Players can build whatever they want with the available house tiles. Only two rules constrain their constructions:
- All family members must have a completely empty path to the exit, which means nothing can stand in their way, not even doors or wires (animals and panic buttons are exempt). Dead family members do not need a route to the exit.
- The house must be passable by the owner, with no tools, during the self test
Money can also be spent on tools for use during robbery, and each tool is single-use (destroyed after being used). A player has a backpack with 8 slots, each of which can store an unlimited number of one type of tool.
A player can store tools in his vault (at his home) containing 48 unlimited slots. 36 of these vault slots will actually never be used, as you only need one slot for each of the 12 types of tool.
Any tools not used during a robbery are abandoned. If the player dies while robbing a house, any tools left in their backpack go into the house's vault.
The same interface and rules apply for both house robbery and the self test. The player's view is limited by occluding walls, and all household hazards are active and (usually) deadly. Traversing squares which include: live or sleeping pit bulls, open trapdoors, powered electric floors or pits will all result in the players permanent death.
By leaving out the front door, players exit the house, dropping the contents of their backpack in the process and returning to their own house. Otherwise, the house can be exited if a player dies or reaches the vault. During a robbery, if any family members spots the robber, they will attempt to escape out the front door by the shortest route possible.
The wife carries half of the money that the household had left over since last time the house was edited or the owner bought/sold tools plus half of all money earned through robberies by the owner and any bounties collected from robbers she personally killed with the shotgun. If she is killed during the robbery, the money can be stolen by walking over the body. The remaining money, paintings and tools can be stolen by reaching the vault.
A player has a total of 10 minutes to rob a house. After 9 minutes, the player will get a message in red at the top of their screen about hearing sirens outside, along with a 60 second countdown. After the countdown reaches zero, the player will be kicked out of the house and killed by police.
If the robber leaves or dies and no family members were killed, then all damage caused during the robbery is reversed, and pets are restored to the state they were in before the robbery.
If the robber succeeds in reaching the vault or kills a family member, then all damage caused during the robbery becomes permanent, and all pets remain in the state they were in at the end of the robbery (i.e. all pets remain in place, and dogs that have been put to sleep using drugged meat remain asleep). Note that this may result in houses that are impossible to rob without tools.
Every time a robber dies in your house you receive a cash bounty. The size of the bounty on each player increases every time they reach a vault or murder a family member. Bounty money is added to the vault unless the robber was killed by the wife holding a shotgun in which case it will be held by her.
In addition to providing a cash bounty, if a robber dies in your house, any tools they are carrying are added to your vault. These can be either sold or used by the player but will be stolen if a new robber reaches your vault.
Security tapes are stored whenever another player enters your house unless the player dies during the robbery by timing-out or quitting the game. Security tapes are listed by player name, number of times your house has been entered and number of players who have previously died in your house. If the player successfully stole money, the amount stolen will be listed beside his name. If he died in your house, a skull will appear beside his name followed by the size of the bounty received.
Players who die during a robbery of your house by timing-out or quitting the game mid-robbery will leave a record on the death tally for a house, but will not leave a security tape to view.
Chills occur when you die. They prevents you from entering houses that you have recently brought tools to, as well as the house that you die in. The house in the list will turn purple and you will get a message telling you that you cannot bear to enter upon attempting to initiate a robbery.
The effect will wear out in 24 hours, however this timer only decrease when the chilled house is visible on the house list (not being robbed or edited) meaning that it will almost always be somewhat longer.
You will not get chills for houses that you visited, but did not bring tools to and did not die in.
The timer starts counting down from the moment you leave that house. For example if you visit house A with tools, wait 4 hours, then suicide to house B then you would have 20 hours of chills in house A and 24 hours of chills in house B.
- Version 7 experimented with $6000 starting cash.
- This frees the game engine from requiring the logic of deciding if a house is solvable or not.
- Unless the hazards are subverted using an appropriate tool
- Unless their house is being robbed, in which case the message "You are currently being robbed" will be displayed, and the player will remain in the house lobby
- Family will not travel through broken walls.