The original MapleStory is a freemium MMORPG for the PC that involves an enormous world, many character classes, and plenty of multiplayer interaction. MapleStory Thief Edition for the iPhone is a slimmed-down version of that experience. It’s an RPG that takes place in the Maple World, but it removes the multiplayer aspect and the choice of class. In this game, as the title suggests, you’re a thief. That’s what they tell you, anyway.
MapleStory is a side-scrolling action RPG, so you’ll spend much of your time slicing and dicing, but your progression is based on completing quests and leveling up your character. The fighting, which is fun at first, takes place in real time and relies heavily on button mashing, much like Zenonia 2.
However, the storyline is far less personal than Zenonia’s. The only thing your character wants is to become a thief, which happens early on. After that, the game is all about pleasing others. You wander from town to town, taking missions from citizens and completing them for gold and experience points. This is where the game hits a wall.
Almost without fail, the missions consist of either finding someone else in a different town, or killing 30 of a certain enemy. This is what you do for the rest of the game, over and over, ad infinitum. Unless you have a major case of OCD, you’ll be sick of it after an hour or two.
Fight like the Tazmanian devil.
It’s a shame, because the rest of the game’s mechanics are very solid. The fighting would be enjoyable if you didn’t have to spend time grinding particular enemies as they respawn. Leveling up makes you noticeably more powerful, and you can assign skill points to bulk up your optional abilities. Even buying and equipping better weapons and armor is handled well. This could be an excellent example of an RPG on the iPhone if only the quests weren’t so mind-numbingly repetitive.
We wanted to like MapleStory Thief Edition. The basic structure of a good RPG is here, but the story and gameplay they’ve tacked on are extremely uncreative. Even the idea of being a thief is unused– you never steal anything. So if button-mashing and running back and forth through the same environments a million times doesn’t appeal to you, pick up one of the many better action RPGs on the platform instead.