If you were one of those Daily Mail sorts, you'd have a fit about the current "morality" of both gaming and TV. On TV, for example, you've got serial killers as heroes, motorcycle outlaws as role models and drug dealers as father figures. Now, in its latest, Rovio wants us to control a Tiny Thief as he goes about his nicking.
Tiny Thief is at least, supposed to be a hero in a world of corruption. Although this neither matters nor is especially clear from the narrative, which very much follows the standard Rovio model of giving you a splash screen with some explanatory drawings on it. It's simple, effective and must cut down on its translation costs.
The first thing we loved about Tiny Thief is the visual style. We played on Android, but there is an iOS version too. We can't help but think the game would look good on a bigger, higher-resolution screen than our Galaxy Note II's 720p. The style is very cartoon-like, and there are lots of bright colours, which we always find very soothing.
Moving around is simple enough: you tap where you want to go, and your tiny criminal moves to where you tap. Moving up ladders is achieved after a prompt appears on screen, and there are other things you can interact with. For example, sometimes you might need to hide in a barrel, or move something around to get rid of a guard.
Each level has one objective - at least early on, we haven't finished the game yet - namely, to steal something. This might be a bit of cheese, or it might be some "wanted" posters, featuring your very own compact kleptomaniac. There are also sub missions, like cooking something. There are also squirrels to find and release. Early on, these are obvious; later, they're more concealed, but you just tap where you think they are to set them free.
The early tutorial is very clear and helpful. This gets you into the swing, with loads of tips about where to press. It releases you into the game gently, letting your own ingenuity take over reasonably quickly. It's quite a good way of teaching you the game.
Our main criticism of Tiny Thief is probably that at £1.99 it feels a bit expensive. We'd say this game is more akin to Disney's "Where's My..." series, and its £0.70 price range, but it's still not a big sack of money. Other than that, the game is fun and we'll likely be enjoying it for some time to come.
While Tiny Thief might be on the wrong side of the law, we still love him. But then, we also love crystal meth dealers, members of motorcycle gangs, Miami-based murderers, so what do we know.