About This Place

First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

KMGR of "Thief, run!"

Daniel Ilabaca does a cat balance.Image via Wikipedia"Thief, run!" is a game about "parkour", or "free-running", the technique of moving through urban environments at maximum speed by going over, under, and through various obstacles through jumping, rolling, and so on. But it is also about burglary. Some excellent animation and a great 3D engine that renders the characters and environment in somewhat comical way, and you have a game that is a lot more fun than it first seem.

The backstory is a bit hokey... You are a pair of brother/sister (?) thieves. You just did a job and when you return, Kingpin has put a warning on your room door... either you steal him X huge diamonds, or it's out on the streets for you two. Needless to say, you simply go do what you do best.

The game has a camera that works in several perspectives. If above the action, it's probably the "2D run", where you must hit the action button at the right time to go over certain objects, and avoid running into cops (which is "instant jail"). The camera can also pan sideways or semi-behind for more of a 2D look. The graphics are very smooth and lots of frames, making motions look quite a live, though view distance needs to be a little further.

As far as the action is concerned, it's actually quite simple... Hit OK to "action". it could be duck and roll forward, or touch and go over, or rabbit hop over, and so on. Use the direction pad to move your guy if possible. It's mainly about timing. Hit the OK too late, and you bounce off whatever you didn't jump over, or fall to your death as you didn't jump. As police are chasing you, this may result in you getting caught, and you don't want that. Hit it too early and you are not going at optimum speed.

On the way, you need to grab as much money from the level as possible, as well as trying to locate a bright window that you need to run past. That window leads to a room with a safe, and inside is your objective: a large diamond that you need to pay off the "debt".

You can do a level multiple times. Indeed, you are expected to do it multiple times as there are several ways through each level, and only one will take you past the diamond, and it won't be the easiest one. You are graded three ways: did you get the diamond? How much money did you get out of total available? And finally, did you beat the "par" time? You need to get the diamond to unlock the next level. The catch is... If you *do* get the diamond, you have to escape the level without "dying" for it to count.

The graphics are good, but music is a bit simplistic and boring. And the art is a bit on the caricature side, so you may or may not like that. And the way the camera shifts between stages is a bit weird. Also, the checkpoints are a bit too far apart so you have to repeat a LOT of action if you *do* fail / die in the level.

You can customize your avatar's shirt color, pants color, and shoe color, but that doesn't actually *do* anything in the game.

All in all, "Thief, run!" is a light-hearted game emphasizes action, and quite simple action, instead of strategy or tactics. If you like parkour, you should like this game.

Overall rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: easy to learn, good graphics
Cons: finding the diamond can be frustrating, controls not always responsive

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