A devilishly hard mixture of strategy, stealth and robbery, Ben ‘Yahtzee’ Croshaw’s The Art Of Theft will most definitely steal your time – whether you want it too or not.
Playing as Trilby, an experienced master thief, your objective is to infiltrate and loot a variety of high security buildings across Chapow City, armed with nothing but a tazer and a variety of evasive skills. Although there is a central storyline running through the game, it is essentially a test of observation and reaction as you are forced to note the clockwork patrols of each guard, camera and laser to complete each new level. With every effective use of your talents, Trilby will earn Reputation (RP), which can be spent on upgrading current skills, as well as learning new ones to access previously unreachable areas of buildings and add completely new strategies to each heist.
The Art Of Theft is not a casual game, but a learning experience – I found myself running through every level a good number of times before completion, perfecting the routes and skills I’d need to deploy to achieve the highest score. This game pushes you to be as inventive and devious as possible, assessing every new puzzle deeply before stepping out to tackle it – especially so with restrictions placed on your gameplay: the tazer may only be used a limited amount within a level, as well as a limit on how many alarms may be set off before the entire level is aborted.
If you’re a fan of stealth platform games, then I highly recommend this – the controls are very smooth and responsive, plus the art is very confident in its style: neither serious, nor cartoon. This is a good game all-round, however you will find yourself pushed to your mental limit trying to complete the tiniest details out of determination.
The Art Of Theft can be downloaded here
Yahtzee’s blog (and more of his games) can be found here