The Heist is bookended by two spoiler-riffic features I simply can't give up, but they help bundle a series of logic puzzles into a package that is brilliantly and uniquely executed on the iPhone.


Suffice to say, The Heist's heist is not entirely metaphorical. Yes, you're trying to break a vault by completing a series of four puzzles: A sliding-bar gridlock puzzle that requires you to move blocks and create an opening for your microchip; a pattern-matching game that is akin to Sudoko with heiroglyphs and astrological symbols; a block-moving game where the wrong move leaves your box immobilized in a corner; and a sliding-tile puzzle whose objective is connecting different colored wires.

Four of each puzzle group will be unlocked at a time, and completing eight will move you to the next stage. If you're good at one category, you can't just lean on it to get through to the end; if you're weak in another, you can press ahead in your strong suit and come back later. I appreciated the opportunity to set my agenda for advancement.


But there is a material reward for completion, and you will communicate with a partner in crime. That's as much as I'll say about the details that give the The Heist, by the creators of MacHeist, just the right amount of alternate-reality game seasoning. The enjoyable soundtrack and bright visuals provide a warm ambience for the long time you'll spend pondering your next step of the challenge.

The Heist is a smartly designed game that gives heft to the puzzle genre on all iOS devices. It's out now, it's 99 cents, and it's an absolute steal at the price.

The Heist [iTunes App Store]