Amazing Heists: Dillinger Review
Posted on Monday, March 29, 2010
A seek and find based on Public Enemy Number One!
The list may change but only one man will always be Public Enemy Number One; John Dillinger. His crime spree lasted only a short time but it captured the imagination of millions. His exploits are legendary: the fake gun used to escape prison, the bank robbery where the gang posed as a film crew shooting a movie scene, the FBI's botched ambush at the Little Bohemia Lodge, and finally, his bloody death outside of the Biograph Theater. What better subject for a casual game?
Let's review how the game plays.
The bank robbery will be easier
with the right gangsters
Amazing Heists: Dillinger, tries to capture the mood of not just one bank robbery, but that of an entire crime spree by the imaginative placement of seek and find screens, their subject matter and the inclusion of several mini games.
Choose which bank to rob
More become available after a
To start, choose either "Lightweight" mode, where hidden object scenes have no time limit to complete or "Gangster" mode where all screens are timed. Next you will select a bank to rob from a small list. As you complete more heists, this list will grow.
No bank robbery would be complete without henchmen, so you will have to select one or more gang members to go along with you. Each gang member has different strengths that can be of vital assistance during the bank robbery. For instance, the skills of some gang members add time to certain tasks while others make the bank robbery go faster.
Once these options have been chooses, you're ready to rob the bank.
The robbery starts with the first seek and find screen called "Casing the joint" and, as the above image indicates, shows the outside of the bank. There is a list of items you must find on the left hand side of the screen. When the item is found, the item will vanish from the list. The items are arbitrary and have nothing to do with robbing a bank. You can also collect bonus items that give you more money such as wanted posters or coins that spell "Dillinger". You can also pick up items that will help you in the robbery such as vault icons which add ten seconds to the timed screens. As with all seek and find games, there are a limited number of hints that can be used to find missing items. After you clear the first seek and find screen, it's time for the first mini game.
Don't let the bank patrons
The first mini game involves keeping the bank patrons from escaping from the bank and raising an alarm. To do this, you're given control of a gangster that you must move in front of an exit as a bank patron approaches.
A patron turns around when he encounters a gangster allowing you reposition the gangster to another location if needed. If more than four people escape from the bank before the time runs out, you'll lose the game.
The early levels of this minigame are very easy but it gets progressively harder with bigger banks. When you win the game, the "Robbery" seek and find screen will appear.
The "Robbery" seek and find screen, as shown above, displays the inside of the bank and plays like "Casing the joint" screen does. Along with the list of items and bonus coins, you will have to find a series of colored keys. As with the earlier screen, you have a limited number of hints you can use. Once this screen is clear, it's time to open the vault.
Open the safe by placing the
keys in the right keyholes
The vault mini game uses the colored keys you've found to open the safe. The keys must be placed in the proper order for the vault to open. If any key is placed in the wrong order, every key is automatically removed and you must start over. It's vital that you remember the location of any properly placed keys if you want to open the vault before time expires. Some gang members have certain skills that add time to the safe cracking timer. As mentioned earlier, vault icons also add extra time.
Once the safe is opened, the results screen opens to display how much money you got from the heist. you'll notice that your list of banks to rob has increased to give you a broader selection. More gang members with different talents will also become available. After selecting these options, the game will follow the same general pattern: Case the joint seek and find, contain bank patrons mini game, the robbery seek and find, crack the vault key puzzle.
No casual seek and find game is going to capture the danger, tension, fear or, to some, excitement of a bank robbery but Amazing Heists: Dillinger makes good use of the bank robbery motif to add interest, enhance gameplay, and create a very enjoyable seek and find game. The mini games never become intrusive but serve as a diversion from what would be an endless stream of seek and find screens. The choice of timed or untimed play modes allows users to experience a leisurely search for objects or the urgency that the "beat the clock" feature adds. Seek and find enthusiasts will find Amazing Heists: Dillinger to be a solid entry for the genre while novices will find it an approachable introduction.
This is how I rate Amazing Heists: Dillinger
Cost - You don't need to rob a bank to pay for this game.
Available Platforms - PC Only
Gameplay - Challenging seek & find screens can be made more difficult by adding a time limit. Mini games add to the fun.
Graphics - Clear bright images enhance the seek and find experience and eliminate the eyestrain found on so many games of this genre.
Originality - The bank robbery motif really enhances the overall game experience.
Strong Points - Well constructed seek and find screens and enjoyable mini games.
Weak Points - The early mini games are too easy but they get more difficult quickly.
Boredom/Frustration Ratio: 1/1 - Different options can be set to match the skill of any user. Hints help you find any items you've overlooked and the timed feature adds and extra challenge to veteran seek & find enthusiasts.
Overall Rating: 8
Conclusion:Amazing Heists, Dillinger tries to bring some of the glamour and excitement of '30's era crime to the realm of casual games and succeeds very well. Breaking the seek and find screens into sections like "Casing the Joint" and "The Robbery" help move the story along while the addition of mini games provides a pleasant diversion that keeps the game fresh.
Download Amazing Heists: Dillinger from The Shareware Genie and try it for one hour free. The price has been reduced to $6.99.