How Many Ways can you Kill a Thief?
Taking a look from the other side of the robbery spectrum, this time I’m writing about Whack the Thief – a game where you have to protect your home (or maybe just your console) from a burglar who’s way out of his depth.
A Quick Blast
Whack the Thief feels like a game you’re meant to play in a break at school or college. It’s not particularly long and there are only a handful of different gruesome endings to discover.
Your character looks a little on the young side to be a homicidal genius, however, someone is breaking into your house while you’re up playing a PlayStation in the middle of the night. So what do you do? Well, you murder the misguided sap with whatever object is around.
Whack the Thief is literally the same scene played over and over again. It’s not like some storyboard games, such as Escaping the Prison, where you have to make a string of decisions within different scenes. In fact, there are only thirteen different endings to this one scene.
The Art is a Strength
Comparing it to Escaping the Prison again, I can comfortably say that Whack the Thief has the leg up when it comes to art style. While the former goes for a stick figure and rudimentary look, Whack the Thief appears to be competently hand-drawn and animated.
The half-finished storyboard look is one of my favourites, especially for mobile game, as they allow the developers to get their vision across to players in a way that doesn’t compromise on delivery while being friendly on their time – and pocket.
Violence is the Only Answer
Let’s get this out there – if you’re not a fan of violence, don’t even bother with Whack the Thief. There’s nothing here for you. The unwitting burglar will suffer a variety of over-the-top and gruesome deaths, ranging from stabbing to electrocution.
Given that there are only thirteen endings, I expected more in terms of variety. I think what BOX10 wanted to do was throw in a couple of surprises, it’s just that some of the swerves only end up in nearly duplication some of the endings.
For instance, one method involves using a tennis racket. When I picked it up, my mind was off – do I remove the strings and strangle him? Does it turn out to be one of those electrified rackets used for killing insects? Do I hit a tennis ball really hard into his face? No – instead rather boringly your character simply snaps it over his knees and stabs the intruder with the pointy end.
Another example of a disappointing ending involves the fish tank. Without going into quite as much detail (giving away two endings out of thirteen seems a bit spoiler heavy to me), the fish tank is barely involved. Whether animating something with a morphing fish was too hard to animate or BOX10 simply didn’t have any better ideas, I’m not sure. Continue Reading
Release Date: 22/11/2012
Available on: Android
Where does this Game Belong?
This is one of those browser games that feels like a proof of concept. It’s really short, there’s little in the way of creativity and there’s no progression or challenge. While it is well presented, it has almost nothing else.
In some ways, it feels like a provocative game that’s been designed almost as a way to show off an artist’s talent above all else.
I have no doubt that some people will find the details of the game problematic, especially when it comes to the character that does the killing being a teenage-or-younger boy.
If you’re a fan of games like this, finding the thirteen different endings should provide you a few minutes of amusement. If you’re new to the genre and looking to see what the fuss is about, you likely won’t be surprised or particularly entertained by some of the mundane endings. What Whack the Thief did do is show that there is, without a doubt, a demand for this type of game.
Whack the Thief is developed by Box 10.