Third Eye Crime grabbed me from the moment I was aware of its existence. You are Rothko, a clever thief who has the ability to telepathically predict where guards and other threats will search for you. It's a cool concept that they managed to follow up with an art style that uses high-contrast and a limited palette like Sin City while still maintaining its own distinct presence.

The game's core mechanic highlights areas where a guard is going to look in red, the brighter the red, the sooner they're going to look. As the levels go on the game's complexity increases as new types of guards and obstacles are thrown your way and the game starts to make the criteria for a perfect level more difficult.

This sounds great until you realise that guard behaviour is more or less pre-determined. From the moment you're seen all guards will walk their pre-defined paths. In a matter of levels I figured out that it was faster to bait the guards and use them to test new paths rather than getting the path in a single try. Levels rarely took me more than a minute and while the game does throw you interesting toys, it also encourages you not to use them. Seriously. The game tells you the moment you get them that you absolutely do not need them. With a core mechanic as ignorable as this one, your tools should've been there to supplement it. Instead they actually make it completely unnecessary.

A personal quibble and observation though, the game was pretty clearly made for an iOS device initially and this has all the hallmarks of a port - not necessarily a poor one. For a puzzle game this is normally fine but the game badly needs more depth in the gameplay to really make it shine. As it is, the puzzles themselves tend to be rather forgettable.

On top of that you have the story. Initially I was pleased, but, as the game went on I started to get the distinct feeling they were just going down the list and checking off noir clichés. The scenes themselves were gorgeous pseudo-comics with dialogue boxes that sprung up as you went from page to page (with the mouse, of course) and gave me a strong Max Payne vibe. I wanted to love it, but, every time I started to get into it something tedious popped up. Like the protagonist's unwillingness to trust women. Yes, it's a staple for noir fiction, but it is essentially meaningless and tacked on at this point no matter who does it and reminding me Rothko doesn't trust women over and over is going to grate on my nerves. Mind you, this isn't even covering the fact that they miss one of the biggest points of noir - surprising the audience.

Visually I can't complain. The art is slick and smooth and works well with what they're trying to do. This goes double for the sound and music, which are very effective at conveying the mood.

At the end of the day, Third Eye Crime is a $5, five hour puzzle game that doesn't manage to live up to its clear potential.