Those of us who spend all day playing browser games are no strangers to the art of laziness, but the little pajama-clad infiltrator in Sean James McKenzie's Lazy Thief is a true master of the craft. He's driven enough to sneak all the way into each of the 50 levels, hauling a bag of rocks, bouncy balls, and ninja stars the whole way, but he can't be bothered to scamper up the blocks to grab the precious gems. That's where the physics puzzles come in. Click to lob your various projectiles at the diamonds to knock them onto the color-coded platforms nearby. Some blocks will crumble on contact with a projectile, some will require some fine-tuned bouncing with a bouncy ball to strike at the correct angle, and sometimes there's a string you have to cut with a ninja star. Watch out for the diamond-destroying lava squares. If you can get the gems onto the correct platforms they'll magically teleport into your possession. Thievery has never been so lazy!
There's no limits on how many projectiles you can throw, but Lazy Thief will punish wasted throws with a lower score. The difficulty curve is gradual and consistent, throwing new twists at you that are engaging but not frustrating. And the physics are rock solid. The game wouldn't be much fun with bad physics, but luckily everything rolls and bounces just like it's supposed to. It is slightly disappointing that the levels are so bland on the art side of things. Maybe that's an unfair quibble, but when the music is so strong and our main character so detailed, it's kind of unfortunate that we're not knocking gems around in some medieval vault or mansion instead of an empty expanse of blocks straight out of a Q*Bert game. But hey, that's why sequels exist, and Lazy Thief certainly deserves one. If nothing else it's a near-perfect proof of concept, a great little entry in what could become a new Bloons. Lazy Thief is cute, fun and challenging. Now take a seat, pop a can of soda, and settle in for a night of low-effort robbery.