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26 Jun 2022

REVIEW: American Theft 80s on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
I have never played an open world "Thief Simulator" before, so when I was invited to check out American Theft 80s I was intrigued.

Set in the 1980s a time I remember well, the game has a pretty simple concept. You control a character, who is a thief, and well, that's pretty much it.
Ok there is actually more to it than just that. 

You start of the game about to break into a posh house, you are given simple instructions, get in through a window, pick up anything you can steal, avoid the guard. Simple right! Wrong, after hiding, the guard finds you, and you are shipped off to jail.

When no one is around, escape, and you are back in the world as a free man. Go get your car from the impound lot, and go visit a local bar where you can meet with a man, who will give you jobs to earn money. Complete the jobs, and then take anything else you steal to the local pawnshop to exchange for cash, which you can then use to buy things like flashlights, hammers, crowbars etc, all things that can help you break and enter.

When I first started playing, I thought I might be a bit overwhelmed, you need to watch the routine of people, remember their routes, what time of day they move about and so on, but the game does a really good job of walking you through things at first, and easing you into how everything works.

You have an onscreen map which really helps, you can peak through keyholes and gaps, so you don't need to just barge through a door or window.

You can sleep in your car, to pass time, you can put disguises on, and save your progress at phone booths.

As you progress through the game, you can rob pretty much everything, houses, the bank, shops, a museum, but of course you will need the right tools, the right disguise as well as understand the layout, the guard's movements and so on. The bigger jobs you do, the more your reputation grows and the better you become. You might even need to run from the police if they see you, so always make sure your car is easy to get to, and ready to drive for a fast getaway. And as you get more money, you might want to invest in a better car, and even buy and decorate your own house.

Throw in some old minigames, and you have a decent game here, with lots to do and a great learning curve.

I really was surprised how detailed this game was, and how easy it was to pick up. Call me impressed, when to be brutally honest I wasn't even sure if this would be a game I would like.

The Good
As a total newbie to this genre, I was really impressed, and this is a game I will keep playing, long past finishing this review.

The Bad
As this is an indie game, the graphics are hardly "next gen" but they are decent.

What can I say, this is a great game, go buy it. 

Out now on Steam

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