Tiny Thief PC Review
Tiny Thief, a game developed by 5Ants and published by Rovio of Angry Birds fame, is a point and click puzzle adventure game following the titular Tiny Thief. Through 76 stages our hero will cause as much mischief as one tiny thief can while robbing from the rich to give to the poor.
Tiny Thief began life as a mobile iOS and Android game. The goal of every level is to click all of the objects on-screen in an effort to uncover hidden goodies to collect. While every level can be completed fairly quickly by obtaining the main item, there are usually four or five additional hidden items to discover for the adventurous gamer. While the complexity of the Rube-Goldberg contraptions our hero will use to pilfer the goods grow in complexity as the game progresses, it never becomes anything more than casual in difficulty. This was a game originally designed for bite sized consumption. A dedicated player could conceivably complete the game in a matter of a couple of hours.
Tiny Thief is a wanted man, and most of the other characters are out to catch him. Through each level the player will use the environment to hide, distract enemies, and maneuver to hard to reach places. By way of example, in one level our plucky hero must quietly grab an axe, climb a vine, cross a tightrope, lure the guard with candy from his childhood, then smack him with a chopped down giant lolipop. This kind of inventive and creative gameplay never really gets old, with each new world presenting a new theme to the environment. Failure comes with very little in the way of punishment, usually only setting the player back a few clicks to the last safe move. The focus is on casual fun.
The animations and character design are top-notch, and some of the stages are gorgeous. There is a lot of humor in the animations as well. I found myself purposefully getting caught just to see the myriad ways in which Tiny Thief will sheepishly attempt to hide. From swinging on chandeliers to tip toeing past a guard, every animation is unique and clever.
The music and sound effects match the cartoon like graphics wonderfully. It’s difficult not to have fun playing a game that is such a treat to the senses. The characters emote with thought bubbles and animated gibberish that reminds me of one of Yosemite Sam’s frustrated streams. The lack of voice acting isn’t missed and the characters are able to convey plot with non-dialogue vocalizations alone.
For a game with no dialogue or cut scenes, Tiny Thief tells a pretty decent story. Each of the six stories consist of five levels each, and by the end the substories are loosely sewn together to make a cohesive tale. Tiny Thief is an easy hero to root for. He is usually looking out for the little guy and punishing those who take advantage of their power. I would love to see this protagonist in a slew of games of different genres.
The touch interface roots work decently well using a mouse, but those with touch displays are going to find this game much more enjoyable. I can’t exactly put my finger on why (pun very much intended), but there is something much more satisfying about touching everything on-screen to interact with it compared to several dozen clicks.
The real issue, though, and perhaps even a deal-breaker, is the price. The game is listed on Steam for $14.99. This compares to being a free download on iOS and $2.99 on Android. In the mobile market against the likes of Where’s My Water? and Cut the Rope, Tiny Thief belongs in the discussion among the best available. On PC, however, it is competing with games like Tomb Raider or Far Cry 3 which can also be had for $14.99 or less on Steam. If you can find Tiny Thief for under five dollars, buy it. At $14.99 it just isn’t a great value proposition for such a short ride.
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