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CROOKZ The BIG HEIST is a game for the PC via STEAM and from KALYPSO

It is a fairly complex and complicated game that is certainly not designed for the thud and blunder, all-action players.

As you will have guessed by the title, this is a game about robbery and burglary of the highest order, but it's actual play makes it less of a game and more of a mental challenge, or series of mental challenges to be perfectly fair. I will try here to give you an idea of what you can expect, but for additional help I have included two of Kalypso's own links to video footage on YouTube which, although fairly long to watch, can explain the game far better than I can.

KALYPSO YouTube Video 1                                              KALYPSO YouTube Video 2


CROOKZ is a game/challenge where you begin with a preselected crew of two accomplished but not the most experienced crooks and as you complete your missions (heists) more established crooks want to join your gang. Every crook brings something new to the party by way of skills. Part of the game's challenge is to choose the correctly skilled personnel for each job. Heists are described to you with enough information and shown to you on a 3D rendered map that you can change the camera angle on and sweep across the top of the building seeing it and all it's room with the roof removed. You get to see all the hotspots, where the safes are, the alarms are, where the guards are - you can watch the guards patrol and work out their system - you know if there are guard dogs, electric fences, security doors, even the locations of special and secret extra treasures and valuables.


Example of a Heist named "A Fistful of Pink Feathers":  
Five years after Venice (editor's note: Venice is the original first Heist at the beginning of the game, it goes wrong) Murray, the traitor (Editor's note: the reason it went wrong), makes a second grab for the Luna Stone (editor's note: which is what the crew were after in the first failed heist). He wants to replace it with a fake during an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. For now the replica is being guarded by a friend of his, a club owner named Ringo Flamingo. On the screen with these heist details are some greyed out stars which will fill in when each associated task is completed.


You should ensure you have plenty of time available to you when you sit down to play; as I said, it is a thinking challenge more than an all-action adventure and you will need a fair amount of time for each heist. You are now in the planning stage so you have to select your crew. This is easy at first as you only have two people to choose from and you need to choose two people. Once you have your crew ready it is time to proceed. Click on Heist and away you go. Thescene shifts to where your crew is waiting for their orders, they are currently out of range and sight of the guards and cameras. Once you begin moving them, by selecting one then right click the path you want them to take to the agreed position, you have to be on the ball. All that occurs now is in real time (you may pause to get a better view but all the action, movement etc is real time) and there is no going back, at least not if you want to be successful. 

The guards field of vision is shown to you by a light spreading from the guard in an arc in front of them, so if your characters are caught in this arc they are seen, and unless you can knock out the guard quickly you will be caught. Every little mistake you make and the time you take works against you but doesn't necessarily mean you will fail. Each character has their skills and you have to send the right person to do the jobs they are expert in, such as opening locked doors, dealing with alarms, knocking out guards etc.


The graphics are awesome and the heists keep your butt drilled to your seat in concentration. It is as real as it could get if it was real. If the building plans were taken from actual building plans you could almost plot your own heist for real. In fact if someone were to have access to certain building plans it might make a good TV game show, having the contestants try to pull off the perfect heist and the winners would be those who collected the most loot the fastest and of course without getting caught. This game could be the fore-runner to that very television game show, now who do I pitch it to ?

This is most definitely a superior mind-melting challenge of a game. The more you put into it the more you will get out of it, and I don't mean just loot, the experiences are excellent. It's a tough game to complete, every heist has a new degree of difficulty, getting harder and tougher through the challenges and what you need to do to succeed. My advice is whatever you do, don't try to rush it or you will totally spoil the game for yourself. Also please do watch the Kalypso YouTube videos, they are an immense help and will whet your appetite to get into the game.





© Chris Baylis 2011-2015