Thief Simulator Review – Nintendo Switch

Developed By: Noble Muffin

Published By: Forever Entertainment

Reviewed By: Tyler Higgs

Thank you so much to Forever Entertainment for providing a review code.

Stealing is something that we’re all raised to know that it’s wrong and illegal. So while most choose to live by these moral rules and do not steal, there’s always that part of you that wonders “Would I be a good thief?” (at least I hope I’m not the only one that wonders). Thief Simulator launched on Steam last year and became very popular upon release. Now the title’s being brought to Switch so we can all see just how good a thief we are on the go.

Story

Thief Simulator is a 3D sandbox style stealth game. You start your life of thievery as an unnamed man recently bailed from jail by a criminal family. You’ll constantly be receiving calls from a man named Vinny while you’re playing. He guides you and gives you missions to do, and teaches you the elements of the game. Whenever you’re learning how to use a new tool or gadget Vinny is the one who guides you to on how to use it. The story is really just doing the missions that Vinny tells you to do.

Gameplay

Thief Simulator is all about what the name implies. Your goal will be to break into houses and steal or damage the property inside. The Greenview Street neighborhood is where you’ll begin your criminal life and it starts you out pretty easy. You’ll go from stealing from a house that no ones in, to stealing from houses where there’s always someone home. As you progress things get more complex, and you won’t be able to simply climb through a window and nab the goods. Eventually you’ll even move on to bigger crimes like stealing car parts and extracting gemstones from expensive jewelery

Before you take on a job you’ll want to scan around your target and make sure you know what you’re in for. You can mark important details about houses like if they leave a window open, or maybe they have vines you can climb to get to the second floor. You’re equipped with your trusty crowbar that will help you break stuff that’s way. If you’re able to get a good look at someone inside the house you can also mark their activities. This will give you a rundown of where they are at given times in the day.

Getting what you want is always a process no matter the house. As you get into more prestigious homes there will be more and more tasks to complete. First, it’s lockpicking fence locks to opening up doors and glass cutting windows. There’s lockpicking minigames that come along with opening doors as well, so you’ll always have to make sure you have the supplies ready. These lockpicking minigames can be quite frustrating, because it can be really hard to get the lock exactly where you need it with the Joy-Cons. Once you get inside a house you’ll want to be very careful to stay crouched and out of sight. If one of the residents sees you, they will immediately call the police. When the police arrive they will track you down and if you get caught your sent back to your last checkpoint. There are hiding places inside houses that can help you stay in the house while evading the police.

Every house has an assortment of items to steal some much more valuable than others. You carry a book bag and that’s where you stash your goods. Each item has a weight and you can only carry so much weight in your book bag. This means you’ll often have to leave stuff behind for the next trip. There’s also big items that require you to actually carry them out of your house which slows your movement. Big items need some extra steps in order to safely sell them so you’re going to need your car to get them out.

Your car is your mode of transportation around the map. You can instantly transport between your safe house, and other locations. Your car is how you get around the neighborhoods and is also where you store big items. All big items will be stored in the trunk of your car and you have to successfully leave the area with your car in order to secure a big item.

When the job is done and you’re ready to go to the safe house you can choose whether you want to sell your stolen goods at the pawn shop or on Blackbay. At the safe house you can also take on new missions to gain some extra cash. Cash is used to buy tools like lockpicks and to pick up new better equipment to heighten your thieving abilities. You also get experience when you get to the safe house. Experience is dispersed based on how much stuff you steal and how stealthy you were. Leveling up will allow you to unlock new skills to start breaking in to even more advance places.

Thief Simulator is a fairly straightforward experience. Stealing objects is fun and it’s nice that the game keeps adding more to make things more challenging. Unfortunately the gameplay loop can become fairly tedious after a while. While the houses are different and that’s great, for awhile, but the process ends up becoming very similar and I could see many becoming bored. I don’t think Thief Simulator is a bad game and I had some fun with it. However; Thief Simulator is an experience that I feel could be much more polished.

Presentation

Thief Simulator uses realistic graphics similar to what you find in most first person titles. The graphics, sadly aren’t very nice on the Switch especially in handheld mode. Textures are muddy and can make it very hard to see what’s in front of you especially when it’s night time. Up close most objects look alright, but from a distance everything looks quite blurry. Playing in docked mode helps a bit, but the graphical prowess really just isn’t strong for this title on the Switch.

Technical Issues

From a technical standpoint Thief Simulator is mediocre at best. Frame rate issues were frequent, and it felt like the game was constantly struggling to run at optimal power. Controlling the vehicle is a bit difficult and the other controls are also a bit finicky. There’s tons of bugs and way too often I found myself getting stuck in windows, and bushes when I was trying to make a getaway. Furthermore, there was one weird bug where during the middle of the day everything on the screen would go dark as if it was night time. If I kept walking for a little while the sun would come back and it would once again be daylight. I’m not sure why this happened, but it was really frustrating. I knew Thief Simulator had its problems on PC, but it’s unfortunate that the port over to Nintendo Switch was also riddled with technical issues.

Summary

Thief Simulator definitely isn’t a game for everyone and I can understand those who are on the fence, not picking it up. A game about being a thief is already a somewhat niche genre, but adding the technical and design problems on top really doesn’t help. In all honestly. I enjoyed my time with Thief Simulator and I think it has some redeeming qualities. The gameplay while it can be tedious is enjoyable, and there’s quite a few ways to mix things up so the game stays fresh for a while. I recommend giving Thief Simulator a shot if you’re really interested in it. If you’re not sure, then I advise you think about it before you purchase it.

6/10

Pros

  • If You Like the Idea of Simulating Robberies Then You Will Probably Enjoy This
  • Lots of Different Items to Steal and Gadgets to Try
  • Different Scenarios and Every House is Not the Same

Cons

  • Can Get Tedious After Awhile
  • Poor Technical Performance
  • Muddy/Blurry Textures & Visuals
  • Lockpicking Minigames Are Frustrating
  • Wonky Controls

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