Deisgner and artist Antti Ojala came up with the idea for Treasure Grab [App Store] based on the combination of Thief and Pac Man. In the game, players will find themselves sneaking through maze-like houses stealing everything they can get their hands on while avoiding guards and picking locks.
The main game mode of Treasure Grab is Master Thief. In Master Thief, you take control of main character Alya Loot and one by one drive the nobles out of the city by stealing their heirloom items and everything else they own while you're at it. Each level has one special heirloom item hidden in it, and collecting the heirloom item doubles the value of everything you stole that night. Steal all the heirloom items in one mansion and that noble leaves the city.
When each night starts, you're greeted by your fence who tells you what he's looking for that night and it can be anything from furniture to books. These items pay triple when collected. The desired loot type is randomized each night, so there should be a decent amount of replay value as you go back looking for the specific things the fence asks for.
The more things you steal, the more alert the nobles become to your presence, and the more guards they will have patrolling their estates in future nights. Get caught by a guard and you lose all your loot. If a guard notices you, you may be able to run and hide but the more loot you pick up the slower you move so there is a delicate balance between how greedy you can get in picking up items before leaving the mansion. Pick up too much and you'll be too encumbered to stand a chance at getting away from guards. Leave too much behind and your score will suffer.
Assisting you along the way are various trickster spirits which you slowly unlock. At the start of each level you choose which spirit will be by your side, these spirits give you special abilities like being able to look around the map, briefly disguise yourself, loot everything near you instantly, and other perks. All the ones I've come across so far have been pretty useful, but I've stuck to using the instant loot trickster spirit as it really increases how quickly I can fill my pockets.
Each level has a loot timer, and when the timer reaches zero an alarm sounds and you're unable to steal any more items or use trickster spirits. All you can do is run to the nearest exit without getting caught.
The guards in game behave a lot like guards in other stealth games, but really remind me of the phantom guards from The Legend of Zelda - Phantom Hourglass. They patrol around, stopping to think and talk to other guards. Little red arrows on the side of the screen indicate where the guards are, which are easy to avoid in earlier levels but once the nobles dispatch more guards the game becomes very tricky.
The controls are very well done and work great with the game. Instead of a static virtual D-Pad, you simply touch anywhere on the screen and that becomes the new center of movement. To steal items you just walk close enough to them, and to use your trickster spirit you tap the button in the top right corner. Treasure Grab has fun music, and cute sprite based graphics that are reminiscent of sixteen bit games.
Aside from the main game mode, there are also 36 time-based challenges to complete where you have a certain amount of items to steal as quickly as possible. These challenges add a neat twist on the standard gameplay as in Master Thief where you would previously cautiously wait for the guards to pass, in Challenge mode you have to try to run by them and don't have time to wait.
The one unfortunate thing is that Challenge mode lacks global leader boards. I'd really like to see how my speed runs rank with other players, but really this is a fairly minor complaint.
Here is a brief video of me playing a level in Treasure Grab:
Overall Treasure Grab is a fun game and you can definitely feel the design inspirations as you're playing. All of the mansions have a very Pac Man level maze-like feel to them and infiltrating houses to steal heirloom items is very Thief-ish. I wasn't sure what to expect when I first read the Treasure Grab App Store listing (Especially after playing other THQ iPhone games.), but I must say, I'm pleasantly surprised.
App Store Link: Treasure Grab, $2.99