Take one part endless runner, one part Ice Climbers, toss them in a tumbler with a nifty interface, good music and visual design, and you pretty much have Daddy Was a Thief. However, the resulting mixture is not exactly a finely crafted cocktail. It's more like something Homer would make for breakfast. Much like those moon waffles, Daddy Was a Thief offers a tasty first bite, but that's about all you can manage before it becomes a bit too much.
Daddy Was a Thief's story opens with dad losing his job and taking matters into his own hands. After consulting a Robbery For Dummies book, he decides that he's ready to take his most valuable, uh, asset out with him to do some bank robbing. The game starts with daddy crashing through the roof on top of a bank taking a leap of faith over to the nearest building to make his escape.
How does he accomplish this? With that big 'ol dad butt of his! In order to stay out of jail, you must mash through the endless floors of a giant tower, collecting riches along the way and dodging all manner of obstacles as the police pursue you.
That's the basic goal in Daddy Was a Thief. It's kind of like an inverse version of Ice Climbers, with you having to maneuver your way down with well-timed swipes. You can also swipe up and to the sides to jump and avoid obstacles on each floor. The dangers increase in size and hilarity the further down you go, with one of the highlights being a shrink ray that miniaturizes you into a tiny little fat man.
I liked all the wackiness of the items that you use along your way. They had a looseness and freedom that reminded me of some of the effortless silliness of Toejam and Earl. Every now and then you will hit a "Casino Floor" which bounces your masked fat man off a bunch of game table bumpers and you must collect as many green orbs as possible in order to get rewarded with money you can later spend on upgrades. It feels like you're playing old levels of Sonic the Hedgehog all over again. Only with a portly robber that looks like Peter Griffin.
But it doesn't take too long before that wears off and you realize that everything in this game you will experience in one or two rounds. After that, it's pretty much a repeat, which is disappointing considering there's some polish to everything else.
I liked how slick the interface happened to be, along with the goofiness of the music. But that didn't last long for me since the challenge of trying to stay alive wasn't that high. I'm all for repetitive gameplay, but it has to be hard enough and addictive enough to warrant it.
Perhaps because I was reminded of Toejam and Earl and hoped this would be more like that classic game, or maybe because I'm just overloaded on all these endless runner titles. Whatever the reason, I found that I had no patience for yet another game with a shop that I can visit in-between rounds where I can spend collected coins on upgradable items. I might be taking an unfair stance here, but when I saw that Daddy Was a Thief had this feature, I didn't even bother exploring.
I had a bit of fun with Daddy Was a Thief. But in the end, it ended up feeling pretty thin, when it could have been a fuller title overall. It feels like Cezary Rajkowski and Rebel Twins missed the mark with this one. Or, more accurately, they were on target, but just couldn't hit the bullseye.