Heist is a fun but quite difficult IF title that focuses more on presenting challenging puzzles than on telling an absorbing story. Like Andy Phillips’ later games (most notably Enemies and Time: All Things Come to An End), Heist is a “puzzle-fest” in the first degree: you will spend most of the time trying to solve all kinds of puzzles (including a few with random elements) rather than reading the plot. |
You have one basic goal in this game: pull off a heist successfully. The game is extremely linear in nature, as the game puts you in a specific location (spanning several rooms) where you must solve puzzles to move on to the next location with another set of challenges. But unlike similar games with this “episodic” nature (Legend’s Death Gate and Eric the Unready come to mind), Heist is very unforgiving because you can get permanently stuck if you didn’t collect a crucial item from the last location, to which you cannot return. This means you will need to save and restore quite often, since many puzzles’ solutions become obvious after you die or get stuck.
This “guess, die, and restore” approach is hardly good game design, but fortunately the game’s logical and interesting enough to keep you playing. The author deserves praise for implementing many American synonyms in the game (he is British), although some puzzles still fall into the “guess the right syntax” variety. Overall, I find the game quite fun, although I did peek at the solution a few times, and it took me dozens of restores to solve. If you enjoy challenging puzzles and don’t mind extremely linear games or unforgiving design, Heist is well worth a look. It’s difficult, but at least you won’t die nearly as often as in Time: All Things Come to an End, the author’s later game.
Reviewed by: Underdogs