When I first found out about Restoration Games at Gen Con last year, I was super excited to learn which games they would be revitalizing. Then, when they announced the first three games were Stop Thief!, Top Race and Dragonmaster, my reaction was, "Never heard of them". However, I was interested enough to keep an eye out to see just what would be done with the games. How much would be changed and how much would remain the same?
From everything I've seen and read, Restoration Games is taking this project very seriously and making some amazing changes and upgrades to the games while keeping the same feel of the older (much loved) games. I was not even alive when Stop Thief! was originally released so it's not too surprising that I haven't heard of it. However, the second I read...
An alert pops up on your smartphone: A crime has just been committed! Grab your investigator’s license and your keen powers of deduction and hunt down the suspect.
...I was hooked.
Stop Thief! is now live on Kickstarter, giving me even more information, visuals and a Rulebook! I have read through the rulebook a few times now because I love rules! This game has a very well-done booklet. The graphic design/layout is thematic while being easy to read/follow. The cover of the rulebook is designed to look like an Unsolved Case file folder complete with coffee stains. Love it! I know...I know...rulebooks aren't usually critiqued but they are a very important aspect. In fact, it's the most important part of a game as you can't play the game without it! And...I'm slightly obsessed with rules so...rulebooks are essential. Anyway...I love how the illustrations in the rulebook are designed to look like photos paper-clipped to the folder. Just perfect. Beyond that, even without the physical game, the rules are super easy to follow and understand. The game seems like it will be rather straightforward to play. Once you've read through the rules, you should be able to play the game without needing to consult the rules every 5 seconds. While I love rules and rulebooks, I love to learn rules. I don't want to have to live in the rulebook the entire game.
While I do not know the original Stop Thief! at all, based on the changes they've made, I can't wait to play this game. The upgrade from a specialized electronic device to an app seems like an obvious (and, in this age, required) change. My favorite upgrade, though, is the removal of the roll and move mechanic. So many games from way back when depended on roll and move and, to me, that is a very out-dated mechanic. I love dice games but when a game is heavily dependent on your moves (which this game is since you have to get to the thief), your moves shouldn't be decided completely by random dice rolls. I'm sure there are recent games that could make me eat my words but that's what I'm sticking to for the moment. Restoration Games has taken this mechanic out and given each player their own unique movement cards. Fantastic! I love the artwork for the characters and the unique abilities of the thieves, too.
Final Thoughts: While I am always on the lookout for games with new and unique themes and, searching for criminals isn't exactly innovative, I love investigative games! I am very glad Restoration Games chose to bring back Stop Thief! and I am having fun watching this game start funding. It's only been up for an afternoon/evening and it is just under half-funded. I have actually been able to watch the amount pledged go up just as I'm writing this post. Awesome! If you haven't already, go check it out on Kickstarter!