PickLock (Switch, PC)

Ditch the honest life and become a thief in PickLock.  Featuring stylized blocky graphics, rob neighbors and businesses blind and use your ill-gotten loot to furnish your house, purchase new getaway cars, and even buy new houses in other countries!  This stealth action game is available on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

You start off at your house, and when you look at a map on your desk, you can pick locations to travel to.  The seedy pawn shop will fill in on new missions and let you buy better lockpicking tools.  You can also visit shops to buy new things for your house, a new getaway car, and even buy houses in other places around the world!  They even have QR codes that take you to search results for the countries these houses are in for some reason!  Other seemingly pointless places you can visit include a pub and strip joint.  Once you are ready to start robbing, pick a mission icon on the map!

You view the action in an overhead perspective, but can adjust the camera angle any way you like.  When you walk towards a door or something you can steal, it’ll be highlighted and you can press the action button to do things like open doors or pick the locks, or steal an item.  You can also press another button to see which items you can interact with.  But watch out for security guards and cameras!  If you get caught, you must start the mission over again.  Be careful not to be seen and mind how long it takes you to pick a lock, since you can’t do anything while that’s happening.  Once you’ve stolen enough goods, hop in your getaway car and end the mission.

The main problem I had was the play control.  When you are over a highlighted item and press the action button, it would either take too long to activate or not register at all for me.  This really hindered my progress and it shouldn’t have been like that.  Other problems I had were the graphics were too dark and the text too small to really enjoy in handheld mode on the Switch.  I did like the blocky graphics, but this game just lacks the charm that other robber games have, like SEGA’s arcade classic Bonanza Bros.

Kid Factor:

Picklock is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Drug Reference, Mild Violence, Sexual Themes, and Use of Alcohol.  When you get caught, you just fall over and the screen fades.  You can visit pubs and strip joints, but I don’t know what’s so sexual about a blocky cube woman dancing.  But the idea is there I guess.  Because of the subject matter in general, this game is best suited for older players.

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