App Review: The Heist

Tap Tap Tap… That’s what you do on your iPhone, iPod, iPad, and even many of the smartphones that we use nowadays. Tap Tap Tap, also a developer on the App Store, have also made its footprint known on the iTunes App Store with some really popular apps, Camera+ being the most notable. However, on May 24, Tap Tap Tap released another app to its list of successful apps, this one with as much potential as Camera+. This app is The Heist, distributed with MacHeist, the company that sells cheap applications for your beloved Mac. The Heist features a puzzling gameplay, detailed graphics, a bountiful amount of audio, plenty of replay value, and a huge value for your money.

Gameplay and Controls

Ring! Ring! When you first start the game, you notice a familiar screen; it’s the call screen of an iPhone. I have an iPod, so I didn’t know what was going on, I honestly thought my iPod was tweaking out on me… Then I remember Facetime, and accepted the call thinking, “who the heck is Sophia?” Then it all made sense. Sophia tells you that you have been chosen to break into this safe for a huge heist.

At the beginning of the game, you get a call from Sophia who explains what the game’s all about.

The heist consists of a number of levels. In each level, you are required to solve a number of puzzles from any of the four puzzle categories. Each puzzle is unique in its own way; some look familiar, others are difficult. The four puzzles go as follows (these are not the official puzzle names):

  • Jar escape: Similar to the parking lot games where you have to guide the car out. Sometimes, this game is called blocks. In this game, you slide blocks vertically or horizontally, depending on the orientation of the block to help move the jar to the opening on the board. Once the jar exits, you complete the puzzle.
  • Symbols: This game takes a twist on the popular game Sudoku. In this game, you drag rocks that have symbols on them to individual islands so that each color has one of each symbol in its given island. Also, you can only have one of each symbol in a row and column. This is a really nice twist on the Sudoku game.
  • Nine-Tile Wires: Remember the widget for Mac with the nine tiles and scrambled pictures? Well that is what this is. The picture is actually just a wire. You must guide the wire, or wires, from their start points to their respective end points. Sometimes there is more than one wire to connect.
  • Robot Block Dude: In this game, you control a robot that must move blocks to the green square. This is easier said than done. You tap the screen to move the robot to a certain area, granted he can move there. You tap the box to move the box.

There are four modes of gameplay in this game:
Top Row (left to right): Jar Escape, Symbols
Bottom Row (left to right): Nine-Tiles Wires, Robot Block Dude

The puzzles start out really easy, but get difficult as the game progresses. The challenge can become a bit much at times, so make sure you don’t get irritated and throw your iPod against the wall because you’ll need it to complete this game. The only game that took me a while to learn what to do was the Symbols game. I had no idea how it worked. Tap Tap Tap should have included some tutorials that taught you how to play each type of puzzle game.

The controls of the game are simple to understand and learn. From the tap to the drag, the controls feel so natural. No tutorials are necessary to learn how to control everything, just how to play everything.

The gameplay and controls are well thought out and so creatively done by Tap Tap Tap. The developers took puzzle games we already knew, and put a really good twist on them. The Symbols game was something I would have never seen coming. The tiles game is just as creative. The Heist will surely give any person the challenging puzzle they crave to put their brain to work.

Gameplay and Controls: ★★★★½

Graphics and Presentation

The graphics in this game are really detailed and clear. The menus are uniquely designed to give an overall enjoyable, polished look to the game.

The graphics are really refined with their own level of detail and beauty in them. The game is in 2D the majority of the time, but everything is detailed all the way down to the embossing on the rocks. The textures and images used are really clean and stunning, especially knowing that it is a puzzle game, which are notoriously known for sub-par graphics. These graphics are enough to please anyone. Just don’t focus on them entirely, there are a total of 60 puzzles for you to do!


The graphics in this game are detailed all the way down to the embossing on the rocks.

The main menu is really simple to understand. The bottom of the screen shows a bar; this bar shows you how far through the current level or step you are. Each completed level, or step, allows you to unlocking more puzzles to do. The safe isn’t just a picture; it shows you how much security is left for you to disarm before its contents are yours. Then you have 5 buttons. The four larger buttons allow you to view the puzzles you have left in each of the four puzzle types in the game. Then there is the settings button. The menus are very simple in the game, and have a small learning curve.

The main menu is very simple to learn and understand; on top of that, it’s eye candy.

Tap Tap Tap did a really nice job with the graphics in this game as they stepped it up a notch. The menus are beautifully designed to show progression through the game and access to the various puzzles. The Heist definitely deserves its five stars for the graphics it contains.

Graphics and Presentation: ★★★★★


When you first see the menu, it greets you with some synthesized music that puts you in the mood for a heist. The music sound really technical and matches the puzzle genre perfectly. Each separate type of game also has its own unique background music that is calming, but keeps you in the mood to finish up the puzzle. There are sound effects for everything throughout the game, whether it is the menu buttons, or the movements of the robot; Tap Tap Tap has the sound in the game. The developers really went above and beyond with the audio in this game giving it just about every sound you can think of for a puzzle game.

Audio: ★★★★★

Replay Value

Tap Tap Tap doesn’t have too much replay value after you completely beat the game. Since it is a puzzle game, so you can always redo any of the included puzzles. It’s impossible to memorize how to complete each puzzle, especially as you get towards the harder ones. After you beat the game though, there are some puzzles left to do as you don’t have to complete them all to beat the game, just most of them; about three-fourths of them. Besides that, there are also achievements you can get in the game; that is, if you are into doing that type of thing. Tap Tap Tap does offer some replay value in the game, but not much.

The Heist features 19 achievements to complete, which adds some replay value to the game.

Replay Value: ★★★★

Value for Money

For the price of a candy bar, Tap Tap Tap’s The Heist can be yours. At 99 cents, this game is a steal. It offers players hours of gameplay through its countless puzzles that are sure to puzzle even the brightest people. There are four types of puzzles, so it’s kind of like a four-games-in-one type of deal as well. Each puzzle is uniquely designed and not seen anywhere else. The graphics are clean and clear as the developers didn’t lie back at any point. The music is calming and nice, and doesn’t get repetitive either. Tap Tap Tap gives you much for your hard-earned dollar in this game, if only it had a little bit more replay in it.

Value for Money: ★★★★½

Final Thoughts

Tap Tap Tap has hit another homerun, this time with a beautifully designed puzzle game. The Heist offers 4 types of puzzles that can keep anyone busy for hours with some pleasant audio. The game is made with quality in mind, as are all of their apps. At only a buck, The Heist is well worth taking a look into as the game has already made its footprint in the App Store.

Final Scores

  • Gameplay and Controls: ★★★★½
  • Graphics and Presentation: ★★★★★
  • Audio: ★★★★★
  • Replay Value: ★★★★
  • Value for Money: ★★★★½
Cumulative  Score

† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
All accessories, applications, themes, tweaks, or other products were purchased by iFans at their respective prices unless stated otherwise.

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