The Heist: Puzzling Fun

Who loves puzzle games? Well I do for one, and there are lots of others out there who share my joy for the casual game. The Heist isn’t just a puzzle game though, it’s an interactive mission. It’s like Ocean’s 11 without the lame sequels. Or George Clooney. Or really anything other than a safe.

But what is it? Well for that answer, you’re going to have to hit the jump.  

The Concept

The game opens up with a bank vault staring you right in the face. Suddenly, your iPhone rings (which, if you’re like me, will scare the crap out of you). You tap “Answer,” then put it on speakerphone, and that’s when you find out the plan.

You start off with all the basics in front of you.

You start off with all the basics in front of you.

Sophia — the girl on the phone — tells you with great urgency that you have to open up the bank vault in front of you. To do so, you have to tap one of the icons below the vault, and then play one of the games. Once you’ve done a preselected number of puzzles, then one of the locks on the vault opens up. There are four locks in total, so there’s a lot of stuff to do. Get after it!

The Puzzles

There are four basic puzzles, and you’ve probably seen them all before in one variation or another. The first is a series of blocks. You have to get a flash drive into a port to advance, but another series of blocks is standing in your way. Move the blocks around until you can get the drive in place.

Puzzles 1 and 2 ...

Puzzles 1 and 2 ...

Second on the list is another puzzle that’s a little bit harder to describe. You’re given this series of rocks to place around a sand pit. Each rock has its own label, and by using the already placed rocks as a guide, you can figure out where the new ones go. It’s a bit tricky, but the starting levels give you ample hints to go along your way.

Third, we have a cube. You now play the role of a little robot dude that has to push boxes into their appropriate spots on a grid. Doing this causes various problems, so you have to be very specific about how you take each step.

... and puzzles 3 and 4

... and puzzles 3 and 4

Finally, there’s a wire system. You’re given a 3X3 display filled with 8 tiles. You have to move around the tiles until the wiring displayed on the tiles connect the lights on the sides of the screen. Some levels have just one color, some have more. Again, the further along the game you progress, the more complicated it becomes.

Advancing the Heist

Along the bottom of the screen is a progress bar. This indicates how far along the way you are, and how many puzzles you have left to beat before the next lock opens. Speaking of, those lock indicators are just to the right of the vault door, and there are four of them total. Once one lock is opened, the next series of puzzles in the system are opened up.

The puzzles are all on the bottom, and once you've completed enough of them, a lock will open.

The puzzles are all on the bottom, and once you've completed enough of them, a lock will open.

The game itself starts off pretty easy, but things get very complicated as soon as the first lock in the series is completed. The puzzles become the type that can either drive you nuts or push you harder to get things going. In my case, it made me a little irritated, but fortunately there are enough other puzzles that stay open that give you enough other options. It helps you keep your sanity without losing the game completely.

Is It Fun?

The most important question to ask about any game, and of course, we should ask it here as well. In my case, I really enjoy puzzle games, but these are the type that can really make me elated to beat the task at hand, or so pissed off that I never want to see the game again. I felt both those emotions in my time with The Heist.

The difference here is the story. I pushed on with the game because I wanted to open the vault and see what was inside. In my time with the game so far, I haven’t done that yet — but that’s also why I’ll continue to play. If, at some point, it becomes so irritating that I never finish, then that’s what I’ll do. It’s the balance between irritating and fun that makes me recommend, yet with some reservations, The Heist.

Final Thoughts

So yes, I do recommend The Heist, particularly if you’re the type who enjoys a good puzzle every now and then. Thing is, you may not be able to play this for long stretches without wanting to toss your iPhone across the room. For me, that’s a fine balance, and you may feel the same.

The game is pretty affordable (it was on sale when I made the review), and even if it goes up in price I still think it’s fun to play. Just be warned, if you get frustrated easily, this might not be the app for you.


Solve puzzles to break open a bank vault.