Title: Thief Simulator
Developer: Noble Muffins
Publisher: Forever Entertainment
Genre: Simulation, Strategy, Stealth
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 16/05/2019
Price: £17.99 – Rapid Reviews UK were very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
What Developers say
A good thief always observes his target. What’s inside? Who lives there? What’s your target day schedule? Find out when the house is empty and does it have nosy neighbours. Choose from lots of possible approaches to prepare the best plan. Many modern devices available in Thief Simulator might come in handy with gathering intel about your target and it’s neighbourhood.
The faster, the better. Find and steal as many valuables as possible in the shortest time possible. Remember that infinite backpacks don’t exist. When it’s about time you have to maintain cold blood. In every house you’ll find tons of useless stuff, which can really slow you down. If you’re not sure that you can take some serious money for it, maybe a good idea would be to leave it behind and save space for some expensive goods. If you fill your backpack with worthless items, you may have to waste your time to throw stuff out just to make space for other things. Be careful, cause some things can draw police attention to you!
Like most people, I have always been a fan of the kind of game that lets me go anywhere and do anything. I find that I will spend hours doing the most menial of tasks: fishing for example. Whilst I don’t like fishing games, I love fishing in an open world…. I’m aware how odd that sounds.
Generally, in any game, where I am given the chance to do so, I will spend a significant amount of time stealing. In Skyrim, for example, I will steal anything that isn’t nailed down and, let’s be honest, you know you do too!
So, when I found out that Forever Entertainment (among my favourite third party Switch Publishers) were publishing Thief Simulator on the Nintendo Switch, I was intrigued. Would the game be a simple collectathon, a prime example of kleptomania in gaming? Or would it be something with a little more nuance, something which required more thought and planning to pull of a big heist? Well, as we shall discover together, Thief Simulator sits somewhere in the middle.
Visual & Audio
Thief Simulator looks fine (nothing more or less) in both docked and handheld modes on the switch and does not suffer from any major performance issues in either setting. That being said, the game does have some load times that can be a little on the long side. The lack of music during these load screens can exacerbate the feeling of time ebbing away.
The environment the game takes place in is pretty enough for what it is: the town, pawn shop and home each offering a different style of environment which neither shines nor disappoints. These are clearly environments built to serve a purpose.
Character models are fit for purpose and follow pretty basic paths around the map/building depending on their role within the game, to the extent they will stand and do nothing if you happen to leave your car in the way of their route.
Sound design within the game is decent with some pretty good voice acting from your friendly, neighborhood criminal contact who will phone you up with jobs, advice etc. Music is present in menus and again is fine. Ambient sounds are also present here and again they are nothing spectacular but are good enough.
Gameplay & Replayability
At the beginning of the game, our humble thief (you) is limited to breaking and entering using the age old technique of smashing a window with your crowbar. As you steal more objects, complete missions and smash toilets (because why not?), our little thief will gain cash and XP. This XP can be spent on skills such as lock picking, remote surveillance and throwing bricks (like the yobo we all are deep down). These skills will allow the player to complete bigger and more rewarding robberies.
Almost everything is up for the grabs including the pots and pans and the old CRT TV (of which there are a surprising number).
Selling the items you have stolen at either the pawnshop or on the games online selling platform “Blackbay” will get you the cold hard cash needed to buy the better equipment on “Tools4Thieves”, which make all this thieving a bit easier. Similarly, the internet can offer job opportunities through the sites “Rent-a-Thug” or offer tips on houses to target on “StealYourForums”. The puns here are very real.
Where the game really gets interesting is through the observation of a mark: watch the inhabitants of a house and learn their routine before breaking in and taking everything they have (not forgetting to smash the toilet on the way out). Having previously observed the tenants, the risk of being caught is minimal.
In the event you are caught watching though the window (for me the funniest moment) or rummaging through the drawers, the player has two choices to avoid the police. Hide, in several available places; the convenient dumpsters which are dotted around town; under the bed or in a wardrobe. The other option is to run. Leaving the town will automatically allow you to escape the law, however this will force you to return home or go to the pawn shop to sell your ill-gotten gains. Of course, there is a third option: arrest.
The police in Thief Simulator could show the good old Metropolitan Police a thing or two in how to respond to a suspicious person or a Thief. Guns out and in a number that would suggest a possible terrorist threat, the police will descend upon your location. If they happen to get close to you, it’s game over and time to reload the save. However, if you are hiding, they will simply stand by you for a few seconds before giving up.
This is a simple loop of action and reward. Although it may appear to be a little basic at first, it allows for a depth of player experience which is a simple loop of action and reward. Which may appear to be a little basic at first, allows for a depth of player experience which is both rewarding and addictive.
Thief Simulator is an enjoyable enough experience. The Visual and audio are really nothing to write home about here. However, that gameplay loop is pretty rewarding. There is enough here to keep an average player coming back for a good amount of time, but don’t expect to be sinking hundreds of hours into Thief Simulator. At a standard price of £17.99, I feel Thief Simulator may have priced itself out of being a must buy simulation title. That said, it will definitely provide those willing to take the plunge with a good laugh.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
If you would like to smash some toilets and steal some kitchenware, you can pick up Thief Simulator via the following Nintendo eShop link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Thief-Simulator-1557413.html
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.