whack the serial killer

Whack the Robbers Game Review

Whack the Robbers

Whack the Burglars is another super-violent point-and-click frustration-releasing game where you have to simply click on an object and watch how the bad guys (in this case, a burglar) are brutally murdered. They sure did pick the wrong house this time!

Choose Your Own

The idea of games of this nature is not to control a character – it’s more to discover all of the possible endings. You click on an object and watch what happens. In this instance, some objects are straightforward, while others require a combo with the correct item.

There are at least nineteen kills to be found, all of which bring the burglar’s life to a less than pleasant end. There’s a very dark sense of humour here that the game gets away with because, let’s face it, who actually likes burglars?

By far my favourite kill in the game stars the main character’s (Patrick) mother. I’ll not spoil it, but it was definitely a surprise that made me laugh out loud. Games like this live and die by their creativity. If all of the objects that you can click on bring about predictable endings (I thought Whack the Thief suffered from this), you’ll find yourself feeling like you’re still waiting for a punch line at the end of a rather long and rambling joke.

Thankfully, Whack the Burglar has variety coming out the wazoo. While there are a couple of mundane kills, these are used expertly to allow the more complicated ones to be a genuine surprise – after all, when you’re expecting to be surprised, it’s harder to be surprised.

A Charming Beast

Whack the Burglars features some clever art design. The overall style is a simplistic hand-drawn one. It’s well done and minimalistic, with charming and humorous animations. What’s clever is the sparing use of colour. You’ll only see colour in two places – red outlines around items that you can use, and blood as it seeps from the wounds of the misguided home invader.

What this does is make the visual impact of your character’s actions all the more hard-hitting. It highlights the consequences in a way that is effective without being overly flashy or indeed difficult to make.

The music, too, is worth a mention. While there isn’t much of it, what is there is almost haunting. The score is piano, unsuitably mellow and a little haunting, which serves to create an eerie atmosphere around the various demises of the hapless criminal.

You’re not going to be spending hours and hours playing this game – but games like this don’t need to be that long. It’s a short burst of entertainment that you can absorb on a break at work or on a quick bus ride into town.

Stress Relief?

Whack the Robbers: In Game Action

There are a few reasons why people play games like Whack the Burglars. For me, they’re good for two things. First, I enjoy finding different endings in games. I enjoy being told a story,  however short, that has surprises and laugh-out-loud moments. The other is stress relief. There’s something indefinably relaxing when you’re a little annoyed or frustrated about seeing a villain getting his comeuppance.

Future Improvements

Given that games like this tend to drag on if they’re overly lengthy, it’s hard to suggest possible improvements that go beyond “make a similar game with a different theme” – perhaps Whack It could go the route of Escaping the Prison and Stealing the Diamond and create a more story-based adventure with different paths and endings. Something that takes place in a couple of different locations.

Perhaps the game could be turned on its head to achieve this. You instead play the role of a burglar. You need to set up your equipment, pick a way into the house and find paths past the homicidal home-owners, steal the loot and escape. This way the game could retain the gruesome endings – this time as failures – while bringing more gameplay elements to the series.

Something else I think they consider is taking a step away from the ultra-violent nature of these games and going more down the path of slap-stick comedy. I’m not saying there isn’t a place for the graphic nature of these games – they clearly have an audience – but for everyone that likes these games, there’ll be someone else that’s put off by the over-the-top violence. Perhaps the series could benefit from a couple of games that are less Hotline Miami and more Wile E. Coyote & Roadrunner.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a quick stress relief adventure or a bit of catharsis, Whack the Burglars should be right up your alley – as long as you’re not averse to violence. The animations are good, the art style is sleek and the endings are creative and genuinely entertaining. Give it a shot – just don’t annoy Patrick, whatever you do!

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Review written by Ian Wakefield from integritas.link.

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