Steal all the loot in King of Thieves [Retro review]
Can you dodge deadly traps and collect enough treasure to become the King of Thieves?
King of Thieves certainly fell below my radar when it was initially released in 2015. Developed by Zepto Labs, it's a fun and colorful platformer that offers a real challenge with tight controls and split-second timing gameplay reminiscent of the incomparable Super Meat Boy — except instead of controlling a bloody hunk of animated meat, you play as a shadowy thief, Prince, who's after those gold coins and gems.
Zepto Labs is best known as the developers of the somewhat iconic Cut the Rope franchise, and rightly so. It was a runaway hit and a true showcase for how touch screens were revolutionizing mobile games back in the early days of the Play Store (then called Android Market). It's the perfect casual physics-based puzzle game that's easy for anyone to pick up and play thanks to the very intuitive controls and gameplay.
King of Thieves accomplishes a similar feat for the extreme platformer genre, taking that pinpoint platforming style and boiling it down to something you can play one-handed while waiting for a bus.
The visual style is strong and the animations are smooth. Available in both the Google Play Store as well as on GameStash, you're thrown right into the game, which involves you bouncing off the walls and dodging traps as you stealthily ransack guarded treasure in one-screen dungeon levels. Your character automatically runs, and you simply tap the screen to jump. Just like Super Meat Boy, your little thief will cling to walls and slowly slide down (without the gratuitous gore) which is required to dodge enemies and set up pin-point leaps over deadly blades.
There are 112 single player levels to complete, but the game sure wants you to engage in the online multiplayer aspect of the game, which requires you to steal gems from other players which denote your rank in the game. By collecting more gems and defending your own loot by designing a dungeon of your own, you earn all sorts of things that help you upgrade your character or the traps in your dungeon.
The online component is interesting for sure, but ultimately just a bit cluttered with too many currencies and things to track, and makes the game feel like just another game full if grinding to get to the top of the heap (unless you just pay your way to the top with in-app purchases).
The true strength of this game is in the actual gameplay, and fortunate for those who just want to play the core game without having to mess about with all the extra online business, the GameStash version just gives you the core single-player game along with a seemingly lifetime supply of keys for unlocking each level so you're never left waiting to play.