Developer Moonshot Games Publisher Gamblyr
Genre Stealth/Puzzle Platform Played PC
The formula is familiar: a thick skinned loner with a knack for finding things walks into his office to find a mysterious woman who winds up getting him into way more trouble than he expected. Third Eye Crime, the previously mobile-only stealth game from indie developer Moonshot Games, places a psychic art thief named Rothko in the leading role.
After Rothko’s art thief lifestyle is interrupted by a beautiful woman promising trouble, he is forced to rely on his ‘third eye’ to help predict the paths of his foes, which gives him the upper hand in distracting and avoiding them. In earlier levels, Rothko relies on his supernatural abilities alone, but as the game progresses a variety of gadgets become available to help him with some of the more difficult maps. Provided items range from the slightly difficult to keep track of Rothko double to (my personal favorite) a speed bonus that often helps him find safety in the nick of time.
Third Eye Crime is divided into eight chapters that each contain several unique mini map levels for Rothko to navigate, all of which offer three primary challenges to complete. In some cases players can earn a badge by navigating the map with a single path, in others, there is a time goal to beat. Earning all three badges rewards the player with the satisfaction of a perfectly completed map, but doesn’t seem to offer much more than that. Finishing the first five maps perfectly did yield a bonus item that Rothko could use to distract his foes, but finishing more levels perfectly didn’t seem to offer much more than self satisfaction, and the item had a grand total of three uses.
Between each chapter, Rothko’s story is told through a quick succession of click and drag comic book style panels, giving the player an actual narrative background for each new experience. Though the game allows players to skip maps they find particularly frustrating, a certain number of levels must be completed to move the story along. This focus on narrative combined with the comic/noir art style and jazzy soundtrack offered a new and engaging experience. I wanted to finish even the most frustrating of levels just so I could learn exactly where the story was going, and some of the levels were very frustrating.
Navigating Rothko through each level was simple enough most of the time, but became a bit more of a challenge when using items and directing a second character (most often a clone) through the maps. The click and drag concept isn’t ideal for a PC setup, primarily because the game has so much hinging on precise timing; moving Rothko at the wrong moment because you had to switch to another character to direct can be costly. As for using items, the same logic applies.
Since Rothko begins to move as soon as you begin drawing the path, it’s a matter of clicking the item at the right time and making sure he stays on track. The game tutorial indicated that items were mapped to a button, but the button never seemed to deploy the item the way it was supposed to, and using one cursor to do several things at a time never ends well. This slightly clunky interface was the most glaring reminder that I was, in fact, playing a mobile game.
Third Eye Crime stands out from other pick up and play games with its focus on stealth and engaging storyline. The art style and soundtrack create a unique atmosphere, and the story mechanic keeps the player engaged and wanting more. The port to the PC however, is a little more clunky and difficult to navigate than the ideal. The gameplay mechanics could be a little smoother, which would eliminate some of the frustration that occasionally hinders the story. Overall, I would definitely suggest giving Third Eye Crime a shot, but the mobile version may be the best experience.
- Engaging, story-driven gameplay
- Unique, comic noir visual style and soundtrack
- Variety of usable items
- Clunky deployment of various items
- Difficulty utilizing PC mechanics.
The Score: 6.8
Hope Hornsby is a PC Editor for AnalogAddiction. You can find her hiding out on tumblr.