Tricky Thief lets gamers forget about hectic action and violence. Instead, it asks you to test your mind as well as your logical thinking. As such, it is a casual experience that is good for completionists and players of all ages.
Developed by YeTa Games, and Eastasiasoft Limited and published by the latter, this is a top-down puzzle title. What’s more, its art style and audio make it a captivating experience as well. Alongside this, its simple approach and tongue-in-cheek nature are safe and can be enjoyed by everyone.
Tricky Thief has no story.
Rarely does this genre incorporate a story. Consequently, the action can feel shallow and there is no empathy towards the protagonists. Disappointingly, Tricky Thief follows this pattern and there is no explanation for what is happening. Accordingly, this could have been easily resolved had cutscenes and a basic plot been introduced.
However, these elements never appeared, and you are left to form your own conclusions. Yet, let us not dwell on this shortcoming, as the core concept is well-conceived, enjoyable, and mentally taxing (in the latter stages). The action resolves around the “hero”, a thief who wishes to steal the gold and avoid detection. If he is spotted by the roaming security personnel, he is arrested and you must start the level again. However, if you are successful, you’ll escape and live to steal more treasure.
Create your path.
Though the concept is easy to understand, solving each puzzle isn’t a walk in the park. The thief can only move in 4 directions and they stop whenever they collide with a wall, crate, or special tile. As such, you must create a path to the treasure by running at walls and adjusting your plan accordingly. By doing this, you’ll carve a path through each stage and collect all the treasure.
Additionally, you must be aware of the security guards, pulsing beacons, explosive boxes, and crates. The guards walk a set route that is marked on the floor. Furthermore, they have a restricted field of view, and both elements must be manipulated if you wish to succeed.
This being said, the early stages of Tricky Thief are far too easy. Consequently, your focus will wane. Yet, once you tackle these levels, the action is testing, and the gameplay improves vastly. Had the developers incorporated more mechanics or a harder option, I believe the game would have been much better.
Tricky Thief: A nice whimsy art style.
Tricky Thief has a bright colour palette and a charming art style. The whimsy character models and simple stage design allow you to focus on the puzzles. What’s more, the animation is basic but smooth, and this is more than acceptable. Subsequently, I wasn’t blown away, but I appreciated the end product nonetheless.
The audio complements the visuals. With a charming and upbeat soundtrack, it isn’t impressive, but it is serviceable. What’s more, there is a mischievous edge to proceedings, and that enhances the sneaky theme further still.
Unsurprisingly, a straightforward concept has a basic control layout. Yet, this is so refined that I was shocked. With no action button or switches to select, all you must do is move the thief. Thankfully, the navigation controls are responsive and accurate and this improves the gameplay.
Tricky Thief unfortunately lacks both longevity and replay value. Because the opening levels are so easy, you fly through 50% of the game without concern. Furthermore, a lack of additional game modes holds it back as well. However, this is perfect for completionists and is still good value for money.
Tricky Thief is a pleasant and casual title.
This isn’t a game that will wow you, nor is it bad enough for you to voice a complaint. Instead, it is a pleasant and casual title that is inexpensive to buy. Furthermore, once you navigate the easy levels, it will test your grey matter, and that was fantastic. I loved its charming way, but the lack of cinematic and story disappointed me. Accordingly, despite its shortcomings, I recommend that you buy it here! The treasure is yours for the taking. However, you must avoid the guards, beacons, and explosions if you wish to carve a path and be successful.