Cops and robbers. It’s as ubiquitous a childhood game as they come. Simple and clean with good guys and bad guys, it’s easy to understand its appeal. Snipers vs Thieves plays off of the basic cops and robbers premise, but adds layers of moral ambiguity that gives it a strong 21st century flavor.
Snipers vs Thieves presents you with a choice at the top of each round. You can be a sniper, responsible for snuffing out multiple robbers before they reach their getaway van. Or you can be a robber, responsible for dashing and ducking your way from bank to getaway vehicle as you look to avoid the sniper’s bullet. If this all sounds a bit sinister you’re right, but when it comes to vigilante crime-fighters and bank robbers, a less intimidating bunch you’re unlikely to find.
The rich cartoony 3D graphics in Snipers vs Thieves offer up rotund and sometimes downright daft snipers and robbers, more cuddly than frightening even in their ski masks. Combined with the wild and wacky gadgets you get to employ – from decoy dolls to super-powered explosives – it’s the sort of game that’s heavy on the cartoon violence and light on gore.
It’s also fun. Snipers vs Thieves is not the most intricate, detailed or challenging game you’ll play in 2017, but it offers some great gameplay. It’s goofy, it requires some precision and strategic thinking, but it’s in no way taxing. Your tasks are simple and while it’s free-to-play model gives you lots of options in terms of in-app purchases, it doesn’t require massive amounts of investment in terms of money or energy.
As far as multiplayer games go, the performance of Snipers vs Thieves is such that you can easily play for hours before realising that you’ve been teamed up with other real players around the world rather than computer-generated characters.
The matching system seems to take into consideration the player’s skill level perfectly. Even on older devices where many games have become unplayable, such as the the iPad 4, there are no serious performances to report, not even so much as a noticeable graphics lag.
In a mobile landscape where bringing your offline friends into your gaming world is common but rarely done well, it’s worth noting that Snipers vs Thieves does a really great job. Building teams of robbers with your friends and family is a seamless and enjoyable experience that makes it worth singing in and sharing social information.
In terms of gameplay, it is difficult to compare sniper mode versus robber mode. They are such different experiences that they could (and generally would) comprise separate games. That they coexist is the game’s major strength – a huge part of the game’s core appeal comes from the fact that you can switch back and forth without a care in the world.
If prised apart, it’s hard to imagine that either game mode would stand on its own two feet with increasing competition in both the shooter and escape spaces. It just doesn’t go deep enough to appeal to hardcore fans of either sub genre. This takes nothing from Sniper vs Thieves’ fun factor, and is more a reflection of the crowdedness of this games space than any specific weakness in this game.
Overall, Snipers vs Thieves might not rock your world. It will, however, provide you with a few hours of fun, particularly if you’re looking for something a little bit different to do with your friends who wouldn’t call themselves gamers.