and goofy, throwing a breeze of fresh air in a genre that usually has very serious stories. On top of it, Level 22: Gary's Misadventures has a lot of pop culture and video game references, which only helps to configure a neat not-too-serious personality. Graphically, this is deepened with its cartoony 16-bit style. Yes, there have been a lot of retro-styled indie games, but in this case, 16-bit visuals are used to have more artistic personality, instead of getting lost amongst thousands of games with a similar appearance. The same can't be said about the retro-styled music, which is kind of generic, and lands more on the average portion of the spectrum.

Despite having a great personality, where Level 22 shines the most is in its gameplay department. Levels are well designed and game mechanics are introduced in an easy-to-understand way, besides being intuitive and entertaining. Examples of these are Gary pouring laxatives in coffees for getting guards to run to the bathroom, or using a big book for stunning his colleagues, amongst several others that are introduced at the right moments, preventing the game from getting repetitive.

Screenshot for Level 22: Gary's Misadventures on Wii U

In the same way, every stage has two collectibles: one figurine, property of Marty - Gary's friend, ex-workmate and stealth guide - and one quarter of the world boss' image, which Gary gets unlocking a six-number code safe, whose hints for discovering it are scattered and hidden in the stage. These collectibles add a little extra replay value in each stage, and are the most difficult part of the game (which isn't very much in any case). Another high point is the action-puzzle boss fights, which change the pace of the game in a very appropriate way.

However, towards the end of the game, its weak points arise. Firstly, its short length, that leaves the player with an excessive wanting-more feeling. In second place, the last boss battle doesn't have the intensity or the plot-weight that it should have, and it's too easy. Finally, the outcome neither really ends the story, nor delivers any closure feeling (or a "cliffhanger," which also could be an option).

In conclusion, Level 22: Gary's Misadventures does almost everything correctly, falling short just at the end. The breaking of the stealth genre's trends is a laudable aspect of the game, and despite being retro-styled, it has its distinctive presentation.

Screenshot for Level 22: Gary's Misadventures on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Level 22: Gary's Misadventures is an enjoyable new perspective of the stealth genre, with goofy personality and sense of humour, amusing and well-designed gameplay, and surprisingly great boss battles. Just the lack of a better closure leaves a few drops of bitterness in the mouth.

Developer

Moving Player

Publisher

Moving Player

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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