Stealing the Diamond Game Review

Stealing the Diamond Game

Stealing the Diamond from Puffballs United is one of those interactive story board games. Featuring stick figures and basic environments, the key to success here is a good sense of humour and creativity.

Stick Figures Done Right

There are two ways that games with stick figures go. They’re either a complete failure because the artists don’t know how to introduce character or humour to such a minimalistic style, or they’re fantastically funny. Stealing the Diamond is thankfully in the latter camp.

You may have heard of one of Puffball United’s other games, Escaping the Prison, which uses the exact same style and narrative technique. Here, you’ll be presented with a scene and then a couple of options. The very first scene decides how you’re going to attempt to steal an absolutely massive diamond – either through stealth and guile, or daring violence.

What you’ll quickly notice is that a lot of work has gone into both the voice acting and sound design. The voice lines are well delivered and carry an unexpected amount of humour.

Stealing the Diamond Game: Routes To Take

The game also plays differently depending on which route you take. The ‘undetected’ arc is a lot more relaxed. You have unlimited time to choose your next step, and this is where some of the wackier fails (teleports, rocket boots and anti-gravity helmets) are found.

It’s also the shortest arc of the few that are in the game, and, depending on which of the secondary routes you take, only has five frames. It takes less than five minutes to complete, even if you want to find all of the failure endings.

The aggressive way is a few minutes longer and also more hectic. You only have a few seconds to make a decision within each frame, and those are made by pressing corresponding keys rather than clicking, which introduces a modicum of reaction-based skill. This is also clearly the route that Puffball United put the most effort into, as it has several more voice-acted frames.

A Tough Genre

I understand why Stealing the Diamond is so short. This is a hard genre to get right. Regardless of how good the animation is, or how good the voice acting is, if the writing isn’t on point, the game will become boring, fast. That’s mostly because they aren’t particularly active games – you’re watching it more than you are playing it. That’s why tricks like quick time events, like the aggressive mode uses, are a good idea.

Stealing the Diamond Game: A Little Longer Please

That being said, Stealing the Diamond is a game that I would have liked to see last a little longer. I think it took me less than fifteen minutes to see everything it has to offer. Escaping the Prison is at least a bit longer – but I still feel like there’s potential here to make something on a little grander scale.

That certainly wouldn’t be easy, though. This is a genre that Telltale have made their own – and even then, with a quality writing team that focuses on dramatic stories taken from pre-existing franchises, the games struggle to by satisfying. As good as their adaption of The Walking Dead is, they also released an awful Game of Thrones series.

Wrapping Up

Stealing the Diamond is fun. It’s quick, creative and entertaining. There’s definitely potential for the Puffball United team to write something a little longer and perhaps create something that can be sold through Steam or mobile app stores. If you have five minutes to spare, take a look. You might not steal the diamond the first time – but you will laugh.

Play Stealing the Diamond

Review written by Ian Wakefield from integritas.link.

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