You are super-thief Rothko and you have psychic abilities.
In this beautifully executed comic-style presentation of nostalgic game with noir storytelling, you will find yourself immersed in a world of guards, guns, ‘Godfather’-like conversations all for the sake of helping dangerous sexy dames, steal valuable art and have cheesy noir spats within interludes.
You move Rothko by drawing a line towards his destination. Try to nab some goodies and exit the room without being shot and caught. There are levels wherein a buzzer you drop sets up as an alarm for diversion. Sometimes you can pick up a stealth power-up that grants you limited time for speed.
Rothko’s psychic abilities gives him the ability to see vision cones coming from the chests of his would-be captors. The floor gets a red glow indicating where the captors will start looking next. The redder the glow means the quicker they’re to descent on that area to check for you. These ‘psychic’ hints offer guide for your next set of moves.
Rothko has other psychic powers which appear as power-ups you can use for a boost when in trouble. For limited time, you can freeze your enemies in their tracks, avert bullets or throw them of your trail. You can buy more ‘psychic abilities’ from the store if you want although these could be ignored with patience, skill and timing.
This is a puzzle more than a stealth game
I had my moments of wanting to bang my head on the wall for Rothko’s slow stealth movement and lack of running ability even when being shot. You would think a master thief would have the common-sense and ability to move faster when hounded by the bad guys but no, Rothko has to retain his ‘stealth’ mode even as enemies reach him.
It could be an intentional limitation to challenge problem-solving, timing and emphasize Third Eye Crime as a puzzle rather than a stealth game. That’s fair enough but that made the game feel a bit less interesting especially in really difficult levels wherein the forced necessity for power-ups will be felt and some less than perfect enemy AI becomes prominent.
Still, rising up to this challenge is what makes the game very fulfilling. Undoubtedly, there will be levels where being seen becomes a good diversion to make enemies leave their posts while you wait for the perfect timing to slip from a dark corner and bypass your enemies. Surviving in each level is tricky already and you will always be on to your toes coming up with the right strategy to make it to your destination. As with any stealth genre, you will always have to be alert because being too confident might lead to your demise.
Despite some realized limitations for call of stealth and puzzle balance in this game, the noir atmosphere and jazz music makes up for everything.
This might not be the great stealth game you are waiting for but it’s still worth playing for a healthy chunk of your time. It will require a lot of patience, problem-solving and skill to get by each level but the feeling of accomplishment will be all worth it.
Third Eye Crime website: thirdeyecrime.com
Developer website: Gameblyr, LLC