The game that turns your Apple Watch into a safe you can crack is a hidden gem

Dial hard.

God I want a safe. One of those movie-type safes with the heavy door and the spin dial that you have to turn this way then that then back again before you can open the thing. I don't even have anything to put in the safe. I just want it, lurking weightily in a corner, of hidden behind a tilted Modigliani. I am not alone in this? Who doesn't want a safe?

The saying goes that the one thing everyone sort of thinks they're going to do at some point in their lives is rob a bank. I think the safe fits into this continuum. Surely there will be a moment in every life when we are called upon to crack a safe. I lean forward during safe-cracking scenes in movies. I hold my breath in the safe-cracking moments in a novel. There's a bit in Carter Beats the Devil where Carter cracks a safe while drinking red wine, if memory serves. I already loved Carter by that point, but it certainly sealed the deal.

Anyway, Pocket Bandit is an Apple Watch game from a while back that allows you to crack safes. It is very simple, but the simplicity works in its favour. This is because it uses what strikes me as the best part of the Apple Watch, the twiddly little "crown" dial on the side.

How simple is Pocket Bandit? Each level gives you a dial. You twiddle the crown back and forth until you feel a rumble. You jab the screen and then twiddle some more. Again. Again. Three twiddles for each safe and you're rewarded with the sight of the door swinging wide and then your treasure awaits.

That's it. There are a few complications, but nothing too taxing. It works because it's that universal desire matched with the perfect means of enacting that desire. Also, it works because I imagine once you've had an Apple Watch for a while - I had to borrow someone's - you forget you have it. And then every few days you're like, oh yes, I have an Apple Watch and you fiddle around with it for a few seconds. Pocket Bandit is perfect fun for a few seconds. It's a throwaway treat, but it's also, weirdly, a bit of a killer app.

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About the author

Christian Donlan

Christian Donlan

Features Editor

Christian Donlan is a features editor for Eurogamer. He is the author of The Unmapped Mind, published as The Inward Empire in the US.

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