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Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure

Nintendo 3DS Developer : Sega

General Audience
Suitable for general audiences.
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Customer reviews

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful:
Review by Kat on 22nd April, 2012
4 stars "Wonderful story, problematic mini-games."

I picked this up while waiting for the next Layton game as I love both puzzle and rhythm games.

So let me start off with the good points:

The art really is wonderful, it's lovely with the 3D effect but it's just as stunning with it off. It is very cartoony though, so if you prefer more realism, this might not be for you!

The songs are really great – all earworms, but that doesn't matter because they are really fun to listen to and keep your toes tapping the whole time you play.

The story is wonderful, and quite evenly spaced around the action sequences. I haven't finished it yet (for reasons which I will discuss later) but I am dying to know what is going to happen in the end.

But what Rhythm Thief does wrong though is a hard obstacle to get over, even with wonderful art, storyline and music.

It has a very unfair scoring system.

I'm not saying it's impossible, and games should definitely be a challenge, but it goes from some wonderfully fun games to some devillishly hard ones that have left both my husband and I getting frustrated for days. And as they are part of the storyline, that can be a game breaker as there is no way to get past a particular challenge.

This brings me to the scoring bar, which ranks you from A through to E. If you drop below E, you fail and must restart the entire rhythm challenge. Some vicious challenges can cut your scoring bar in half if you miss one step, and an unforgiving grading curve can make even the most hardened gamer throw down their console.

It's very unfortunate, because otherwise this is the kind of game that my little sisters love, but if most of my gaming friends my own age have given up in disgust, I don't think it'd be suitable for kids.

So in summary, it's a wonderful game, which does everything right except how hard it can get – it'd be nice if they had added in an option to skip after trying one challenge few times or an option to make it easier – and this has made it a mis-buy for me, at least. I recommend it to anyone who really loves a challenge, but not to someone who prefers storyline and some more restful gaming.

I still give it four stars for everything it did right, and I hope anyone who makes a purchase has more luck than me – and could maybe give me some hints!

Review by Nicola on 7th November, 2013
5 stars "A rhythm game with a plot- Preposterous! Or is it-"

This is coming from someone who isn’t a huge fan of rhythm games. What makes Rhythm Thief so special to me is the characters and story.

The 3D helps enhance the bright and colourful cartoony style of the gameplay and the cutscenes. The soundtrack consists mainly of lively jazz, but also has smooth classical music, some high energy techno, and other genres of music.

The gameplay is simple but fun. It’s surprising how pressing two buttons can be made so much more exciting with the context of pressing these two buttons in time to the music to fight evil henchmen. The game starts of easy and simple but presents some more exciting challenges with more complicating mechanics as you progress through the game.

While this isn’t exactly a casual game, I wouldn’t exactly call it hard. If you’re not too fussy about getting graded with an A all the time, then the game is quite easy to complete.

The story is one of the main reasons I bought this game in the first place. The narrative is full of surprises and plot twists that I love, however some parts are a little cliche (eg. Save the girl from the bad guy) and some other parts can be extremely sappy due to bad voice acting. Depending on your personal tastes, you might love these parts, or hate these parts. I’m not going to be specific about the good parts of the story because I don’t want to spoil anything.

I recommend this game to anyone who likes the story telling style of Professor Layton since Rhythm Thief clearly draws a lot of inspiration from it. When you’re not playing the rhythm mini-games, you spend a lot of time exploring the environment and talking to people. It’s practically identical to Professor Layton but without the puzzles.

I’ve finished the game and I liked the ending (I’m not going to spoil the story). There are some bonus chapters you can unlock for doing certain things, but they’re extremely short. If you’re not sure about getting this game, I recommend watching the trailer and maybe the first two minutes of gameplay in a walkthrough somewhere, and making your own decision. Because whether you enjoy this game or not depends on your personal taste in games.



Release date Australia
April 12th, 2012
Box Dimensions (mm)
135x125 x15
All-time sales rank
Top 5000
Product ID


In Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure, players are immersed in the mysterious rhythmic adventure in the city of Paris. The gamesees players enter the secret life of Raphael, infamous among Parisians as an honorable thief for stealing famous works of art only to return them days later. Dive into Raphael’s world and help him find the Wristlet of Tiamat to unmask the mystery behind his father’s disap­pearance.

While unraveling the truth players will encounter an assortment of different rhythm challenges to master. Tap the screen, swipe the stylus and control the gyro to the beat of the music to maneuver Raphael through the unique streets of Paris, brought to life by stylish animations and vibrant 3D maps and landscapes.


  • Tap the screen, swipe the stylus, control the gyro to the beat of the music to maneuver Raphael in the variety of rhythm-based challenges
  • Dive into the world of Raphael and get immersed in this colorful adventure with 3D maps and stylish animation that bring the streets of Paris to life.
  • Unearth the clues hidden behind treasures scattered around Paris to unmask the truth about Raphael and the secret of the city
  • Master the beat and take on your friends in a variety of toe-tapping rhythm challenges. Collect fans in Paris on your virtual 3D map through Street Pass

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