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From the Database of Home of the Underdogs




Copyright 1997, Andy Phillips

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 (Legends Death Gate and Eric the Unready come to mind), Heist is very unforgiving because you can get permanently stuck if you didnt collect a crucial item from the last location, to which you cannot go back. 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 games logical and interesting puzzles will 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 dont mind extremely linear games or unforgiving design, Heist is well worth a look. Its difficult, but at least you wont die nearly as often as in Time: All Things Come to an End, the authors later game.

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