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JadeDragon's reviews and playing tips: Palm OS games

Master Thief, by Cascata Games, First game is free, additional mission packs at $12 each
Reviewed January 2003

The first time I saw the Aaron Ardiri’s Deity3D engine, it was short and sweet. I thought it would be nice if someone could turn it into a large game environment. It seems my prayers have been answered with the release of Master Thief, developed by Cascata Games based on this incredible game engine. What Cascata has done with the engine is beyond my imagination.

Combining FPS (first person shooter) element with stealth game play, Master Thief has opened a new world of gaming for the Palm gamers. In contrast to existing FPS titles like Serious Sam, Master Thief is set in the modern age where industrial and military intelligence is worth more than ancient monsters’ blood. You play the game as a master thief whose trade includes finding ways to sneak into a development plant, office building or chemistry lab. Of course, these are heavily guarded locales, which is why you are called upon. Departing from the traditional FPS, Master Thief has more stealth elements than shooting action. You might feel that you have just played No One Lives Forever rather than Terminator after you complete a mission. You can however go in guns ablaze, but you still have to explore the entire environment for key cards or pass codes because guns can’t shoot open the high tech security systems.

Master Thief is mission-based game, built to have full-blown add-on missions quickly. The first mission is free and subsequence mission will cost you $12 each. As a Master Thief, you are hired to steal some highly priced intelligence items in locales that are littered with armed guards, vicious dogs, enemy bots and hidden security cameras. It will require you to explore, find key items, solve puzzles, avoid cameras and distract guards in order to complete your mission. The missions are quite long and will keep you busy for a while.

The graphics in Master Thief are excellent on hi-res devices and good on lower end devices. You can see a lot of details and experience a very smooth and high frame rate. Each mission has its unique theme in the environment, and clues and hidden items are very well designed. You can control the movement by using hardware buttons or combine them with the stylus. I found that using the stylus to strafe left and right while pushing the Up and Down buttons is the most effective way to move. You can change button assignment as well as sound volume.

The sound FX supports the Clie and Palm OS 5 devices with a very nice collection. You will hear different sound FX for different weapons. Although Master Thief supports all Palm OS PDAs, the game has been optimized for the new Palm devices running OS 5. The ULTRA quality mode (320x320) is also available on any Palm OS 5.x device. Two resolutions are available on Palm OS 3 and 4 handhelds (low & high modes, both at 160 x 160 pixels) & two additional resolutions are available for PalmOS5+ units (super & ultra modes).

If you are a FPS fan, you know that games in this genre don’t come on Palm devices often. A special game like Master Thief is even harder to come by. While we are all wishing the games on Palm will look as good as the ones on desktop or console one day, it seems that with the release of more powerful devices and games like Master Thief, we are stepping in that direction.

Playing Hint and Tips

Exploring the place is the most important thing in this game. But make sure you look at all directions for guards and security cameras. Some times you can’t sneak by a room, create distractions to move them out of your way.

screen shot screen shot

 

Silicon Heaven Mission

 

Liquid Gold Mission

 

 

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics The more powerful your PDA, the more you will appreciate the graphics.
Sound Large collection of sound FX.
Fun Meter As the first 3D stealth shooting game, Master Thief breaks new ground with its game play. The modern style shown through mission design, story line and the environment will provide gamers with a unique gaming experience.
Addictivity Each mission has great length with exploration and solving puzzles. The mission-based design gives the game endless expansion possibilities.
 


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