There are no surprises in Safecracker: The Ultimate Puzzle Adventure. The ode to high-stakes robbery from French developer Kheops Studio (Return to Mysterious Island, Voyage) stays true to its title with gameplay that has you breaking into safes of all different shapes and sizes. But any bonus points earned by the company for not trying to fool people with a more grandiose and less-accurate name are largely lost by the game itself, which is a set of mostly interesting brainteasers draped around a pointless plot.
You can say that again.
You can't call this game an adventure. Although Safecracker has been constructed in the genre's standard modern style, with static camera views courtesy of QuickTime VR and clickable hot points, the total absence of any captivating narrative or characterization makes it feel like a collection of unrelated puzzles. For what it's worth, though, the story has you breaking into gimmicky safes in search of the last will and testament of the apparently recently deceased oil tycoon Duncan W. Adams. He was a bit of a kook and was into safe collecting, so the family assumes that the document was hidden away in one of the many elaborately locked safes scattered throughout his mansion. You're presumably some kind of kingpin burglar or locksmith (although it's hard to imagine what good a regular locksmith would be here; you'd be better off hiring somebody who's really good at Myst), so the family has turned to you in its hour of need.
Good B movies have been made based on even dumber plots, but Kheops doesn't do a lot with this premise. You aren't provided with much background on the goofy millionaire, the missing will, your motivations, or anything else. The mansion is beautifully realized (if lifeless, due to the static scenery) thanks to top-notch visuals that provide rooms with intriguing features like ornate fountains, miniature museums of African artifacts, leather furniture that looks so plush you want to skip the puzzles and sit down for a while, and music that evokes a whodunit atmosphere. But even though you're wandering through tastefully appointed settings, you're still in a big deserted house with the one-dimensional task of gathering clues and solving logic puzzles to pop open safes. One safe inevitably leads to another, so you end up following a rigid path of acquiring information (no more than a few safes are accessible at any given time) and useful items that eventually take you to the grand pooh-bah of safes, who is evidently holding the will.
Kheops livens things up by going beyond the usual hidden-behind-a-painting combination safe and into the sci-fi realm of safes secured by slider puzzles, magnetic blocks, lasers, and banks of colored lights reminiscent of Scotty's engineering panels on Star Trek. You do nothing but bang your head against one logic puzzle after another, most of which are tricky but solvable as long as you remain patient and open to taking the time to experiment with different solutions. Many are quite enjoyable, and provide a great "Hey, I did it!" sense of accomplishment. Seeing a green light come on or hearing a lock click open is always a satisfying moment.