You robbed the bank. That's good! But you dropped the money all over the known universe. That's bad. But you have a spiffy car to drive around and pick it up. That's good! There are cops everywhere. That's bad. But you can occasionally blow them up for big points! That's good! You want to play Pac-Man, but you can only find a cheap imitation! That's Thief!
Gameplay: Using a joystick, you drive your little car around the ugliest maze in the world. Your goal is to pick up all the dollar bills so you can advance to the next level. Opposing you are four little police cars. They don't have names, but you could safely call them something like, oh... let's randomly say Inky, Pinky, Blinky, and Clyde. If they touch you, you'll blow up in a magnificent fireworks display. However, if you pick up one of the dollar signs scattered around the maze, a siren will sound and your enemies will become ghost cars that you can run into for bonus points.
It's a little embarrassing to watch Thief try to be as cool as Pac-Man, but it's still a really fun game that works extra-hard to keep players happy. The game plays a super-cool police-scanner soundtrack right out of a '40s movie, and when you're down to your final life, Thief helpfully says "This is your last chance!" Can you remember the last time Pac-Man said as much as "Hello" to you? Didn't think so.
Could be mistaken for: Armored Car, NATO Defense, Pac-Man
Kids today might not like it because: In a post-GTA world, running from the cops goes against just about every core belief they have.
Kids today might like it because: If the quadraphonic sound and Formica cabinets (which come standard on the 1981 model) aren't enough, perhaps the exciting end-game announcement "CRIME DOESN'T PAY!" will get their engines running.
Enduring contribution to gaming history: Thief's challenge to Pac-Man for supremacy in labyrinth games was unsuccessful, which freed Pac-Man's creators up for abominations like Pac-Man & Chomp Chomp, Professor Pac-Man, and the Pac-Man cartoon.
You'll never take Wil Wheaton alive, you dirty rat!