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Searching for microgames (Puzzle/dexterity) for a burglar based game

13 replies [Last post]
Joined: 08/02/2015

Hi, I am working on a Game with the project name, Off guard and I need creative Help :) It is kind of a dexterity Game.

In short, the players are thieves in the Game, and they break into banks and so to steal objects and gain resources.

The core Idea is that the thieves need to go through traps and security (devices) to be able steal the treasures/objects.

These security devices are micro Games, which should fit the theme. The Player has a time limit for the burglary. In this time, he needs to solve all micro Games to have a successful run.

Any Ideas for short dexterity or puzzle style micro Games?

EDITED (for less mistakes..)

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011

Do you have any limitations for this?

  • What components are currently available for players to use?
  • Would you be open to considering additional components?
  • What sort of time period are you trying to evoke in the game? Are these modern cat burglars, fantasy world cutpurses and acrobats, cyberpunk grifters, or something else?

Some details can help us make suggestions for you.

Joined: 08/02/2015
Hi, thank you for the fast


thank you for the fast response.

I am still in the worksheet phase, nothing playtested or set, so I am open for ideas.

The limitation is the concept itself because if the time a player is using for the burgle is too long it will be quiet boring for the other players.

Themed is the game so far in the actual world or a similar timeline, nothing crazy.

Actually, I have thought about a Code Lock Micro Game, a electric circuit and a grappling hook to overcome obstacles. For the code lock I use cards with numbers from 0 to 9 twice.

Code Lock
The Code Lock is solved by a simple memory style mechanism. The grappling hook could use dice and a card with a target, which needs to be hit, similar to Dungeon Fighter.

Electric circuit
The electric circuit uses d6, and a card which shows the wires. It is about dice rolling and connecting the correct wires.

Adjustable difficulty
These micro games could be adjusted in the difficulty. More/less numbers or more/less wires, bigger or smaller targets.

EDITED (for less mistakes..)

Jay103's picture
Joined: 01/23/2018
Check out "Keep Talking and

Check out "Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes" for some ideas...

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
Mechanics Approach
Joined: 08/02/2015
Hi, I make my research, thats


I make my research, thats for sure. Like you need to do with every game idea. But I thought maybe someone has already a matching idea in their mind or game.

I also have the Computer Game which jay103 mentioned, but most of the game works because both players have only one part of the puzzle. A realy fun and innovative game none the less ans msybe there is something useable in there.

But I also have some fresh ideas just because of discussion itself :)

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
Timer is Everything

Well, the good news is that with the addition of a timer, even the oldest, most time-worn mechanics can be infused with new energy and tension.

Escape: The Curse of the Temple added a timer to dice-rolling specific combinations, and it's an entirely different experience from Can't Stop or Yahtzee.

What if a timer was added to Operation or Pick Up Sticks or even Ker-Plunk? They each would have a new layer of engagement added to them, which I think is fascinating.

What would it be like to speed through Knizia's Decathlon in 2 minutes or less? Could it be done?

Your criteria is still pretty broad, and there are a lot of different ways to go about it. Personally, I've not attempted to develop or design a dexterity-based game, so I'm of limited help in terms of design experience. But there's a lot of inspiration out there for you to strike off in your own direction.

Joined: 08/02/2015
This is also my first

This is also my first dexterity game and you are right that a timer change things a lot but it is also a delicate mechanism.

The Great Nothing
Joined: 06/29/2020
Lock picking


Could you have a flick / shove token mini game to pick a lock?

The lock is represented by a cut through view of a 5 lever lock and you need to flick a token from the starting position of the key hole, onto each lever to unlock them. Maybe you get X number of attempts, depending on the urgency of that element of the mission - to show a time aspect.

Hard to explain with out a drawing :)

Good luck


Joined: 08/02/2015
Hi Matt, I had to read it

Hi Matt,

I had to read it twice but now I have a picture on my mind that should fit your idea :)

From my understanding the lock is a cardboard tile which has cut out rows and the player needs to flick a token into these rows to unlock it row by row.

I guess this is also adjustable in difficulty, you just need to extend the number of rows or the distance to the lock.

I will definitely test this :)

evansmind244's picture
Joined: 04/09/2015
co-op or simultaneous

Down time is a major factor that you are considering. My initial thought was to make the game Cooperative (one player works on the lock picking, one player works on spray painting cameras, one player works on keeping watch, and one player works on gathering intel etc......


The prize is a sort of race. You have an art show coming up and each player is supposed to steal the same priceless art. The game is played simultaneously so players are constantly working toward figuring out how to steal the Painting. This could be good for expansions obviously.

The game could use puzzles, brain teasers, riddles, and even balancing things (like cards) or simple house hold items. I also have the thought of the game show 1 min to win it. Where they do these ridiculous dexterity games to win money. I've watched that with my kids, and then recreated the game for them by having them toss 3 tennis balls in the laundry basket from across the room, and they only have 1 min to win it......sort the laundry in 1 min, catch a grape in your mouth 3 times in 1 min, etc.....
If you are going to incorporate lock picking, opening safes, car jacking, security systems etc... I actually have a lot of real world knowledge about forced entry, surreptitious entry, manual tool uses, explosive entry etc.... I'd be happy to expand on those things if you wanted to make the game realistic. Good Luck

JewellGames's picture
Joined: 06/03/2012
Google Angry Dice as an

Google Angry Dice as an example. I rethemed that minigame as thief/burgle dice.

Basically, the current player continuously rerolls two dice to complete 3 sets of pair combinations in the proper order.

The dice sides are Cloak, Dagger, Sneak, Vault, Steal, Jewel.

The steps you need to complete are:
1) (Equip a) Cloak & Dagger
2) Sneak (into the) Vault
3) Steal (the) Jewels

Whenever you roll a result on your current step, "lock" it. So if I'm on step 1 and roll a Cloak, I lock it and stop rolling it until I roll the other result for that step (i.e. Dagger).

When I've rolled both results for a step, I announce it, pick up the dice, and move on to next step and continue rerolling dice.

Meanwhile, the other players split 6 guard dice. These dice have 1/6 sides with guards on them. The are continuously rerolling these dice until they roll the guard result and lock them. If all 6 guard dice show a guard result before the current player finishes all 3 steps, that player is caught.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Hmm... Sounds a bit like SCRAMBO!

@JewellGames sounds a bit like the game by Chris Mancini SCRAMBO! (@chris mancini)! While you try to guess words starting with a letter in several categories, the opponents are rolling timer dice when they "lock-in" timers, your turn ends... And then then next player has a chance to try.

Granted the first phase of your game is different. The whole "rolling to time-out your opponent" is very similar. Instead of 1/6 "guard" (or timers), the SCRAMBO! dice have various quantities of timers and I believe there are five (5) timer dice (I Googled just to be certain).

In SCRAMBO! The current player rolls a LETTER die and five (5) CATEGORY dice (custom d6s with icons on them) and then you must say out-loud a WORD in that category starting with the letter you rolled.

So, very heavy on the dice rolling too.

Joined: 08/02/2015
Downtime and Coop

You are right about the downtime, if only one player at a time is working against the security system, it could be a bit boring for the other players which are not involved.
The only other player which is involved would be the one you are trying to steal from.

I like JewellGames approach about that. The idea to give the other players a role like guards or police or something like that which has an impact on the thieve.

The idea to make it coop is also interesting, but I want to go for a mix of building your defense and overcome the defense system of others and the balancing between these.

I have not worked on this game recently and have overlooked your responses. Nevertheless, your posts are helpful and motivating ????

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