Sawbuck Gamer

Don’t Stop, Thief!

Tiny Thief’s whimsical heists aim to steal your heart.

By Jason Reich • September 11, 2013

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap game ($10 or less).

Creator: 5 Ants Games
Platforms: iPhone/iPad (Universal), Android
Played on: iPad
Price: $3

Poor Jean Valjean. Imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread and pursued throughout his life by the dogged Inspector Javert, Victor Hugo’s tragic ex-con could have saved himself a lot of trouble if he’d traded his impulsive, thieving ways for some methodical pointing and clicking.

It’s a lesson well learned by the hero of Tiny Thief, who, like Valjean, commits his crimes in the name of a greater good. It’s up to you to guide the hooded rapscallion through a series of petty thefts, such as retrieving toys for village youngsters or redistributing an evil sheriff’s ill-gotten tax revenue. Activating each scene’s points of interest in the proper order is key to retrieving the contraband, but Tiny Thief manages to make its trial and error fun. There’s no irritating process of hunting for the helpful doodads among the set dressing; big, shiny (and, yes, candy-like) buttons let you know exactly what bits of the environment you can manipulate. Even better, you’re not forced to replay every stage from the beginning when you make a wrong move. Seeking out all the game’s little surprises becomes a pleasant challenge, and despite the cutesy storybook look, some of the puzzles are real head-scratchers. If they had games like this back in revolutionary France, maybe those guys would have been a little less misérable.

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6 Responses to “Don’t Stop, Thief!”

  1. SamPlays says:

    This has been the third Reich Sawbuck Gamer since June 28. 

  2. PaganPoet says:

    The adorable thief reminds me of Penny from the Adventure Time episode “City of Thieves.” So cute and devious.

  3. Enkidum says:

    This looks kind of cool, but holy shit guys check out Humble Indie Bundle 9. So far it includes Trine 2, Mark of the Ninja, Eets Munchies, Brutal Legend, FTL and Fez. All mac-compatible, too. Damn.

    • Brainstrain says:

      I already own Trine 2 and Fez, but I bought it anyway because FTL and Mark of the Ninja sound so very interesting. $4.50. Long live the Bundle!