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Review Content

The story, if you can believe it, is rather unimaginative. A wealthy billionaire died, and due to his eccentricity, decided to leave the will in one of 35 safes scattered throughout the house. So, as one of the premier safecrackers in the world, it’s up to you to get these people the money. So, they take you to the house, and that’s all she wrote; time to crack some safes!

Having made it to the house, it should be a simple proposition to get to one of the steel boxes and start hammering away at it, right? No, it’s not. The process of navigating the rooms of the house, in addition to being disorienting since every move actually blacks the screen out, and then shows you the room from the perspective you moved to, becomes an exercise in memory as to how you actually got to that spot in the room. I remember writing maps for MUDs that were s,w,s,e,n, but never thought I’d have to do it for a handheld game.

Once you actually do get to a safe, the puzzles themselves are bare-bones, figure it out puzzles. There’s sliding block puzzles, alphabetic puzzles, number puzzles, and lots more. If you wanted to play Safecracker to try and out-logic 35 safes, well, they’re there for you. Don’t try and leave and come back to a safe later though; any changes will be mysteriously removed.

The actual safecracking could have been made a lot better with the inclusion of some sort of note-taking device, or hint system like the previous release from the company, Agatha Christie’s ABC Murders. Additionally, if you’re one of the world’s premier safecrackers, don’t you think you’d bring along a tool or two to help you crack these safes? Not even a stethoscope, eh? Oh well, I’m pretty used to safes where the combination is hinted at in the buttons.

The audio in this game is one thing that could have been done well, since you’re spending so much time just sitting there hammering on safes. It is not, though, and crackles abound in the poorly-compressed music. The sound effects are there, but there is nothing at all special to them, and there’s no differentiation between floor types as far as your footsteps sound.

In the original version of Safecracker on the PC, the game was actually playable, albeit boring still. The port that has been done to this game has left it as nothing so much as a smear on the history of puzzle games.

If you’re seriously a huge puzzle game fanatic, there are a ton of different ones out there. Most of them, are going to end up to be better than Safecracker, so your odds are pretty good of finding one as long as you pick up any other game than this one.