What to play this weekend: 13 Thieves

13 Thieves (free with in-app purchases) from Space Inch is a tile puzzle game in the tradition of Threes! and 2048. This time, the "tiles" are numbered thieves who would rob you of everything if given half the chance. 13 Thieves is a fun game with nice graphics, goofy sound effects and familiar yet still engaging game play. Here's our look at 13 Thieves.


It's a pretty cute game. Each numbered thief has its own look and personality, often greeting you with his or her own catchphrase. Actually, "catchphrase" is inaccurate. It's more of a "catch sound." Number four's drawn out "Helloooo" is my favorite.

My only complaint is the mission review screen. Tap the bullseye button to get a pop-up reminder of the active mission. It's semi-transparent and features small text, and as a result difficult to read with the game board behind. Removing the transparency would fix this.

Overall, 13 Thieves has a fun, cartoon-like look that I enjoy. But what about game play? Read on.

Game play

You get a 5x5 grid of numbered thieves. Tapping any thief will combine with with adjacent thieves of the same value into a single thief of the next number up. For example, if there's an uninterrupted cluster of thieves labeled "4", tapping it will collapse all of them into a single thief labeled "5". Other tiles fall into the space left open, from top to bottom. The idea is to keep going until you produce number 13.

Read: previous selections for "What you should play this weekend."

Like most games of this type, it's not easy. At first you're cruising along, but the difficulty slowly mounts. Careful planning is required to note where your new thief will land as well as what will happen when new ones slide in.

There are a few options in place to help you in your endeavor. For example, you can undo the last move or use the "Mega Undo" to turn back as many previous moves as you like. You can also switch two tiles (twice per game) or opt to change the value of a single tile. These options come with a price, however. Either in-game currency, called "bills", or simple usage limitations.

Speaking of bills, there's a store that lets you buy bills via in-app purchase.


13 Thieves is a prime example of one of my favorite genres of game: the pick-up-and-play. There's almost no learning curve and the game itself is compelling enough to encourage multiple play-throughs. Plus, as I said, it's super cute. Give it a try and I'm sure you'll like it. 13 Thieves is what to play this weekend.