Thief Lupin! opens up with some serious spy music and an opening menu that enables you to change Lupin's clothing if you like. He comes with a basic ensemble that looks pretty cool on its own, but the new outfits will cost you. However, you don't necessarily have to open up your real life wallet. You can pay for costumes, new playable characters, and other types of game upgrades by collecting the jewels that are scattered through the game's levels, or by purchasing them through microtransactions. This is fairly easy to do, so you'll be able to go shopping soon enough.
After you get dressed, you'll find yourself on a world map which you can move through by scrolling left or right with a finger touch. Once you choose a location, you will see a menu with a "building conquer rate" bar and a floor selector. The first building, Neuschwanstein castle, offers 60 levels to ascend. Each is structured like a tower, and you'll come from the left and then the right alternately as you climb up to its top. Later on, you can also unlock locations such as the Empire State Building and the pyramids.
Thief Lupin! keeps a simple formula interesting by dicing up the way you approach each floor. As you begin, Lupin will move on his own and you'll have to touch the screen to make him jump, avoiding obstacles such as boxes, floor spikes, flying bats and more. Climb up a bit further, and you'll find levels where he will not move at all unless you tap him quickly to run. You may also find yourself crouching to do a high jump over moving obstacles. Since it's a constant roulette wheel when it comes to what tactic you'll need to use on each floor, the gameplay never gets stale. Best of all, the game autosaves your progress, so you can come back to any floor in a level at anytime and continue right where you left off.
Each location also offers boss fights, which are just as simplistic as the regular gameplay but make you feel as if you're kicking ass and taking names. You are also timed on how long it takes you to pass through each floor and the number of finger taps used to do so, which all factors into your score. Since Thief Lupin! is GameCenter enabled, you can also go there to see your leaderboard rankings and achievements (there are a total of 37 you can unlock, all associated with completing a certain percentage of each of the game's locations).
As with most free games, there are ads in Thief Lupin!, and one of the only downfalls of the game is that they can be easily tapped by mistake during play. A misplaced tap will have you staring at ads for other apps, so you'll want to be careful not to tap too near the bottom of your screen as you go for those jumps.
With a total of five playable locations and two "under construction" (coming soon according to the developers), the game ought to keep puzzle fans busy for quite a while. It has a stylish look, fun music, and is best played in bite-sized doses. it's very easy to get addicted to, and the pick up and play flavor lends to that. If you've always dreamt of being a dashing thief and exploring great locales, this is the next best option to actually buying a black cape and trying your best to evade the authorities in pursuit of eternal coolness.
Mar 11, 2011