King of Thieves does a good job of getting you used to the game mechanic before ratcheting up the difficulty. However, the game jumps from easy to maddeningly hard very quickly, adding in roving monsters, spinning blades, and homing minions that are all out to ruin your day. (For such a kid-friendly game, I think I've said more adult words while playing it than I'm willing to admit.) If you fail a level too many times in a row, the game will knock out one of the defenses to make it easier (but with a catch--you won't get as much gold). Still, this is by no means a game you can expect to just blow through.
The trick to the perfect heist is timing: Much of the game's strategy revolves around timing: When do you jump? When do you hug a wall and wait for a baddie to pass? When should you even play? The rituals required to upgrade your gems take hours, emphasizing that the game wants you to come back, play for a few minutes, and then repeat--a typical freemium game strategy. Similarly, you'll need yet another in-game currency--lock picks--to access dungeons. Lock picks can be procured over time through leveling up, watching a 15-second ad, or by using real-world currency.
This is nothing short of frustrating--players who like long play sessions will have to come back later as their currencies recharge or upgrades finish. You'll have to honor this time commitment if you want to get ahead. At one point, I found that I had completed thirty single-player levels, but wasn't doing enough rituals--my hideout was still pretty rudimentary, and other players were stealing from me left and right. (But, I will have my revenge. Sweet, sweet revenge.)
King of Thieves doesn't make thieving easy. Your loot is never safe, and the single-player campaign is probably the least interesting aspect of the game. But the combination of ZeptoLab's winning art design, the game's challenging jumping mechanic, and its various social offerings make King of Thieves definitely worth trying out. Just don't steal from me, or I'll come for you.
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