App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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I've had a soft spot for sneaking around ever since I first slipped on Sam Fisher's rather unique goggles. I'm talking about any games involving sneaking past guards, whether it's in the shadows or in a crowd. That's part of the reason I've been enjoying Tiny Thief so much. That and the clever puzzles along with the super-charming personality.
A diminutive would-be Robin Hood is out to pilfer from the upper class for just about every reason imaginable. Sometimes it's for revenge, other times it's to feed the hungry, and often it's just for funzies. Each stage is a collection of interactive elements that need to be figured out in order to progress, often with hilarious results. One might require something as simple as untying a rope to drop a scaffolding in order to get a palace guard out of the way while another could involve scaring a knight away with some stinky cheese. Each level has a particular item that needs "liberating" in order to move on, but soon players will also have to search for a hidden ferret (I'm so not joking) and some other hidden item that changes from stage to stage. At least, they'll have to find all this stuff if they want to nail the three-star ratings.
I was a little put off by Tiny Thief's inherent simplicity (although it gets better), but I was totally won over due to sheer adorableness. All the little character and object interactions/animations bring a lot of personality to the forefront. So much so that I quickly became more interested in seeing what else I could do rather than simply acquiring more stars. Although chasing all three stars in a given level is also its own reward since it adds two more slightly different layers (find the hidden object and play with everything in sight until something happens) to the gameplay.
Tiny Thief does feel a little slow at times, though. For starters, the main character doesn't move all that fast. There's also this odd disconnect between movement and object interaction. Players have to position themselves next to the item first, then tap on a contextual icon that appears rather than simply tapping directly on the item to both move and use it when in range. It feels a bit archaic, honestly.
I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from Tiny Thief but I've definitely come away impressed. It's a cute, clever, and oddly rewarding little puzzle game that manages to pull from a few different genres quite effectively. However please also note that we at 148Apps don't condone the cooooool crime of stealing.