Keef the Thief is a graphic adventure in the traditional role playing mold as seemingly favored by Electronic Arts. The more killing you do, the more experience you gain as a warrior and the same principle applies when you use magic and practice theft. You can find, buy or steal extra items to help you along on your quest and if you eventually get a few status levels higher, you are laughing.
The problem is just that starting with a mere few hit points and a tree branch in your hand does not offer good odds for survival. Saving the game is of prime importance and should be done frequently, it really is vital and thankfully, quick and easy.
You begin the game outside a wealthy city called Same Mercon where - armed with that tree branch - you can hear (or rather buy) the latest rumors, buy the strongest ale and other essential commodities, and practice your art. Once you think you are ready to 'kick ass' you wander into the jungle (having first requested easy monsters). Here you can wander the tri-city area at will, hacking and slashing all the way round.
It is not particularly a massive area or game, but just large enough: not too boringly big or too patronizingly small. Here you meet varied and largely unintelligent characters along with various dungeon arenas where you can romp round with a manic smile, or search around for booty.
The game is pretty fast, with nice colorful graphics that have a certain cartoon quality about them. The graphics plus the music blaring away make it a very cheery game: one that brings a smile to your face as you hack away at some goblin swordsman or walking sprout.
The aim of the game, although never actually stated, is to become the Magician King, the top force in the land. Through various rumors, you gain more understanding of what is going on in the tri-city area, such as other powers and what happened to the old Magician King.
The game is easy to use when you get into it. To start with you are likely to die every two minutes, with more experience you may last five; but do not lose heart, persevere and save the game frequently. The gist of the story will grow on you and you will learn to master the fighting screens with ease, knowing when to hide and when to run. The perfect coward!
Keef the Thief becomes more intriguing the more you get into it. You want just one more romp through the jungle, or another five attempts at removing a trap. It is a simple and fun game. The actions you can choose from are few and only for the ones available to you are kindly highlighted. It is easy to pick and then chop and change. What more could you ask for as you slob in a chair, mouse in hand?
An absorbing hack 'n' think game. Great in its simplicity and addiction and not too tough with the puzzles, but still full of ones of a 'how-to-get-round-this?' nature. A good laugh that will keep you engrossed for many slaughterhouse night.
E's a likely lad is Keef. Dumped on the Temple's steps as a nipper. The priests took him in - they also kicked him out. And now you get to play Keef, the medieval world's answer to Ronnie Kray and the good-for-nothing character in Electronic Arts' latest RPG. It is up to you to give Keef a boost and to bring him fame, fortune and popularity. Start off with just a few gold pieces and your wits about you. Survive the jungle, the wilderness, a few random attacks and head off to the nearby town. This is where the real fun starts...
Depending upon which phrase you choose, you can elicit some very funny replies from the locals. Some of them provide you with interesting snippets of information; some sell you handy equipment. On the other hand, you could always steal...
More often than not you will find yourself being rumbled, or even mugged, so you will always need to defend yourself.
The screen display changes to show a forty-five degree view in front of Keef. Move him around to face his opposition and click on the fire button to batter them. Unfortunately Keef tends not to fare too well in combat in the early stages of the game. And he often ends flat on his back.
Keef The Thief is a typical example of the high quality of Electronic Arts' RPGs. Keef contains lots of scope for exploration, puzzles, stacks of humor, great graphics and just about everything else you could want. With a very easy play method, I can heartily recommend this to any Bard's Tale fan, or to just about anybody else who enjoys an amusing RPG. I just hope we do not have to wait too long before we see more from the programmers, who, aptly, are named Naughty Dog Inc.
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