hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: Tiny Thief

2:00 PM on 07.23.2013 // Chris Carter
  @DtoidChris

Old and new-school adventuring

The mobile market never ceases to surprise me. Amidst a sea of heavy in-app-purchase exploitation, pay-to-win games, and clones, there are still a large number of modern classics that brave the choppy waters and come out on top.

Tiny Thief is the latest example of this triumph. It knows its roots, it looks unique, and it executes the touch-screen setup flawlessly. It's also extremely adorable.

Tiny Thief (Android, iPad [tested on an iPad Mini], iPhone [reviewed on an iPhone 5])
Developer: 5 Ants Games
Publisher: Rovio Stars
Released: July 11, 2013 (Android, iOS)
MSRP: $2.99

Tiny Thief is part point-and-click adventure, part stealth action -- in other words, an adventure game mixed with minor bouts akin to Metal Gear Solid. You play the part of the Robin Hood-esque Thief, who makes it his business to meddle in the affairs of the locals -- usually for the greater good -- with a small penchant for mischief.

The way you conduct your trade is extremely simple: you touch an area to move there, touch an object to interact with it, and that's it. You'll use this simple control scheme to hide in barrels and slip past guards, grab and combine objects, and climb up ladders and slink about rooftops.

You can't tap multiple zones in sequential order to quickly queue actions, but as a result you almost never move accidentally. For instance, say you're hiding a barrel. In most games, if you touch anywhere on the screen, you'd exit the barrel and go wherever you tapped, potentially blowing your cover -- but in Tiny Thief, you have to touch the button above the barrel indicating that you want to specifically pop out of it.

It's a very small nuance, but it makes a big difference, as you'll never blame the precise touch -screen controls for blowing stealth or tapping the wrong area. I tested the game out on both an iPad Mini and an iPhone 5, and although the iPad has more screen real estate and perfectly fits each puzzle in the viewing area, the aforementioned control system prevents mistakes on the smaller iPhone screen.

Each level has three objectives -- find the objects (which are usually unmarked, plentiful, and secret), find your ferret companion (a mini "Where's Waldo?" of sorts), and complete the main objective, which clears the level. Not every objective is explicitly cleared the same way, as certain areas, when tapped, open up to reveal a hidden gem, or the ferret -- so while a lot of the puzzles are fairly straightforward, you absolutely have to think outside the box to 100% the game.

Like other Rovio titles, the difficulty is as casual or hardcore as you want it to be, as simply beating a level will earn you one star, and finding everything else will earn you three. If you get stuck, there's a clever hint system with visual clues that allows you to spoil each solution step by step, so you can work at your own pace without frustration.

The adventure bits take inspiration from one of my favorite (and underrated) point-and-click franchises of all time: Gobliins. Objects and interactions employ what I like to call the "Gobliins" style of facilitation -- there's not much dialog, and there's a heavy emphasis on physical comedy/slapstick.

As a result, you're not only engaging in ingenious puzzles, but you're getting a laugh or two along the way. It helps that Tiny Thief has adorable visuals and unique character designs that really make the title feel like it takes place in its own world. They could stand to be a little sharper and more pronounced graphically, but I love the style regardless, and want to see more of it.

There are currently six "adventures" consisting five quests each to tackle, which range from a few minutes to brain-benders that will take you much longer to mull about in. The really cool thing about each adventure is that they tenuously link together to weave one large tale.

Tiny comics help facilitate the story, which take no more than a few seconds to read, putting you back into the action instantly. Knowing how Rovio operates, there are probably going to be a heap of free updates on the way, followed by a potential $0.99 expansion or two. There are no IAP at the time of this writing, which is refreshing.

The only real fault of Tiny Thief is that I wish there was more of it. I was glued to my screen, ready to see what the next area would be, and laughing all the way at the game's effortless charm. If you're a fan of adventure games, this is a no-brainer -- just don't be surprised if you spend an entire afternoon tearing through it, longing for more.



THE VERDICT

9.5

Tiny Thief - Reviewed by Chris Carter
Entrancing - It's like magic, guys. Time disappears when this game and I are together, and I never want it to end. I'm not sure if this is a love that will last forever, but if it is, you'll get no complaints from me.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
Gee whilikers, guys. I might just explain where I've been and what I've been up to while I've been gone. That'd be a good topic for a c-blog getting me whipped back into shape, right? I'ma try to write more, so expect more of me in the future!
bloma avatarbloma
Just bought Fez for xbox 360. Playing it on my 58 inch plasma. What a beautiful game.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
So there's a chance more MKX characters are being revealed today. Now, I'm not saying you *should* cross your fingers and say a prayer for me to get my waifu Sindel just, y'know, it would be monstrous of you to make me cry with your lack of love & support
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
Just so you know, I've been a Huge subscriber for a few years but I thought I had until the end of September to cancel it. So I've opened an inquiry for the refund, which is on tinypass' end of things by the way.
techsupport avatartechsupport
I once posted that Total Recall was the best movie ever made. I would like to make note that Starship Troopers is a close second. Carry on.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I put too many peppers in my sausage and potatoes. My asshole is on fire. I want to cry when I wipe. But it was good.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
One glorious Japanese twitter user made a custom LBX of one of my favorite Kamen Riders: [img]http://i.imgur.com/yp1oraHm.jpg[/img] It's like getting peanut butter in chocolate but with small robots and spandex banana men!
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
I feel terrible for not reading most of you beautiful people's blogs. Let's just say my passion is writing, not reading :s
techsupport avatartechsupport
People can debate GOTY all they want, but the real question is: D-Horse or Roach?
Mr Knives avatarMr Knives
I'm dragging myself away from my PS4 long enough to say that MGS V is pretty darn awesome so far.
Myles Cox avatarMyles Cox
Down with that PAX Pox. Auhhhghghghhhh
Shinta avatarShinta
MGSV: Sneaking into a heavily guarded Russian military base in Afghanistan at night, slashing throats while listening to this. [youtube]https://youtu.be/-hWZqllm3mQ[/youtube] Comes off like a perfectly planned scene in a Scorsese movie or something.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Tortilla chips: The only food I know and love to betray me by deciding to flip to a bad angle and stab me in the gums.
IDrawOnTape avatarIDrawOnTape
I'm ok with Namco shutting down Soul Calibur: Lost Souls, as long as they keep Ace Combat:Infinity running. Love that game and just hit 3 million credits.
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
Holy fuck I feel new again. I've been on hiatus for a while and haven't been up to writing. I might just jump back into things after I relearn things here. Does anyone even remember me? Like damn it's been a while.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
In MGS5: The Phantom Pain, Solid Snake dies from lung cancer from all those years of smoking. #FakeSpoilers
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
[youtube]http://youtu.be/FDSHslyrxkM[/youtube] If you don't know the truth, you don't know the score. The end is coming near. MAJOR SPOILERS!
Paul S avatarPaul S
Wow, it's really easy to get people upset over video games.
wutangclam avatarwutangclam
I hope MGS V is living up to everyone's expectations. I can't get enough.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
I dislike the idea of intentionally reinforcing the notions that either race or gender are character traits, and those that don't match your own are completely unrelatable.
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Tiny Thief


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -