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The Very Organised Thief Game Review

Is it Better to be an Organised Thief or a Sneaky One?

The Very Organised Thief

Created originally in just seven days by Redefinition Studios, The Very Organised Thief is somewhat of a home-invasion simulator, where you’re tasked with retrieving a number of items from a checklist before making your escape.

When a Web Game isn’t a Web Game

I actually had a lot of trouble getting The Very Organised Thief to work. It’s been around for almost three years now, and I’m not sure it’s been updated to work on the latest iteration of Firefox, even though it practically begs you to use Firefox to play it. As such, it would not detect the Unity Web Player no matter what I did, so I had to resort to downloading it and running it from my desktop – which almost defeats the point of it being a Flash game. Technical issues aside, once the game is running it’s surprisingly charming. It’s not pretty, at all, however it’s also not using the same stock assets that everyone else is in 2016, so it does still manage to stand apart and feel a little different, especially from its spiritual successor, Sneak Thief, which is currently going through Steam’s Early Access program.

Whereas Sneak Thief’s graphics are more up to date, crisper and a ton more realistic, The Very Organised Thief’s graphics remind me of a 1990s early 3D game. You can tell what items are supposed to be, but they don’t look quite right – which actually helps to add to the creepy atmosphere that the game attempts to foster.

That atmosphere is aided by a constantly ticking clock and the muffled sound of your footfalls in an otherwise silent void. The first time the clock struck what I assumed to be midnight, I almost jumped out of my chair. This is the first area where The Very Organised Thief trumps Sneak Thief, as the latter’s over reliance on stock assets and lack of additional environment development really harm it.

The Pressure is on

The Very Organised Thief: Check List

You don't have a great deal of time to collect all of the items on your checklist (which can be brought up by tapping ‘Q’)- some of which require finding codes or unlocking secure doors - before the homeowner returns. Again, comparing to Sneak Thief - there's more production quality here. I know that Sneak Thief is in Early Access - but this is a Flash game. The flashlight lifts and drops when you turn it on or off. You can hear the owner's car pull into the drive way, the doors slam, the key in the door - none of that happens in Sneak Thief, where you just hear the front door open.

The Very Organised Thief: Roaming Around

For a game that was developed so quickly, the AI is understandably a little suspect. The homeowner seems to zero in on your location even if you're stood still and hiding in an out-of-the-way place, which makes attempting to sneak past them a little difficult. They also appear oblivious to any mess you've left behind which can make their behaviour unpredictable.

Some of the items you need to collect are perfectly predictable and make sense – a mobile phone, a bracelet – however it does creep into the ridiculous by adding less wieldy items like lawnmowers. Again, the comparison can be made to Sneak Thief where its possible to hoist 100” TVs off the walls and add them to your hall without a second thought – but here the checklist actually makes it feel more like a game with objectives. Sneak Thief just dumps you into a level and leaves you to add your own context and objectives (aside from making as much money as possible).

The two games are so similar I had to check that they're not made by the same person. It turns out they're not. Sneak Thief is a one-man effort by Nicholas Rizzo. What's interesting is that Redefinition Studios actually launched a kickstarter for The Very Organised Thief Game with a measly target of $9,500 AUD - and raised less than $2,000 AUD, while Sneak Thief on Steam has already sold in the region of 10,000 units - which would have been easily enough to reach Redefinition Studio’s goal. Why is that? Is it because of being on a more visible platform? The use of modern Unity assets? A slightly better name? or a combination of all three?

The Very Organised Thief vs Sneak Thief

Sneak Thief vs The Very Organised Thief

Obviously for people who enjoyed this and want to see more, Sneak Thief is there - however given its very early state and lack of character I'm not sure it's much of an improvement at the moment. Perhaps once it’s a bit further along in development it will be - but I can't say for certain. The Very Organised Thief certainly has the advantage in terms of atmosphere at the moment, which somehow avoids managing to feel goofy rather than tense in the same way that Sneak Thief does. I like that you start in the house rather than outside in the middle of a lot that’s floating in a very visible white void on a very visibly, perfectly square plot. If you can’t create an environment without harming immersion, it’s sometimes a better idea to reel in your ambition.

Final Thoughts

Anyone looking for a game that revolves around robbery and being stealthy, can do a lot worse than The Very Organised Thief. You’ll not get hours out of it, although the minutes that you do spend playing it will most likely be enjoyable. As it stands, it is better to be a very organised thief rather than a sneaky one!

Play The Very Organised Thief

Review written by Ian Wakefield from integritas.link.

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