Here is our Spirited Thief Review, the tactical-turn-based stealth game by Koi Snowman Games.
Spirited Thief is an interesting game from the get-go, it's this great mix of everything I love in a good stealth and Tactical RPG. There are some hiccups here and there but that doesn't stop it from being an excellent timesink for anyone with a love for brain ticklers.
Spirited Thief, The Tactical-Espionage /with Robbery on the Side) Turn-Based Stealth Game
If the terms “Tactical” and “Stealth” games already excite you, Spirited Thief is definitely for you. Sure the Turn-Based might throw you off at first but this game is a feast for any virtual rogue. You play as Elaj a dual specced thief-sorcerer with a ghostly companion who steals the underworld dry for that sweet paycheck from the Thieves Guild.
After an inciting incident, poor Elaj turns into one of those “I work alone”-types his ghostly companion Trin manages to get him out of his shell pretty easily. Soon after an array of of characters will join his crew to steal those gemstones, all of which come with their own abilities.
Ablities? In my Stealth Game? Yes! Each thief and spirit comes with their own set of abilities which you get to expand upon with additional cash. At first, it's something as simple as knocking out and distracting guards until you start commanding a mouse to steal that key from them.
This works brilliantly with the turn-based stealth system which has you manage action points to move around and use abilities. Characters and guards take turns and your goal is to infiltrate, fulfill objectives, and get out. If you get spotted you get a second lease on life but if you can't make it out of a guard's view cone, that's it.
Pair this with some stellar level design which only gets better, it keeps introducing more obstacles and some of the later levels will take an hour to clear. This isn't as bad as you can fully customize all the difficulty settings which largely affect guard behavior and the number of turn rollbacks you get.
I have to confess and hand in my gamer card though, after getting stuck halfway through on a difficult section. So I flipped on infinite turns here and there to roll back more than one turn to avoid my mistakes. But I will defend myself claiming that I only winded back whenever the next turn would lead to death.
But don't be like me, once you get your first run-through you get access to all the abilities in the ship and can work on getting those perfect runs.
A Round of A Thief Spirited It Away
Let me walk you through a typical session of Spirted Thief, so I can illustrate to you how it works. After a story and a short briefing, you enter the scouting phase of the map. Here you take control of Trin who has to scout out the map and do some puzzle solving on her own before Elaj and co go in for the sweep. Locate the treasure and the keys needed and you're good to go.
During the scouting phase, Trin can also put spells on guards. Manipulating their states or simply mapping their location on your map as well as their field of view.
Now you can go in and start the heist, once you enter the complex the alarm will rise every turn and as certain intervals come up, more guards will wake up to make your life a little harder. Steal the right keys, flip the right switches, and maybe get some of those optional treasures while you're at it. Sooner or later you'll realize the game plays more like a non-lethal turn-based Hitman than your average slaughter fest.
It is especially the focus on temporarily disabling guards and killing them being significantly harder that I enjoyed the most. It triggers that part of the lizard brain that always wants to go for those Silent Assassins Suit Only runs.
Did I use my infinite rewinds occasionally to get out of an untimely demise? Yes. But committing to your mistakes and learning the ins and outs of the AI and how to manipulate them is about as satisfying as it gets. Especially once you have to suffer through your mistakes by exiltrating the complex, or you try to find an alternative exit.
There are two things that bothered me about Spirited Thief towards the end of my time with it. The story is functional but sometimes you get the feeling even the characters are kinda over it. It's fine really but there are just a lot of things happening to set up the next heist with increasingly elaborate mechanics. But I did enjoy Trin singing her name every time she was selected.
Another one is the visual fidelity. While the game looks decent, there is a certain lack of variance in its settings. There are only so many shades of vaguely fantasy cobblestone complexes I can take until I get bored of them.
A final, not really complaint but suggestion. Please, Oh Please add a level editor to this game. I would love to see the messed up Kaizo Mario-esque levels people can come up with. Even if it's just reshuffling item placements on existing maps, please!
Spirited Thief Review – 8.0/10
*Review Copy provided by the Publisher*
If you can't tell, I adored my time with Spirited Thief. It is a game so up my alley that I can't help but love it. There are a few shortcomings, but those pale in the light of an excellent spin on the stealth game/immersive-sim genre.
It's the kind of game you can happily play in the background and mull over your choices in between bouts of work. I enjoyed it and I hope to see more from Koi Snowman Games in the future.
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