Whack the Thief Proves That Anything Can Become a Weapon
At the start of the game, the protagonist is busy playing on his video game console when he gets rudely interrupted by a burglar breaking into his house. How dare he, right? Anyway, the animation stops at a certain point in order to give you time to pick a household item you want the kid to use. You do this by hovering your mouse pointer over the scene and clicking on an object that gets highlighted in red. That's it, you're done -- at least for that round, and this is where the fun begins.
Gameplay: Pent Up Fun
Once the scenario restarts, you are, again, free to choose an item to use on the bad guy. You aren't restricted from picking something that you have previously gone for but it doesn't add to your completion counter. The counter is found on the lower right of the screen and it reflects the number of unique animations you've triggered throughout your play through. Because the objects do get highlighted when hovered over with a mouse, finding everything without a guide isn't hard at all. At most, you could find it a bit tricky to locate smaller items because their hot spots may be easier to miss.
Instead of being a button mashing game which only lets you hit a guy in the face, Whack The Thief has variety. There are at least ten ways to kill the bad guy and not every fatality is obvious. Each weapon has its own unique cut scene and no two items are even remotely the same. Like for instance, the flashlight and the badminton racket look like they're going to be melee weapons but only the former is used as such. If you appreciate some good action choreography with a dash of graphic violence then you'll love the scenes in this title.
Delivery: Slick and Fast
Although we're not talking about high-budget Flash movie here, the quality of animation in Whack The Thief is superb for a free game. Paired with spot on sound effects, you'll feel as though it's your skull that's caving in when the kid bashes the baddie's head with a flashlight. Take note, however, that there is no intro movie. There is nothing to indicate a back story so if you were hoping for some crazy narrative explaining the kid's tragic past or some sort of explanation as to why he has so much pent up rage, well we'll spare you the heart break. There is none. That's just fine with us as the game doesn't really need one. You'll play it out of curiosity and its ability to make you wince, not for an award winning storyline.
That being said, this is definitely not a game for actual kids. Don't let the cute title fool you, this game does not involve squeaky toy mallets. It's not even something you should show your little one if you don't want them to get the wrong idea about dealing with strangers. The game even displays a warning right off the bat stating that it contains "severe violence and gore" so that if you've somehow stumbled into it by accident, you still have time to close the browser.
The Verdict: Mature Stress Reliever
Overall, Whack The Thief is an amusing game. It is very well made, we'll give it that and it doesn't disappoint when it comes to the shock factor. The graphics are professionally drawn, with a sort of comic strip-like appeal. The colors are restricted to a mix of grey tones and blood red, which helps highlight the nature of the title and the sound effects are just spot on. The differences between each scene are pretty impressive. No two kill animations are alike or even similar. If you're not new to this type of game, it will probably only take you 5 minutes to trigger all of the cut scenes. If you enjoyed Don't Whack Your Teacher, it's almost certain that you'll like this game. If you're kind of squeamish or if you don't enjoy anything too violent, then we suggest checking out another game in the genre. Whack The Thief is not for everyone, even if its title or the age of its protagonist might suggest otherwise.