LGR – Jewel Thief – PC Game Review

LGR – Jewel Thief – PC Game Review

[typing] Have you ever wanted to steal jewelry as a thief? A jewel thief? Well I have. And there’s only one game for me that really lets me carry out those fantasies. Except for this one. But we’re not talking about that today. We’re talking about the one and only… It’s Jewel Thief, developed by Paul Ligeski and released under the banner of
his company called ServantWare in 1991. This is yet another of those games that I got from the disk included
in “Windows After Hours” by W. Edward Tiley. It was also included on compilations
like WayForward’s Fun Pack and on various BBS’s and online services, but this is where I got it, so naturally it’s the best, and most awesome. “Jewel Thief is a game especially suitable
for the preschool yuppies in your life.” “It’s you’re older than 10,” “you’re probably going to look at this
game one time and one time only.” S-s-says you, Mr. Tiley! I’m 26 and I’ve looked at this game
at least twice in the past 16 years! The game begins with a double-click
and a registration nag screen. It’s the only restriction in the game, but if you wanted to, you could pay $10 to remove this infinitesimal
nuisance and get the full version. I never did, because $10 may as well
have been $100,000 back in the day, and besides, I was saving up to
buy Sierra’s EarthSiege at the time, so my apologies, Mr. Ligeski. But anyway, Jewel Thief begins
immediately once you click the button to start. The gameplay consists of moving the mouse… Yep. Believe it or not, there is a story here, and it’s about as appropriately basic as it gets. The generically-named National
Museum of your unnamed country has had its jewel collection stolen. And because you’re already
dressed for the job or something, it’s your task to travel the world to steal back the jewels from the thieves. So, really the game should be called
something like “Jewel Repo Man,” rather than Jewel Thief, since you’re not the THIEF. You’re just taking things back. Unless it’s named for the THIEVES, and in that case, it should be called Jewel THIEVES. Unless maybe they’re all clones of ONE thief, and in that case, it brings
to mind all sorts of questions regarding clones’ individuality
and the very case of human soul. But whatever. JEWEL THIEF! You’re a mouse cursor shaped like a THIEF, and you have to collect all the gems and
minerals on-screen without touching anything else. Yes, not even the edges of the screen, as that will remove one your nine possibly feline lives. Once your lives are gone, you’re tarred, feathered, skinned alive and then burned at the stake. Er… that’s Medieval Thief. In Jewel Thief, you just get
a Windows ding sound effect and you get to put in a high score if you didn’t suck. [dings] [ding] And, man, I suck at this game. I mean, everyone does, and that’s kinda the point. See, the gameplay may be simpler
than a pile of jalapeño poppers, but it’s brutal in a very unfair way. Anytime you touch anything, you lose a life, but the thing is there is no
invincibility time afterward whatsoever. So as long as you’re touching something,
you’re losing lives constantly. You can have nine lives and then be down to one life with even a single mistake on the first level. And sometimes you just get bad luck and the next level begins with
enemies floating over your thief cursor, and you’ve lost a life or FIVE
without even realizing what happened. It gets even worse if you play the game
on anything but 256-color mode, too, since your cursor will sometimes disappear and the floating enemies will flicker and blend into the background. So be sure to use the correct display settings. As you might expect, the game just gets harder and harder as it goes along, as games tend to do, and there are very few chances
for reprieve along the way. Ah, those freakin’ spider and raindrop levels, man. But hey, you might do better next time, so why not try again. And again. And again and a-freakin-gain, because, dude, this game is deceptively simple and kind of addictive, in the best way. You just move a freakin’ mouse and yeah, you really shouldn’t be
giving it more than a passing glance. But I have, and I still do every so often when
I boot up an old Windows machine and want to kill a minute or few. And it takes me back to a far
simpler time during my childhood where games like this could genuinely hold my attention for longer than a few offhand minutes. Jewel Thief is almost literally
as simple as a game can get but there’s something beautiful about that. When you can boil something
down to its barest essential parts of what its essence even is, and yet it’s still blindingly recognizable as that thing, there’s something special there that’s worth recognition. Like how much of a car can you
take away before it’s not a car, how much of a game can you
take away before it’s not a game? This has a singular function: move the mouse, and yet it’s still very clearly a computer game. You’re not gonna mistake it for anything else. Okay, maybe I’m getting a bit philosophical over a game where you’re a funny-shaped
mouse cursor, but whatever. I liked Jewel Thief as a kid and dang it, I still do. So that’s that. Want more videos on old games
that nobody remembers? Cool! I want you to watch more videos on old games that nobody remembers. By me! So click these. Or subscribe for more in the future. And as always, thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “LGR – Jewel Thief – PC Game Review

  1. Hey LGR, have you ever played Double Agent, released by Flair Software back in 1998? What's your opinion on this one. I recently re-discovered this gem of the past 😀

  2. Have you done a review or LP of "Eric the Unready" or do you plan to? I didn't see it anywhere in your videos. I think it would be a great game to do with Pushing Up Roses, though it takes a few sittings to completely finish. 🙂

  3. I played this game on True Color mode, and in one level, the jewels disappeared. Why is that so? Thanks.

  4. As always an excellent review like as every video of yours. Do you have plans to review some 3d fighting games for the PC like Virtua Fighter or Battle Arena Toshinden?

  5. Man, I would love to see a SimCopter review or LP from you Clint.
    I think I even said that 1 or 2 years ago :O
    Well, if you have the time and interest then… 😀 Thanks!

  6. Hey LGR, I've seen you reviewing a lot of (old) games but I can't remember seeing you reviewing a RTS. Why? Back in the 90's the RTS was a big genre and there were some great RTS games, like Warcraft 2 and Red Alert and more.

  7. Wow, this game seems tough on the sanity. That Prince Duncan sprite looks ripped straight out of the help screens of DC for Mac! Weird choice but still is awesome!

  8. Hello there sir LGR,i was wondering could u maybe find a copy of microsofts beyond the limit,ultimate climb.Have searched everywhere,it would be so much appreciated.

  9. It looks stretched out to widescreen, yeah. I just did a side by side comparison and it is totally Duncan from the 4th help screen in the game, haha. Such a weird sprite choice for a game like this, makes me wonder the story behind it…

  10. Whoa, that is wild! And I didn't do any stretching for this video, so it must have been done by the programmer. Wondering the story as well, how odd.

  11. You and Classic Game Room should do a collab. You guys seem like you'd make a great team of sarcasm and greatness.

  12. I know this isn't your youtube name anymore but I've been wanting to make this pun for a long time
    Your voice is so phreakindeelightful

  13. Holy shit.. I'm making a modern version of this game as we speak in html5 and I had NO idea that ANYONE else knew about it, let alone my recent favorite reviewer.

    I've been subscribed forever to this dude but just recently I realized just how high quality his videos are.

  14. Dude, review Earthsiege. I remember that game from my youth as well – used to run it on my Packard Bell computer running Win 3.1.1

    That game started my love with all things Mech (or HERC) related.

  15. Yes yes thank you! Iv used to play this on my grandpas computer a very long time ago on those game compilation cd's. However since there were a million games on those cds i couldn't find the game anymore. Ive livedmost of my life without knowing the name of this game… Untill now : thank you LGR! I absolutely love your videos.

  16. Can anyone tell me what the bottom game on the "Want more LGR?" screen is? I can't click on it, so I assume the video's been taken down.

    Wait, don't tell me… is it The Sims 3?

  17. LGR you are only 27? i would have thought you were in your late 30s since you're into dos and old computers lol.

  18. Preschool yuppies?
    Well they got the "young" part of young upwardly-mobile professional, but they are mostly know for sex parties and coke binges.
    Is this preschool full of nothing but Stewie Griffins?

  19. I had this game on a CD labeled "500 Games" for the PC.  As I was looking through it being freeware and shareware titles that made up this disc, I came across this very game: "Jewel Thief".  I have to tell you that within seconds of starting this game (being someone who was playing Wolfenstein 3D, Blake Stone, Corridor 7, Doom, Duke Nukem 3D, etc.) I BEGAN LAUGHING AT THIS UNCONTROLLABLY!!!  I was literally rolling on the floor holding my sides as they were splitting from unstoppable laughter.  I seriously didn't think I could have found a cheesier made game on the face of the planet!  This game made my day back then and I just had to look it up on teh interwebs to see if it still lingers and here's a youtube video of it by LGR LMFAO!!!

  20. Sometimes I see videos like this of early-mid 90s PC games I'd have easily been able to play on my family's old Windows 3.1 machine and I get really jealous.  We had the King's Quest games (which were great and all, but sometimes you wanted something else..) and that was it.  I mean, we had consoles too, so I wasn't exactly starving for games back then, but I had practically zero PC gaming experience till right up around year 2000 despite being in my teens by that point and by then I just grabbed Diablo, Starcraft, Warcarft II and my step brother's good old copy-protection-devoid Starseige:Tribes copy and I was basically set for life.  This kind of little diversion would have been so hugely addicting to me back in those earlier days, though; I do distinctly recall wasting many hours on very early internet-found shareware and freeware titles that were roughly the same kind of quality and depth as many you've reviewed, even after getting the later PC.

  21. Surprised you didn't also pull up the box of Thief Gold or Thief 2 during the GTA V joke in the beginning.

  22. There was a compilation of games I used to have in school which included this Jewel Thief, but also a Missile Command clone among a few other games. Does that ring any bells to anyone?

  23. I google jewel thief and there would be an LGR review as one of the top results. Love this guy. Off to watch some more videos. Only youtuber that I can and have too often bing watched.

  24. I remember Jewel Thief on this one Microsoft Puzzle Collection game. Digged the music, but sucked at it. :p Seems it was different than the one you reviewed, though…

  25. I learned a trick by accident while playing this game in the late 90's. If you continuously keep tapping the print screen button on the keyboard over and over again as you move the mouse around, you will indeed not take any damage.

  26. That looks worse than a lot of bullet storm games, which I guess it is a bullet storm game in a way.

  27. Your intro music here sounds a lot like Cruising the Cut outro music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8p8TYx1Ilk

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