As a beginner and inducted into the "Guild Of Thieves", you must steal your way to the top - the Guildmaster is there to not only help you, but to make your life a living hell. Worst of it all is you're STILL in the land of Kerovnia.....if something makes it look tough to solve, that's nothing for a puzzle - something else will screw it up more.
The adventure begins in the Master Thief's boat. You jump confidently to the jetty and begin a survey of the expansive countryside. The numerous locations range from castle to cave and from scrub to snow-capped peak. The descriptions, even without the graphics much-praised on other formats, are extremely atmospheric; even the most commonplace objects have their own characteristics. Exploration has some very realistic qualities: as you wander through the castle you can run your fingers casually along the piano keys or try your skill at potting the billiard balls. While the graphics are only sliding screenshots, the text describes it all, the Magneitc Scrolls' team writers are just that good.
The treasures are often quite easy to locate but difficult to collect. A jewel hanging from the ceiling of a cave is about to drop into a bubbling pool of quicksand; a silver chalice is inconveniently placed in the cage of a savage bear. Reckless burglars quickly come to grief! Unlike most text-based adventure games, you will usually have a mental image of the whole scene, due to the parser's extreme description.
The puzzles are often tough but at least have the virtue of being logical. The adventure is certainly more accessible than The Pawn which was occasionally open to charges of excessive obscurity. In The Guild it's sometimes the very obviousness of the solution which makes a problem difficult. While they are hard, they seem perhaps too hard even for certain seasoned adventurers.
The parser is up to Magnetic Scrolls' usually high standards: as well as complex sentences it accepts FIND and SEARCH FOR commands to locate objects you may have forgotten or misplaced. The GO TO command lets you move from one location to another without typing in all the directions in between. In practice this can be quite dangerous as you can't stop the command once entered and the program marches you straight into whatever obstacles (for example a closed drawbridge) there may be in the way.
Overall, if you're into thieves, really, really hard puzzles and text, this is one of the best!
Successor of Commodore blockbuster The Pawn, Magnetic Scrolls' Guild of Thieves improves upon its predecessor in almost every respect, although the charming tongue-in-cheek humor of the first game is somewhat muted here by a much stronger emphasis on puzzle solving than plot development. Which is not to say that the plot in Guild of Thieves is lacking-- it is just average. The game casts you in a role of an apprentice thief who must steal an array of valuables to prove that he is worthy of an entrance into the guild of his profession. Tasks start out small-- pilfering small objects here and there-- and culminate in the robbery of the Bank of Kerovnia.
Anyone who wished that The Pawn's were longer and more puzzle-intensive will have a field day with Guild of Thieves. The game serves a plethora of many, many more diabolical puzzles than The Pawn, many of which require both perfect timing and ingenuity to solve. This is definitely not a game anyone can finish in a sitting (unless you can survive days perched on a chair, eating food with one hand and typing with another). The game also offers many enhanced features, most notably the advanced parser which understands a lot more useful verbs. The "goto x" command, for example, will bring you to a location you have been before automatically by taking the shortest possible route. You do not need to draw maps anymore, unless the geometry of the landscape is crucial for solving some puzzles. Of special mention is the gradual increase in difficulty that, in a way, serves as a "tutorial" for beginners. The first treasures can be found and removed easiliy, but the difficulty of the puzzles gradually increases. Anyone who manages to rob the Bank of Kerovnia at the end can be proud with good reason.
Overall, Guild of Thieves is a great game, especially if you like puzzle-intensive adventures without much attention to plot (similar to Zork). Anyone looking for a more plot-intensive game should play The Pawn and even Jinxter first and save this difficult challenge for later.
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