Half-inch Heist could be something great, but it’s going to need some serious content updates first.

In the bustling and cut-throat world of free-to-play iOS arcade games, developers need to be quick on the draw if they want to earn a living. It’s sadly not enough to simply give people your game anymore – you need extras, upgrades, in-app purchases, and all the trimmings.

Half-Inch Heist is an intriguing concept, let down by a lack of content and laggy controls. It’s worth checking out in any case, given that it’s free-to-play, but you’ll most likely move on by after just quarter of an hour with the game.

There’s a diamond, and you want it. The problem is that the moment you grab it with your finger, all hell breaks loose, and an assortment of missiles, traps and enemies will attempt to destroy both you and your precious cargo.

Half-Inch Heist is essentially a dodging game for your finger. You’re not allowed to remove your digit from the screen once you’ve touched the diamond (or else you drop the gem and it’s game over), therefore as the obstacles begin rushing onto the screen, it’s all about shifting your finger all over the place and keeping it safe.

It’s a neat idea, and one that has some serious though behind it. Every 10 seconds or so a new enemy will be introduced, or extra firepower will appear to make your life even more difficult, and there are tough boss battles at the end of each round – you know, just in case you weren’t already dead.

The variety in gameplay is great, and you’ll need to play for a good few hours if you plan to reach the end of the journey. It looks and sounds great tool, with a real attention to detail that speaks volumes for how much effort Mutant Labs has put into creating an immersive experience.

The problem is that other mobile games have spoiled us. Where, for example, Jetpack Joyride gives you the same gameplay over and over again, yet introduces challenges, customization and the like to keep it fresh, Half-Inch Heist does none of these things. You play, you die, you start again, and that’s your lot.

Half-Inch Heist

It’s simply not monetized very well either, and I doubt they’ll make much money from it. You can purchase coins which allow you to continue onwards if you die, but that’s about it. And where’s the fun in paying to win? The game even brands you as someone who has used coins to continue if you do, which is a bit like pointing at you and shouting “CHEATER!”

What Half-Inch Heist really needs is some cool and nifty ways to spice the gameplay up a bit, maybe with shields that you can choose to activate at specific times, or extra diamonds you can pick up when your first is destroyed. As it is now, there’s not enough here to keep us playing for very long.

Plus, there’s an issue with the movement – if you move your finger too fast, the diamond won’t follow perfectly underneath, and will get hit on its way to join back up with you. This can be extremely frustrating, and essentially forces you to plan your movements slightly ahead of time, which isn’t very fun.

Half-Inch Heist is a nice idea, let down by a lack of content and a slightly shoddy movement system. It’s free-to-play so you might as well grab it anyway, but here’s hoping a future update rectifies these issues.