Whack the Thief Game

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Whack the Thief: If Home Alone was Written by Quentin Tarantino

I enjoy being surprised by games. While these choose-your-own-adventure games are practically point and click affairs, they can at least provide some entertainment and laughs, even if the gameplay itself lacks challenge. What the Thief by BOX10.COM is an older game from the genre, so does it still hold up?

A Little Short

I’m referring to the game with that and not the kid defending his home. The premise is this: you control a kid who’s up, presumably late at night, playing on what looks a lot like an original PlayStation.

While you’re minding your own business, someone crawls in through the windows. Annoyed that your gaming has been disturbed, it’s your task to look for the meagre 13 possible ways to kill the intruder in what is an unforgivably messy room.

That’s really all there is to it. There’s nothing else to do here (apart from dodging annoying and intrusive ads). There’s no story or requirement to chain decisions together as there is in Escaping the Prison.

An Interesting Art Style

Where it does have a leg up on Escaping the Prison is with the art style. While both lack colour, Whack the Thief, at least, doesn’t rely on simplistic stick figures and crudely drawn environments. It looks hand drawn, but capably so.

The animations are a little jittery but then again, it is an old game. It looks like a half-finished cartoon and that’s not a slight, it’s a pleasing aesthetic that you’ll find quite often in mobile games.

Prepare for Violence

Despite having only 13 possible outcomes, the game certainly doesn’t lack in violence. The rather unfortunate burglar will be stabbed, electrocuted and otherwise butchered repeatedly with a variety of instruments.

I have to say I’m a little disappointed in the way that some of the items are used. I understand that a game like this needs to throw swerves in order to stop it from becoming utterly predictable, but I found with at least a quarter of the killings that the method used was disappointing.

One of the kills involves using a racket. Not something that you’d immediately associate with being lethal, there’s an opportunity there to be really creative. Instead, the character simply snaps it over his knee and stabs the burglar with the pointy end twice. Realistic, perhaps, but not exactly inventive.

There’s another one that involves a fish tank. I was hoping that the little goldfish within would turn out to be some sort of shape-shifting demon, but instead, most of the work involved in that one has very little to do with the tank at all.

Obnoxious Ads

This is perhaps the biggest bugbear I have with What the Thief and it’s unfortunate because it has very little to do with the game itself. The ads (on Android at least) are atrocious. Not only is a quarter of the screen taken up by a permanent banner of ads, but there’s also a strip along the bottom and the occasional screen-stealing, overly loud interactive ‘minigame’ that does nothing more than make me want to uninstall the game immediately for being so infuriatingly annoying.

Wrapping Up

As far as choose-your-own violent homicide experiences go, Whack the Thief isn’t bad. It’s not really long enough to be considered ‘good’ but if you’re short of other games to play and you have some time to kill, finding the 13 endings should provide one play through of amusement.

Just don’t expect to be surprised and watch out for those full-screen ads!

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