Slippin-rippin-dang-fang-rotten-zarg-a-barg-a-ding-dong… not the kind of language you would use in front of your maiden aunt, but certainly the kind of language you’ll be using within an hour of loading Revelation.
Being a thieving, oily, slippery crim’ is not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s not just a case of sneaking about in a stripy T-shirt with a black bag with ‘swag’ emblazoned proudly across it. Oh no, being a crim’ is a lot more demanding than that. Not ony do you have to contend with guard dogs, security men and infra-red burglar alarms, but you also have to deal with your embarrassing professional status and extremely complex safe mechanisms.
These safe mechanisms are both the bane of your criminal life and the primary object of the game. Your task is to crack the safes and pocket the loot you find inside.
Smash ‘n’ grab
The game opens with an impressive animated sequence, where your character sneaks, in silhouette, past the window of some extremely posh-looking gaff. Both he music and the opening animation are very similar to the Pink Panther cartoon series that used to be on the telly.
The actual game screen is a puzzle variant, and it is rather original, not to mention initially somewhat confusing. Beautifully drawn on the screen are the tumbler wheels of a safe. Some, or perhaps only one, of these wheels will have a dial with which it can be turned. Each dial has four coloured circles on its face, and certain dials stand beside a lock, out of which a small coloured arrow points. In order to complete a screen, you must turn the dials until each arrow points at a circle of a corresponding colour.
It sounds simple enough, but there is a snag. The tumbler wheels without dials cannot be turned directly, but will move 90 degrees clockwise when another wheel matches coloured circles with it. The combinations of turns that are required to complete a screen within the time limit become very complex, very quickly.
During the game, at random intervals, a small variety of bonus icons will appear. If grabbed quickly, these little power-ups will reward the lucky crim’ with features like extra time, a restart option for when a screen has been messed up completely and, the most valuable of the lot, a pause, which is a lot more useful than it sounds, giving you a chance to stop and think about what to do next.
Crime does pay
If your brain is still intact after a quick read of the mind-warping instruction manual, then experimenting with the mechanics of the game soon reduces the initial confusion to a vague numb sensation in your head.
It soon becomes evident that a great deal of fun can be had and the bonus screens between levels contain loot, and additions like extra lives and padlocks (stop correctly-placed wheels turning).
The graphics are nice, if not completely heart-stopping, and the music really suits the game, giving a real sense of urgency. In fact the tension gives this game an edge. You will find yourself jumping when you inadvertently set off the alarm or accidentally reset a near-completed screen.
Don’t be put off if it sounds complex: it’s not as difficult as first impressions lead you to believe and patience and persistence reveal this to be one of the better puzzle games available. So put on your special robber trousers and get thieving.