Stealth games can be really frustrating to play if you're an impatient gamer. The idea of having to actually wait for the perfect opportunity to advance can turn most twitch gamers off. But a smart title like Robbery Bob blends the perfect mix of action and patience. But when it's all said and done, is the game a total rip-off?
You play as Bob, a burglar looking to get out of the criminal life. Unfortunately, certain seedy citizens are forcing Bob to pull of a few jobs before he can retire. Bob has to break in, steal the treasure (and whatever else he can grab) and get out before getting caught by the police or the residents. The game's perspective is a top-down one, which makes it a lot easier to get a lay of the land before you advance from room to room. I didn't like the zoom out options in the game though. It's either zoom out all the way or not at all. And you can't move Bob around while the map is zoomed out.
The first chapter finds Bob a pawn in a sneaky man's scheme. Break into houses and steal the treasures. Do this by sneaking around the house without arousing suspicion. Bob is silent when he sneaks, but if you run, the noise will attract attention, as will leaving doors open. Bob can also hide in plants, boxes and even toilets if the Hide icon is visible. This is useful if you've gotten someone's attention and you need to hide in plain sight.
Cameras, dogs, cops, security guards, lasers -- they're all there to slow you down. The first chapter is a breeze but once you get to the downtown and secret lab levels then things really start to get hairy. You don't have to go for any side treasure but if you don't get all the treasure in the time alloted without being detected, then you can't earn that coveted star on the map. You can complete the map just fine without those three requirements, but what fun is that?
What I found the most surprising about Robbery Bob was how addicting of a game it is. I just kept wanting to play more and more of it. I didn't want to pay the extra buck to unlock all of the chapters. I wanted to grind through each one until I made it on my own. If you're stuck in a level, and I mean, really stuck, you can purchase Shadow Bob for a dollar. Shadow Bob shows you the best way to complete the level. He doesn't go after the side stuff, but he will help you in passing a level if you find you're not a good enough thief.
The graphics are bright, cartoony and fun to watch. The expressions by citizens who catch you in the act are pretty amusing, as is the dog who is always starved for attention. Sound effects are great as is the Pink Panther inspired music. Comic book style panels help tell the story in each chapter and each one is really well done. The only bad thing is I wish the game had more levels. When you get the hang of how to successfully sneak around, you'll probably breeze through the game in no time. Good luck getting perfect scores on those bonus levels though, especially when you have to deal with those tricky teleporters.
Robbery Bob is a great game. It's so great in fact, that it's one of our Best Games of 2012 (so far). This is another Chillingo hit and worth the 99 pennies it costs to play it. Now to answer the question asked at the top of this review -- is Robbery Bob a rip-off? Not at all. Robbery Bob's great graphics and addicting nature makes it a steal for greedy gamers.