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The Most Interesting Wii U Experiment So Far? Thief

It's like Nintendo took a look at Spy Party and said "hmm."

Nintendo's press conference was underwhelming, but if there's anything I've learned about Nintendo and E3 over the years, the company hides its greatest secrets in plain sight. That's still the case in 2012, in which I had my most memorable experience with Wii U so far in front of a kiosk for the charming Game & Wario.

(Did you know there aren't even proper areas for 3DS games, and everything is attached to girls with demo units?)

Game & Wario is yet another collection of gameplay experiments from Nintendo. One assumes it's being developed by the WarioWare team (it stars some of that series' more notable characters), and by far the most interesting game in the collection was "Thief."

There were four mini-games on display, with 10 apparently in the final product--hopefully this isn't a $60 game.

If you've been paying attention to Chris Hecker's Spy Party, you have a good idea of what to expect from the much simpler Thief, a game about hiding in plain sight.

In Spy Party, however, while one player is sneaking around, another wields a sniper rifle. There's no such violence in this mini-game, and no reason for anyone else to be holding Wii remotes or nunchucks. All that's needed is a single GamePad. The section opens in a city bustling with people. The player holding the GamePad is dropped into the mix, and must do their best to blend in. Besides walking, there are apples to be picked up, and while none of the other characters are interested in the apples, they're constantly walking over them, which means you have an opportunity for trickery. To succeed as the thief, you must make that seem natural.

It's to your advantage to keep the GamePad concealed--you don't want anyone else knowing your strategy.

Once you've collected all the apples, it's time for everyone else to chime in. You hand the GamePad over, and the group is presented a line-up of characters, all of which were at one point or another featured on the screen. The group must then collectively vote on the thief.

In this case, it was some random dude from the show floor. He got me, though, and we both laughed pretty hard. Let's pretend he was leaning over my shoulder and cheating.

These moments seem to epitomize the greatest promise of Wii U. We just need more of them. Lots more.

34 Comments
Posted by patrickklepek

Nintendo's press conference was underwhelming, but if there's anything I've learned about Nintendo and E3 over the years, the company hides its greatest secrets in plain sight. That's still the case in 2012, in which I had my most memorable experience with Wii U so far in front of a kiosk for the charming Game & Wario.

(Did you know there aren't even proper areas for 3DS games, and everything is attached to girls with demo units?)

Game & Wario is yet another collection of gameplay experiments from Nintendo. One assumes it's being developed by the WarioWare team (it stars some of that series' more notable characters), and by far the most interesting game in the collection was "Thief."

There were four mini-games on display, with 10 apparently in the final product--hopefully this isn't a $60 game.

If you've been paying attention to Chris Hecker's Spy Party, you have a good idea of what to expect from the much simpler Thief, a game about hiding in plain sight.

In Spy Party, however, while one player is sneaking around, another wields a sniper rifle. There's no such violence in this mini-game, and no reason for anyone else to be holding Wii remotes or nunchucks. All that's needed is a single GamePad. The section opens in a city bustling with people. The player holding the GamePad is dropped into the mix, and must do their best to blend in. Besides walking, there are apples to be picked up, and while none of the other characters are interested in the apples, they're constantly walking over them, which means you have an opportunity for trickery. To succeed as the thief, you must make that seem natural.

It's to your advantage to keep the GamePad concealed--you don't want anyone else knowing your strategy.

Once you've collected all the apples, it's time for everyone else to chime in. You hand the GamePad over, and the group is presented a line-up of characters, all of which were at one point or another featured on the screen. The group must then collectively vote on the thief.

In this case, it was some random dude from the show floor. He got me, though, and we both laughed pretty hard. Let's pretend he was leaning over my shoulder and cheating.

These moments seem to epitomize the greatest promise of Wii U. We just need more of them. Lots more.

Edited by Shreik

!

Want!

Posted by Reddy1124

I saw the headline and thought it was Thief 4... :(

Posted by isomeri

Wait, what? Quit scaring me. For a second there I thought that there's a Thief sequel inbound for the Wii U.

Posted by pyromagnestir

I read it and have no idea how this works. Hopefully there will be some footage because I think that would help. Why don't they just watch the apples and see who picks those up?

Posted by triviaman09

Cool asymmetric gameplay concept. It is still really weird to me that Nintendo has units tethered to women. WTF, Nintendo?

Posted by Winternet

Asymmetric is the new 3D.

Posted by Zor

@triviaman09 said:

Cool asymmetric gameplay concept. It is still really weird to me that Nintendo has units tethered to women. WTF, Nintendo?

I guess they have some kind of contract, and are just getting their money's worth... of girls tethered to devices... that must be one strange job listing.

Posted by cheapandtacky

Dark Project?

No, I'm out.

Posted by Gonmog

@Anwar: because, that is JUST like the game he compared it to. Same goal in the game. In AC no where near the same goal, and much simpler then what Spy Party is now can could be.

Posted by LordAndrew

It is indeed developed by Intelligent Systems.

Edited by oraknabo

Wii-U needs a Scotland Yard/Fury of Dracula game like this. A big one in a huge city or terrain.

This is cool but it needs a better name because I don't want to see people confusing it with the Thief series. The headline made me think Thief 4 was announced for launch.

Posted by Ghostiet
@Reddy1124 said:

I saw the headline and thought it was Thief 4... :(

They haven't shown a fucking thing from that game and Eric Brosius is no longer the composer. I kinda gave upon on waiting for now.
Posted by Turambar
@Anwar said:

So acting like the AI is part of the game and instead of comparing it to something like Assassin's Creed's multiplayer you chose some unannounced game, what?

They've actually had a quick look for Spy Party on the site, and it is a far closer comparison to Thief than AC's multiplayer in terms of goal and structure.  Try not to embarrass yourself next time.
Edited by Death_Burnout

@Ghostiet said:

@Reddy1124 said:

I saw the headline and thought it was Thief 4... :(

They haven't shown a fucking thing from that game and Eric Brosius is no longer the composer. I kinda gave upon on waiting for now.

I actually hope it never happens.

That's how destructive I am over the thing I love endlessly.

Posted by DeF

@pyromagnestir said:

I read it and have no idea how this works. Hopefully there will be some footage because I think that would help. Why don't they just watch the apples and see who picks those up?

GT has you covered.

Posted by spilledmilkfactory
@pyromagnestir

I read it and have no idea how this works. Hopefully there will be some footage because I think that would help. Why don't they just watch the apples and see who picks those up?

Same here. You'd think it would be as simple as that..
Posted by GioVANNI

Does the WiiU come with wiimotes as well? It would seem silly to be required to play new games on the WiiU by buying controllers for the old system.

Posted by Levio

@spilledmilkfactory said:

@pyromagnestir

I read it and have no idea how this works. Hopefully there will be some footage because I think that would help. Why don't they just watch the apples and see who picks those up?

Same here. You'd think it would be as simple as that..

That's exactly what you do. That's the entire game.

And it's as hard as it sounds.

Posted by pyromagnestir

@Levio said:

@spilledmilkfactory said:

@pyromagnestir

I read it and have no idea how this works. Hopefully there will be some footage because I think that would help. Why don't they just watch the apples and see who picks those up?

Same here. You'd think it would be as simple as that..

That's exactly what you do. That's the entire game.

And it's as hard as it sounds.

Hmmm. Well then me and Patrick might have different definitions of the word interesting.

Posted by dropabombonit

Why thy not show this during the press conference? Looks more interesting than anything they showed in it

Posted by Mercanis

I came here looking for Pagans and Hammerites. I am disappointed.

Posted by KillyDarko

Crap, this is not about Thief at all... :(
That's a very misleading title, Patrick :P

Posted by jasondesante

what about project p-100 the platnium games exclusive....too good to even acknowledge?

lets all be fanboys and just focus on smart glass and nothing else.

Posted by aspragg

This looks awesome. As soon as I head about the WiiU, I thought of games like this.

I also made a game in the "hidden role" genre for the Xbox (indie games) called "Hidden in Plain Sight". It's a local-multiplayer game (that is, you need a big couch) where players control people on the screen and try to accomplish goals without giving themselves away. It's gotten a TON of really positive player feedback, so if you're of a mind, give it a try...

Posted by Obinice
@Reddy1124

I saw the headline and thought it was Thief 4... :(

Same.
Posted by Dan_CiTi

Yeah, where did that Spy Party video go? It was awesome.

Posted by BlatantNinja23

@Reddy1124 said:

I saw the headline and thought it was Thief 4... :(

Posted by Calitar
Posted by Anund

I'm here because of Penny Arcade... <.<

Posted by JJ_FIGGY

@Anund said:

I'm here because of Penny Arcade... <.<

yep

Posted by darkjester74

Grats on the PA mention, Patrick! :-D