Reviewed by @Brett_SevenDaze
- Developer: Noble Muffins
- Publisher: Forever Entertainment
- Release Date: 16/05/2019
- Price: £17.99 / $19.99
- Review code provided by Forever Entertainment
Have you ever thought that you would make a decent thief or just that you wanted to cause havoc on a quaint suburban neighbourhood but then realised, nah that’s a stupid idea, you are way too good looking to go to jail. Thief Simulator is the game for you.
Thief Simulator is an open world game in which you start off as a petty crook breaking into properties to steal or vandalise items with only a crowbar to your name. As you level up and progress you can learn new techniques and buy more intricate items such as hacking PDA’s and cameras to help you pull off bigger and more lucrative break-ins.
There is very little substance to the story line other than a guy named Vinny has helped you out and, as a result, you are now you are in debt to him big time. He will call you every now and then to give you missions and objectives to complete and help re-pay your dues.
There are 3 main area’s in which you can visit within thief simulator. The first area being your home where you can store items that you have stolen, learn new skills, sleep to pass the time and access the dark web via a PC. The dark web can let you accept side contracts to earn more money, buy tools to aid you, black bay where you can sell wanted items for a high price and a forum in which you can buy hints for certain properties. The hints can be from property owners daily habits or if the house has a high valued item. The second area is the pawn shop which you will only need to visit when you want to sell the items you have pilfered from the poor citizens and finally the third area being the neighbourhoods themselves, this is where you will spend most of your time.
Noble Muffins have added driving mechanics to thief simulator to help you get around and make a quick getaway if needed. You can also use the car to sleep in to pass the time. The design of the car is not very pretty, if you had to imagine what the car looked like in the song W.T.P by Eminem then this is it. The handling of the car is not great either and I can only imagine it was only added to help the player get from A to B, which is a shame as you do spend a big chunk of the game driving around from place to place. Saying that, it’s better then nothing and I found driving around in third person helped a lot.
Skills to pay the bills
The game is heavily focused on levelling up and gaining XP which can ruin the momentum of the game due to not being able to progress. Because you need to be at a certain level and have a certain amount of skill points to unlock an item which is needed in the story line, it can feel like a real grind later in the game when extra XP is sparse and levelling up takes a lot longer.
Skills can range from agility, where you can learn to run faster when carrying larger items like TV’s or printers, to lock picking where you learn to open more sophisticated doors and sneak into properties rather than using brute force and smashing windows which will attract the attention of the owner resulting in the po-po catching you. But my favourite skill which comes later in the game is the technology skill where you learn how to hack terminals using a PDA or laptop. As ever in these types of games, stealing cars is always a blast!
There’s a glitch in the hood
Thief simulator is a pretty enjoyable experience but unfortunately the game is riddled with bugs and glitches. Some of them are pretty hilarious and somewhat makes the game that little bit more entertaining but there are some game breaking bugs that can be a pain as they occur quite frequently.
There were many occasions when the game would shut down unexpectedly, luckily due to the auto-save function progress was not lost and was more of an annoyance more than anything. Another annoying bug I found was in the notes section of the menu. When scrolling down the available properties the blue bar would not move so you were unable to view the off screen houses making you guess which one you were on. A few others to mention are you can’t climb over the fence on house 112, It will let you climb it but will constantly pop you back to the other side. Ghosting police cars driving through pedestrians and other vehicles and occasionally it would cycle from day to night and back to day over a few seconds despite the time being early in the afternoon.
Thief simulator is not the perfect game and it does have major issues but if you put that aside there is so much fun to be had, the game play is what makes this game stand out and shine. You have free reign, Greenview street and Richie R. street are your playground, whether you decide to go all guns blazing or the second option, (which is where I had more pleasure) being as stealthy as possible. Watching the owners every moves, learning their daily habits and sneaking in and out without being noticed, is an art and and incredibly enjoyable one at that. The more affluent the area, the harder it is to pull off with cameras and more sophisticated security systems to contend with.
You will definitely encounter the police sooner rather than later but you have the choice to leg it and jump into your car and hope that you can speed off without getting caught or hide it out in a garbage bin or under a bed until they call the hunt off, the latter being more nerve racking. The controls are pretty straight forward to grasp and with a tutorial at the start of the game you will be smashing gnomes and toilets in no time.
Thief Simulator is a great open world game with plenty to offer but there are a few things that let this game down mainly the stability and awkward bugs which can ruin the experience, hopefully these can be ironed out in future updates. There is very little to the story line with mainly objectives to complete to progress and with the level based progression it can sometimes feel like a grind and a slog to have the right requirements for the next mission.
The graphics are pretty decent with hardly any frame rate issues. Noble Muffins have done a great job here with porting it over from the PC, with what I can see there are little to none compromises made when making the Switch version. There are some pretty wacky glitches to be seen within the game, mainly in the neighbourhood areas, but this adds to the character of the game.
These issues aside I have really enjoyed my encounter with Thief Simulator, smashing the odd toilet and sneaking around the neighbourhoods causing chaos and pulling off the perfect heist.
- Being a thief without the risks of being arrested
- Open world game play with a vast map to explore.
- Level based progression with a multitude of skills to learn there will be many hours of fun to be had.
- Auto-save function
- Stability of the game is poor, causing the game to close down unexpected regularly
- Can be a slog levelling up and gaining enough cash to progress
- Driving mechanics are weak
A very fun experience with a price point that is spot on. There are many hours of game play to be had but the stability and odd glitches can ruin the game play slightly.