Tiny Heist is a top-down turn-based stealth game made by Terry Cavanagh. In this game, you must navigate a tower filled with gems and avoid being detected by its myriad of security defenses, including cameras, robots, dogs, and more. The goal is to try and make it as high as you can, collect as many gems as you can, and, if possible, escape the tower alive.
This game can be found here:
- Arrow Keys or WASD: Move
- Space Bar or Z: Wait
- 1, 2, and 3: Use an item (if there's an item in your inventory)
- R: Restart the game
Tiny Heist consists of 16 levels (not counting the secret bonus levels) that the player must traverse in order to climb up the tower. To advance to the next level, the player has to make their way to a purple staircase that leads them upward. Along the way, the player will have to work their way around an assortment of enemies that make up the tower's security team; luckily, most of these enemies can be stunned by running into them, and the player can find or buy items that are useful for evading, stunning, or even destroying enemies (the player can carry three items at a time). Since Tiny Heist is a turn-based game, all enemies move whenever the player does, as one step for the player constitutes one turn. However, it's also possible to get everything else to move without moving themselves; this can be done by pressing the Z key or Space Bar to have the player's character wait, and can be done as much as the player sees fit. When dealing with enemies, the player must be careful to stay out of their fields of vision, otherwise they will get spotted. When spotting the player, some enemies become hostile and start chasing the player, dealing damage on contact (or from a distance, depending on the type of enemy), while others raise an alarm that alerts all enemies in the level and turns them hostile. If the player gets hurt by enemies too many times and runs out of health, they die and have to restart the game. If the player manages to escape the tower by completing all the levels or by using a Helix Wing, they win the game and get a rank based on how many gems they got:
- 0 Gems: Not In It For the Money
- 1-4 Gems: Better Safe Than Sorry
- 5-10 Gems: Underachiever with Potential
- 11-15 Gems: Unstoppable
- 16-25 Gems: Master
- More than 25 Gems: Best of the Best
Lower Complex (Levels 1-5) Edit
These are simple levels that are only ever as large as the screen. They contain simple enemies like Patrolbots, Guard Dogs, Cameras, and the occasional Sentinel, though Laser Patrolbots and Elite Bots might occasionally spawn too. The player can find low-level items such as Bananas, Signal Jammers, and Lightbulbs in these levels. Level 1 is always fully lit, but every level after that is darkened and will light up as the player explores them (this applies to every other level in the game except for Levels 11 and 0).
Mid-Defense Sector (Levels 6-10) Edit
These levels are more maze-like and much larger, expanding well beyond the screen. They also feature more valuable items, such as Teleporters, Swords, Portable Doors, Cardboard Boxes, and Fire Extinguishers, and tougher enemies, including Rooks, Laser Cameras, and Laser Sentinels. Elite Bots are
Storage Vault (Level 11) Edit
This is a bonus level where the player can get ahold of several rare and powerful items. The items are behind locked doors, though, so you have to have keys to get to them. If you don't have keys, there's also a Shopkeeper in this level who will sell you some keys.
High-Security Wing (Levels 12-15) Edit
These levels are larger than Levels 1-5 but smaller than Levels 6-10, and are very fast-paced. They contain the game's toughest and most dangerous enemies, including Rooks, Sleepers, and Terminators.
Rooftop (Level 16) Edit
The last level. It's a huge open space with a ton of locked-down rooms, each one with a gem inside, making these rooms serve as rewards for any keys you may have left. Terminators are the only enemy type that appear here.
Tower Base (Level 0) Edit
This is a secret level that can be accessed by breaking a wall at the edge of the screen using a Drill or Bomb and then walking off the screen. This will cause the player to fall and land at the base of the tower, right near the entrance. From here the player can choose to either reenter the tower, which will start a new game on Hard Mode (where all Patrolbots, Cameras, and Sentinels are of the Laser variety), or explore the area. If the player chooses to explore, they will find two items; one of these items will always be a Helix Wing (which lets you win the game instantly), and the other one will be a very rare item (usually a Teleporter, Time Stopper, or Cardboard Box). Exploring further, the player will encounter a river of lava inhabited by nonaggressive enemies called Pyros. If the player has a Fire Extinguisher, they can use it to cool down the lava river and cross it, after which they'll reach a cliff. The player can then use a Drill or Bomb to break a hole in the cliff and enter it, taking the player to an entirely new set of levels...
Glitch Dungeon (Levels ???) Edit
This is a set of secret levels that can be accessed from Level 0 by reaching the cliff beyond the lava river and entering it. This then takes you to an extremely glitchy void with things changing colors, random flashing stars, random objects strewn everywhere, moving walls, and even moving exits. Your objective in this void is to keep looking around until you find the exit, which will then take you to a glitchy version of the tower. The levels in this tower may look normal at first, but weird things will happen as you play; enemies will randomly transform into items and vice versa, and the walls are constantly moving or even duplicating! In these levels, you should try to get out as quickly as you can, as taking your time increases the risk of the exit getting blocked off. The gems in these levels are now Errors, which work the same way as Bombs. The player should try to collect as many of these as they can, as the constant spawning/moving of walls will often cause the player to get trapped, making it impossible to escape unless they have an Error to use.
Funnily enough, despite the buggy nature of this "freak tower," the design of its levels were intentional. The game's developer, Terry Cavanagh, revealed in an e-mail that Tiny Heist was originally a bigger project with several towers that served as the game's worlds, including a glitch-themed tower. Later, though, Terry decided to keep the game simple and left it with just one good tower, but this left him with a lot of cut content so he decided to leave the glitch tower in as an easter egg.
- Patrolbot: The most standard enemy in the game. A simple robotic security guard that simply walks forward, changing directions only when something is blocking its path. It has a pretty wide field of vision, though, so keep your distance and try to take it out from the side or from behind. If a Patrolbot catches sight of you, it'll give chase. Appears in Levels 1-15.
- Camera: Stationary enemy that has a very wide field of view and will sweep it back and forth across a 90-degree angle. If a Camera spots you, it raises an alarm that alerts all enemies to your presence, turning them hostile, as well as causing enemies to spawn from the entrance more often. Stunning or destroying a Camera after it's raised the alarm will not stop the alarm. Appears in Levels 1-15.
- Sentinel: An improved Camera modeled after the human eye. It has a small field of vision all around, making it impossible to stun, and also emits four narrow shafts of light that rotate counterclockwise. Navigate past these beams to avoid being seen by the Sentinel, or else it will raise the alarm! Also, the light rays it emits will stop rotating if you trigger it. Appears in Levels 1-15.
- Guard Dog: Normally found stationary and sleeping, with a "vision" radius expanding and contracting from it every now and then. This radius represents the Dog's sense of smell; if you get caught in the radius, it'll catch your scent and give chase. Appears in Levels 1-15.
- Laser Patrolbot: This model behaves just like the original Patrolbot, but can also fire lasers and will damage you as long as you're in its field of vision. Appears in Levels 6-15.
- Laser Camera: This model behaves just like the original Camera, but can also fire lasers and will damage you as long as you're in its field of vision. Appears in Levels 6-16.
- Laser Sentinel: This model behaves just like the original Sentinel, but can also fire lasers and will damage you as long as you're in its field of vision. Appears in Levels 6-16.
- Pyro: A strange enemy only found in Level 0. The Pyro itself is not aggressive and won't actively try to hurt/kill the player, but leaves behind a trail of fire everywhere it goes.
- Elite Bot: A smarter, more dangerous security robot that always knows where you are and will try to get to your location, able to open doors in its path even when the alarm isn't raised. It's also immune to fire, and so can't be killed with Matchsticks. Has a narrow field of vision in front of it and will shoot lasers at you if it catches you. Appears in Levels 1-15, though finding one in Levels 1-5 is rare.
- Rook: A robot designed to patrol hallways. Can only move along the walls of rooms and can only change directions when it hits a corner, but moves very fast, always knows where you are, and can open doors. Also has a small field of laser vision around it, making it impossible to stun unless you have a stunning item or get hit by it, after which the Rook's laser vision deactivates for a brief moment. Appears in Levels 6-15.
- Sleeper: A weird blobby enemy that's usually found stationary and sleeping. When the alarm is raised, it'll pursue you and begin a countdown; once it hits zero, the Sleeper explodes, doing three points of damage (your default health capacity is three, so this can result in an instant death unless you have used First Aid Kits to get extra health). If you run into a Sleeper, whether it's awake or asleep, it'll still explode but only do one point of damage. Appears on Levels 12-14.
- Terminator: The most dangerous enemy in the game. A heavily upgraded Elite Bot that has all the powers and abilities its predecessor has, but also has a small field of laser vision around it so it can't be stunned. Also can't be fooled by the Cardboard Box and will chase you even when you're wearing one. Appears in Levels 15-16 (in Hard Mode, will also appear in Levels 12-14).
Passive Items Edit
These are items that mainly serve to help you.
- Lightbulb: Lights up the entire floor for you.
- First Aid Kit: Gives you an extra health point. Although you start with 3 HP, there's no limit as to how many First Aid Kits you can use on yourself.
- Drill: Drills a hole through a wall straight through to the other side.
- Skateboard: Lets you slide forward until you run into something, allowing you to skate right through enemies' fields of vision undetected and skate through fire without being damaged. Can be used three times.
- Teleporter: Teleports you to a random spot on the floor, away from danger. Can be used three times.
- Cardboard Box: When used, deactivates the alarm (if it's raised) and lets you walk past enemies without them noticing you. But it also limits your vision, and falls apart after a while (will disappear instantly if you attack an enemy or use a weapon).
- Portable Door: Rare item, only found on Levels 6-10. Can be placed against thin walls or locked doors to allow you to go through, or can be put in hallways to block enemies.
- Time Stopper: Freezes time for a short while. Wears off instantly if you attack an enemy or use another item while time is frozen.
- Helix Wing: Rare item, only found on Level 0. Makes you instantly win the game when used. Oddly, the Helix Wing's description says it's worth 10 gems if you beat the game without using it, but you actually don't get any extra gems if you win the game with a Helix Wing in your inventory. This might've been an oversight on Terry's part.
Active Items Edit
These are items that mainly serve to impede or attack enemies.
- Banana: Leaves behind a banana peel that stuns any enemy that touches it. Can also be placed on the entrance to stop enemies from spawning from it.
- Leaf Blower: Blows a gust of air straight ahead that pushes back and stuns all enemies caught in the gust. Especially useful for getting around Sentinels and Sleepers.
- Signal Jammer: Stuns all Cameras and Sentinels on the floor.
- Bomb: Destroys all enemies and walls in its blast radius. Raises the alarm when used because of how noisy it is.
- Error: Only found in the Glitch Dungeon levels. Works the same way as a Bomb.
- Pistol: Shoots straight ahead, destroying the first enemy caught in its line of fire. Raises the alarm when used because of how noisy it is. Can be used four times.
- Sword: Works the same way as the Skateboard, but also lets you run through and kill all enemies in your path. Can only be used once, though.
- Fire Extinguisher: Rare item. Shoots a spray of foam that stuns all enemies and puts out fire, all without raising the alarm. Can be used six times. Arguably the best weapon in the game.
- Matchstick: Rare item. Shoots a spray of fire that slowly spreads and ignites everything, even walls and doors. The fire kills all enemies except Elite Bots and Terminators. Use this weapon with extreme caution as the fire it creates can render some sections inaccessible if you're not careful.