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About the StoryIn London, 1729, before they had police, they had you: thief-takers, hunting criminals for cash! Fire a flintlock and sip gin in the age of powdered wigs. Will you grow rich catching smugglers and highwaymen, show mercy, or become a crime boss yourself?
"Trials of the Thief-Taker" is a 140,000-word interactive historical adventure novel by Joey Jones, where your choices control the story. It's entirely text-based, without graphics or sound effects, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.
As a thief-taker, paid by the court or hired by the victims of crime to recover property and, for an extra price, bring the culprit to justice, you'll stalk your prey across the misty commons and narrow rookeries of 18th-century London. Lead a gang of unwashed ruffians (or stalk the streets alone) as you apprehend highwaymen on lonely roads, and root out crooks and counterfeiters in inns and coffeehouses. Through cunning, force, or suspicious connections, you will find your mark.
You may strike a blow for justice, making a name for yourself and bringing good people to your cause. Or you can create the crimes you intend to solve, stealing the goods you'll be paid to recover, bribing prison guards to let your associates go, building your criminal empire while everyone lauds you as a hero.
Be quick or cautious, proper or disreputable, generous or mercenary...it's all in a day's work for a thief-taker.
Load your flintlock! There are thieves to take.
• Play as male, female, or as a woman disguised as a man; gay or straight.
• Make your way through a world ruled by manners, harsh laws, and lurking treachery.
• Run an empire of crime or establish the first police force...or both at the same time!
• Capture, befriend, or romance corrupt officials, escape artists, courtiers, highwaymen, smugglers and grave-robbers.
• Immerse yourself in Georgian lingo: learn the difference between a cove and a swell, a blue pigeon and an ark ruffian.
• Play the high-stakes dice game Hazard in the gaming houses of Covent Garden.
• Make your way with your silver tongue, a good horse, your street smarts or with two fists flying.
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Number of Reviews: 1
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Thief-Taker isn't really as open world as it purports to be in the description, which actually works in its favor. While the game is an episodic string of catching outlaws, there's a compelling linear story throughout, mainly involving the two possible love interests. Romance isn't a big focus, but I found there was just enough here to be satisfying.
Most every choice you make affects your stats, and there were times when I genuinely found the game difficult, which was surprising. The story is very responsive to choices, with events playing out differently based on previous decisions. And it's possible to role play a character; I enjoyed playing as a now penniless member of the landed gentry, who's still a snob despite being destitute, has a fancy flat, an obscene amount of debt, and spends money foolishly when he does manage to earn some. Luckily, thief-taking can pay very, very well.
Some negatives: it's a little odd for the story to play out the same regardless of how good a thief-taker you are or not; some parts assume the PC is at least a decent thief-taker, even if your targets apprehended is, erm, zero.
At one point you leave town for a bit, and have to choose how much money to bring with you. Even with -£8 to my name, I was able to bring half of it; it goes without saying that being able to bring -£4 with me doesn't make much sense.
Finally, horse buying: I would have appreciated a straight forward list of horses for sale, instead of choosing an intention for how much I might want to spend. Basically, a little more heads up when I'm about to be spending £100 on something.
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