The Guild of Thieves is a text adventure with images created by Magnetic Scrolls and released in 1987 for several home computers. Thanks to the portable game engine, the adventure was first released on Macintosh, but soon after also on Atari ST, Commodore 64, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, MS-DOS, ZX Spectrum, and more.
The game was released two years after the success of The Pawn. The Guild of Thieves is a sort of sequel since it's set in the same fantasy universe, the world of Kerovnia.
The game places you in the shoes of a novice thief who aspires to join the infamous Guild of Thieves. To achieve this goal, you must complete a series of challenging heists, unravel mysteries, and outsmart your rivals.
Being a text adventure, the gameplay in The Guild of Thieves is based on text input, where you type commands to interact with the game world. You explore different locations, collect items, solve puzzles, and engage in dialogue with non-player characters. The game's parser is robust, even if not as advanced as the one you can find in Infocom titles. However, Magnetic Scrolls games had a significant advantage compared to the pure text adventures: the addition of still pictures. On 8-bit computers, the graphics were limited (or absent, in the case of Apple II), but on 16-bit computers, the graphics are really impressive. On the Amiga, the developers decided to use hi-res graphics, which was an unusual choice due to the flickering of the screen. Still, the quality of the images is fantastic.
Compared to The Pawn, The Guild of Thieves is more coherent. The story makes more sense, and the puzzles are generally well-crafted, with a good balance of challenge and fairness. You can't say that the game is easy (but can you say that for any text adventure?) but with some patience, careful observation, and a willingness to experiment with various commands, you can do it. If not, you can always use a tutorial.
The Guild of Thieves was well-received by critics and players alike. It was voted Best Adventure Game Of The Year at the Golden Joystick Awards.
If you are a fan of this game, don't forget to check the remastered version.