Posted by Deliverator on December 3rd, 2007
If you are looking for some great free entertainment, I highly recommend trying out Trilby: The Art of Theft, a side view stealth platformer created by Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw. Yahtzee is perhaps best knows for his Zero Punctuation reviews of video games over at Escapist Magazine. Yahtzee is not exactly known for pulling punches when it comes to reviewing games, so releasing his own work for public scrutiny takes some balls. After having played Art of Theft incessantly for the last week, I have to say that Art of Theft rises to the same high standard by which Yahtzee judges the games of others.
Art of Theft places you in the sound muffling slippers of Trilby, a fledgling master thief who serves as protagonist in several of Yahtzee’s other games. Art of Theft takes place before the other Trilby games and places you in the role of a younger, not so world wise version of Trilby as he attempts to hone his skills and make a name for himself as a catburgler without equal in Chapow City. Towards that end, Trilby sets out each night to perform ever more daring robberies, while confronting a secret organization only known as “The Company.” As Trilby, each night pits you against a series of guards, security cameras, laser trip wires and other hazards as you attempt to pilfer your way to your goal, usually a certain amount of loot stolen or a particular item recovered. At the end of the level, you are given an overall score and accompanying reputation points based on metrics such as number of alarms set off, number of guards tazered, time to complete the level and amount of loot stolen. In between levels you are shown a cut-scene which moves the story along and then you return to your hide-out where you can practice your moves and purchase new abilities using those hard-earned reputation points.
You can go back and re-visit a particular heist over and over again to attempt to improve your score, but you will only earn additional reputation points if you manage to improve your overall “grade” for the level. I found myself re-playing many levels dozens of times in my quest to get a perfect score (0 alarms, 0 tazered guards, very fast completion time and almost every last bit of possible loot collected). I have so far managed to achieve perfection on 5 of the 7 standard levels. Having beaten the game, you are rewarded with a 8th “master thief challenge” which requires you to run through all 7 of the previous levels successfully without stopping and with a limit of 7 alarms triggered and 7 guards tazered.
Trilby: The Art of Theft is a game with a lot of replay value and a lot of hidden humor and bonuses hidden throughout. It is definitely a game which leave you wanting more. All I got to say is bring on the expansion pack!