App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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The life of a criminal, especially a master thief, is often highly romanticized. These crooks are as intelligent as they are cunning, and are usually incredibly suave to boot, all while pulling off incredibly intricate heists. Daddy Was a Thief is none of those things. Just like its main character, it's simple, a little clumsy, and not really much to look at. Also like its main character, it manages to get away with it. For a while, at least.
Daddy Was a Thief would best be described as an endless faller. Also an endless stealer, I guess. Players have to bust through each room's floor in order to move on and escape their pursuers. However many of these floors are filled with shrink rays, police, rival crooks, angry elderly women, and all sort of other obstacles that can impede progress. The trick is in knowing when to jump (swipe up) in order to avoid missiles or leap into a heavy bathtub, and when to break through the floor (swipe down) in order to move on and possibly take a safe or two along for the ride. Pretty much every object, animate or no, has some sort of effect on the main character that can include anything from temporary invulnerability to instant death.
Getting around in Daddy Was a Thief is pretty simple with the one-handed swipe controls. Getting used to the main character's trajectory when trying to plow through the floorboards takes some getting used to as he'll leap up first, but it doesn't take too long to adjust. The wealth of objects and characters to interact with (and their subsequent effects) are diverse enough to keep things interesting for a while and trying to beat an old score has been a decent amount of incentive to attempt a few replays.
Even so, the character's constant motion with the leaping mechanic can be problematic. His speed can make it more difficult to avoid shrink rays or angry tenants than it really has to be. I also often found myself getting stuck between objects, such as a refrigerator and a desk, or even against the level geometry itself. It was so bad in some instances that all I could do was wait for a missile to take me out. Even when ignoring those problems, Daddy Was a Thief seems to burn out pretty quickly.
There's a decent amount of fun to be had with Daddy Was a Thief, but there doesn't seem to be all that much longevity to it. Getting the main character stuck between objects or on the environment itself is also a major problem as it can totally derail a good run and possibly kill a player's enjoyment. I suppose the big takeaway here is that it doesn't really pay to be a thief.