img_0302Deisgner 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.

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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.

img_0300Assisting 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.

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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:


[ Full HD version | Low Bandwidth version ]

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

TouchArcade Rating

  • jecebn

    I love this game - I've been playing it nonstop since I bought it - Don't let THQ's track record on the iPhone deter you from buying this game, it's actually a very good title

    • Michael Kaufman

      Can you answer three questions:

      1) Does this game allow you to listen to your own music while playing?
      2) Does it save the game state between launches?
      3) What happens when you have robbed everything from all three mansions? Is the game just finished at that point, or is there something else you can do?

      Thanks, Michael

      • jecebn

        1. Yes
        2. Yes
        3. In addition to the master thief mode (in which you try to make as much money as you can by looting certain items on certain nights), there is also a challenge mode (32 challenges, you have to steal specific items [i.e. 32 cups] in a timed mission - I agree with Eli in that I would like an online leaderboard to see how my challenge times match up with that of others

  • jecebn

    I love this game - I've been playing it nonstop since I bought it - Don't let THQ's track record on the iPhone deter you from buying this game, it's actually a very good title

    • Michael Kaufman

      Can you answer three questions:

      1) Does this game allow you to listen to your own music while playing?
      2) Does it save the game state between launches?
      3) What happens when you have robbed everything from all three mansions? Is the game just finished at that point, or is there something else you can do?

      Thanks, Michael

      • jecebn

        1. Yes
        2. Yes
        3. In addition to the master thief mode (in which you try to make as much money as you can by looting certain items on certain nights), there is also a challenge mode (32 challenges, you have to steal specific items [i.e. 32 cups] in a timed mission - I agree with Eli in that I would like an online leaderboard to see how my challenge times match up with that of others

  • Chad

    "I'd really like to see how my speed runs rank with other players"

    Why? Every game with leaderboards and handful of people dominate you by light years. The very fact that you work on a popular website means you don't have enough time to blow it all on either exploiting loopholes (of which ALWAYS exist, some just take longer to discover) or simply getting better than you because you don't sacrifice sleep/work/life to beat everyone.

    Playing directly against opponents is fun and you get a live demonstration of their skill on-demand, but not leaderboards.

    • Ahiru

      word on that, i couldn't agree more...

      i like online leaderboards - but not on iphone... i try to keep track of some stuff on xbox live, but mainly i compare myself to friends.

      IF there was some "friends list" (not a facebook/twitter thing), but more of a live/psn/steam friends list, i would mind trying to beat high scores just to show off. but as it is, online leaderboards don't appeal to me

  • Chad

    "I'd really like to see how my speed runs rank with other players"

    Why? Every game with leaderboards and handful of people dominate you by light years. The very fact that you work on a popular website means you don't have enough time to blow it all on either exploiting loopholes (of which ALWAYS exist, some just take longer to discover) or simply getting better than you because you don't sacrifice sleep/work/life to beat everyone.

    Playing directly against opponents is fun and you get a live demonstration of their skill on-demand, but not leaderboards.

    • Ahiru

      word on that, i couldn't agree more...

      i like online leaderboards - but not on iphone... i try to keep track of some stuff on xbox live, but mainly i compare myself to friends.

      IF there was some "friends list" (not a facebook/twitter thing), but more of a live/psn/steam friends list, i would mind trying to beat high scores just to show off. but as it is, online leaderboards don't appeal to me

  • http://www.1112game.com alexandre leboucher

    This game is nice!
    I'm still having problem to get used to the moving controls, it screams for a controller...
    Still really good production value!

  • http://www.1112game.com alexandre leboucher

    This game is nice!
    I'm still having problem to get used to the moving controls, it screams for a controller...
    Still really good production value!

  • Xood

    So I am usually all negative about most games. But this video really hooked me. :-) Cool music, nice visual and looks all polished in its own way.
    Yet, the price. If it's on sale I will get it.

    As for ranking I am not a fan of it. Just sucks to see me down at the bottom of the list and it is totally not motivating. Especially if I spend quite some time with the game -- just to find out I am still pretty bad.
    I rather collect all achievements from the game, complete all mission and challenges, in order to feel rewarded.

    • Greg

      Yeah... that 2.99 will sure break the bank ;)

      • gregory

        yeah, maybe you should just go to the dollar store instead...oh wait, thats itunes

  • Xood

    So I am usually all negative about most games. But this video really hooked me. :-) Cool music, nice visual and looks all polished in its own way.
    Yet, the price. If it's on sale I will get it.

    As for ranking I am not a fan of it. Just sucks to see me down at the bottom of the list and it is totally not motivating. Especially if I spend quite some time with the game -- just to find out I am still pretty bad.
    I rather collect all achievements from the game, complete all mission and challenges, in order to feel rewarded.

    • Greg

      Yeah... that 2.99 will sure break the bank ;)

      • gregory

        yeah, maybe you should just go to the dollar store instead...oh wait, thats itunes

  • Jim

    "Instead of a static virtual D-Pad, you simply touch anywhere on the screen and that becomes the new center of movement."

    I will get it for that reason alone. Mobigame was well ahead of the curve in terms of touchscreen control design. A good virtual D-pad is difficult to find. I have suggested this style to many developers and only one actually fixed the static D-pad. I hope the Commodore 64 emulator is still a possibility because Manomio also realized the benefit of a "drop anywhere" design.

  • Jim

    "Instead of a static virtual D-Pad, you simply touch anywhere on the screen and that becomes the new center of movement."

    I will get it for that reason alone. Mobigame was well ahead of the curve in terms of touchscreen control design. A good virtual D-pad is difficult to find. I have suggested this style to many developers and only one actually fixed the static D-pad. I hope the Commodore 64 emulator is still a possibility because Manomio also realized the benefit of a "drop anywhere" design.

  • Aaron

    I've had my eye on this one. Think I'll pick it up and my son and I can compete against one another in grabbing the biggest booty. Well, that didn't come out right.

  • Aaron

    I've had my eye on this one. Think I'll pick it up and my son and I can compete against one another in grabbing the biggest booty. Well, that didn't come out right.

  • jecebn

    I actually really like the current control setup

  • jecebn

    I actually really like the current control setup

  • EatKodosDaily

    I bought this on your recommendation alone.

    I can't say I regret it.

    The only thing I find odd is the pacing. Some of the dialog seems a bit too brief and hurried. I don't feel like there was any proper introduction to the game/story.

    I think the controls work quite well.

    And that person complaining about a price of $3 needs a serious reality check. Perhaps they should look at the price the lousy games sell for on the consoles. About $30. This is a quality game that you're getting for 1/10th the price of the discount titles on other systems.

  • EatKodosDaily

    I bought this on your recommendation alone.

    I can't say I regret it.

    The only thing I find odd is the pacing. Some of the dialog seems a bit too brief and hurried. I don't feel like there was any proper introduction to the game/story.

    I think the controls work quite well.

    And that person complaining about a price of $3 needs a serious reality check. Perhaps they should look at the price the lousy games sell for on the consoles. About $30. This is a quality game that you're getting for 1/10th the price of the discount titles on other systems.