King of Thieves is a relatively new gaming title that comes to us from ZeptoLab UK Limited, the developers of the award-winning Cut the Rope games. Where the Cut the Rope titles were more straightforward puzzle games, King of Thieves is a unique combination of multi-level platformer and player vs. player games.
You have two goals with King of Thieves, steal gold and gems from other players and defend your loot from their attacks. The platformer gaming mode has 80 dungeons to plunder and attacking other player's dungeons seems unlimited.
King of Thieves is available from both the Windows 10 and Windows Phone Stores and in tinkering with the Windows Phone version over the past few days, it comes across as a fun time waster of a game.
King of Thieves opens up with a few house-cleaning tasks to tend to that includes entering your age and choosing a player name. Once those tasks are done, the game sends you through a rather extensive tutorial that covers the mechanics of the game and the game's backstory.
In a nutshell, you escape prison to create your own dungeon or hideout that will become your base of operations. You have the ability to set up defenses to protect your gold and gems you acquire. While one of your tasks is to protect your loot, the other is to steal all the gold you can and eventually become the King of Thieves.
There is a lot to this game and it will take getting a few games under your belt before you become comfortable with things. Again, the dungeon is your base of operations. In your dungeon, you have a totem that will upgrade your gems and award you bonus items in the process. The danger is that your totem has a limited life span that will often require you to seek out new strongholds.
Your gaming stats run across the top of the screen and include your gaming level, gold and gem counts and your lock pick number. You will also find access to the game's community page and game settings along the top of the display. Game settings include sound/music settings and turning on/off cloud saves.
Running along the bottom of the screen you will find navigation buttons to attack a level or other player, view your defense log (see who has stolen your gold), view your gaming missions, view your friends list and edit your dungeon defenses.
The layout of your dungeon will vary as you move from location to location but will include your totem, gold mine and access to your gold mine upgrades that will boost its capacity. Any edits to your dungeon defenses (which also can be upgraded) can only be saved if you can defeat the defenses and reach your gold chest/totem twice.
Gameplay takes place in one of two venues. In one venue you tackle 80 levels of dungeons from which you steal gold and gems, and in the other you visit other player's dungeons to take their loot. Regardless of the gaming venue, the mechanics of King of Thieves are universal.
Your first task in gameplay is to pick the dungeon's lock using your lock picks. You will be presented multiple keyholes and have to pick the one lock that can be picked. This is a unique way to regulate gameplay in that with a little luck, it will only cost one pick to enter the game. Otherwise, it could cost you up to six picks before you pick the right keyhole and can enter the dungeon. The good news is that new picks are awarded as you level up and will be replenished over time.
Your character is a small little black blob whose forward movement is automatic and he will not stop until he runs into a wall or trap. You control your thief's movement by tapping the screen to make him jump. You can scale walls by jumping from one side of the passage to the other, climbing as you do. You will work your way around the dungeon, navigating passages and avoiding dangers until you reach the treasure chest.
Should your character meet his fate by hitting a saw blade or being eaten by a dungeon monster, you will start the level over from the dungeon's entrance. You do have a health meter in the upper right of the gaming screen, so while you do get second chances at conquering a level or looting another player's dungeon those chances are not unlimited. In between lives, a menu will appear with boosts you can use to disable traps, slow down time, spawn a ghost to show you the right path and double the gold.
Along with the challenging physics-based puzzles, King of Thieves also has a social networking aspect. The Community page is where you can find information about the player guilds and leagues. Guilds are groups of players and the league is a daily competition for bragging rights and bonus treasure. You will need to win a league before you can create or join a guild.
Additionally, throughout the game, you will see a pullout menu on the right edge of the screen that is a chat screen where you can send messages to other players. Lastly, the community screen includes a series of tips and tricks to increase your chances at success.
A Challenging Game with Plenty of Depth
King of Thieves is a more complex game than you will find from the developer's hit game Cut the Rope. While Cut the Rope is a challenging, multi-level game, where you concentrate on completing each puzzle level, King of Thieves will keep you busy on several gaming fronts with plenty of features to discover. I've been playing on and off for about four days now and still uncovering new features such as costumes you can unlock to customize your thief.
You have to balance tackling the eighty gaming levels, building up your own dungeon defenses and raiding other player's dungeons for treasure. On top of all that, you have to manage your gold mine, gems and totems. It may take a few gaming sessions with King of Thieves before the initial feeling of being overwhelmed with all the features settles down. There is a lot to this game and the depth will give King of Thieves a good bit of longevity.
King of Thieves covers the basic gaming requirements nicely with appealing graphics and animations, challenging gameplay and simple mechanics. It does fall short with a local help section. The tutorial does a solid job of walking you through gameplay, but there needs to be a local help menu that can be used for reference.
I'm not a big fan of regulating gameplay with tokens or energy units and while such a system is in place with King of Thieves, it didn't feel as restrictive as other models. King of Thieves model has a "game of chance" element and it doesn't take long to replenish your lock picks.
Overall, King of Thieves is an entertaining game for Windows PC and Windows Phone. It does have a slight addictive pull and plenty of opportunities to satisfy your gaming itch. King of Thieves is a free game with a few in-app purchase opportunities. It does support low-memory Windows Phones.