Have You Played… The Swindle?

Don’t be heisty

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Robots! Sneaking! Hacking! Dying! So. Much. Dying. The Swindle is a roguelike sneak ’em up that gets far too repetitive far too quickly, but I do like how most of those deaths are preceded by greed.

The year is 1849. The place is a semi-cyberfied London, where steampunk meets .exe files. You’ve got one hundred days to prepare for the most important heist of all time. Go!

It’s a great premise, let down by early missions that lack variety. Death comes quickly, and death means another hour or more of pilfering through the same poorly-guarded, poorly-stocked houses. Their layouts are randomised, but not in a way that matters.

It’s a shame that failure is boring, because the decisions leading up to it are the opposite. You’re free to leave each level when you like, to simply walk away from situations that look too tough to manage. You don’t, of course. You fool yourself into chasing after that last safe, which turns out to be anything but.

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