• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Jul 10, 2012

Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
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  1. Apr 24, 2012
    Overall Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure is a must-buy for all 3DS-owners. You will be treated to a great adventure that you'll want to play over and over again and more crazy minigames than you ever dreamed of. Now I'm waiting for a sequel.
  2. Apr 4, 2012
    SEGA has crafted a wonderful first attempt at the rhythm genre on Nintendo 3DS with Rhythm Thief and the Emperor's Treasure by mixing up the standard fare totally, slotting in all sorts of fantastic and addictive mini-games, a wealth of gorgeous presentation, and some absolutely amazing, toe-tapping tunes, plus a heap of impressive voice acting.
  3. A brilliant adventure whose shortness is its only drawback. Well worth a look.
  4. Jul 20, 2012
    The variety in the minigames mixed with the exceptional soundtrack make for a delightful combination.
  5. Apr 30, 2012
    Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure is about as connected an experience as you'll find in the genre. The characters are cool, the narrative interesting, and the gameplay (mostly) very enjoyable.
  6. Apr 11, 2012
    Ryhthm Thief and the Emperor's Treasure is more than it appears to be. It is not just another music and rhythm game, but an engaging title that will make us play for hours. The story it offers is a right decision, as it invites us to keep playing and advance to unlock more songs.
  7. Apr 13, 2012
    It may be a little too easy, but nonetheless this is a lot of fun. Rhythm Thief is the best game of its kind since Elite Beat Agents.
  8. May 7, 2012
    Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure is certainly for the fans of Professor Layton. Even if the puzzles are of course not as widespread as they are in the big model.
  9. Aug 11, 2012
    You don't control a thief that fights Napoleon with dance and music every day.
  10. Jul 18, 2012
    Though I spent more time on the map screen than I would have liked, the world of Rhythm Thief is so beautiful and lively that I was, in general, just happy to be inhabiting it, and delighted to play out some absurd scenarios in clever musical vignettes. It's not a flawless experience, but it is a joyful one.
  11. Jul 10, 2012
    One can complain that Rhythm Thief and the Emperor's Treasure isn't all that new, but it often takes the portable puzzle-adventure genre to new heights via an abundance of addictive minigames.
  12. Nintendo Power
    Jul 7, 2012
    The gameplay itself is pretty standard genre fare, consisting primarily of button taps and touch-screen swipes. But the way it's packaged makes a big difference. [July 2012, p.86]
  13. May 22, 2012
    There's perhaps a little too much repetition of particular rhythm tasks --and some are certainly more successful than others-- but Rhythm Thief is a joy from start to finish. And with a huge amount of collectibles and post game content, provides a package that should form part of any 3DS owners library.
  14. Apr 26, 2012
    One could have feared it would be a dull copy of Layton, but fear not: Rythm Thief is a nice, fresh, rythm game mixed with puzzle elements. The atmosphere of the japanese-dreamt Paris works well, and even though it's a little short, the adventure is indeed very nice.
  15. Apr 23, 2012
    It is an interesting experiment, if not without issues. It's basically a Professor Layton clone with rhythm-games instead of puzzles, and yet it doesn't balance as much as well mini-games and storytelling. While not flawless, it's still a reccomended purchase to both fans of the genre and the Professor Layton franchise.
  16. Apr 11, 2012
    Rhythm Thief & The Emperor's Treasure is an enchanting rhythm adventure that really brings the funk.
  17. Apr 7, 2012
    One of the best rythm game ever created on Nintendo 3DS.
  18. Apr 7, 2012
    Fun and enjoyable with some catchy songs, it's just a shame some of the window dressing let's it down.
  19. Apr 5, 2012
    The Emperor's Treasure doesn't just have rhythm: it also has soul.
  20. Apr 5, 2012
    A title overflowing with charm and verve, with a style that can entertain children and adults alike. It has a couple of missteps, the biggest of which is the occasional use of gyroscope controls, while simple puzzles and missing object searches don't quite match the title's overall quality.
  21. 80
    Professor Layton may offer a more cerebral challenge but Rhythm Thief has more than enough charm and imagination to waltz its way into your affections.
  22. Apr 4, 2012
    It's a game with a song in its heart and romance in its soul, a sweet-natured slice of old-fashioned escapism underpinned by taut and satisfying rhythm-action systems. If a hopeful tilt at a sequel in its closing moments seems rather naively optimistic, you can hardly blame SEGA for dreaming.
  23. Apr 3, 2012
    The start of something magical, Rhythm Thief and the Emperor's Treasure will no doubt blossom into the next Professor Layton or Phoenix Wright for 3DS.
  24. Apr 5, 2012
    Keeping the rhythm is hilarious in 3DS. The Emperor's Treasure knows catch with minigames but it is a little boring on the predictable story, and excessive dialogue. Good music and beautiful Paris. A great idea.
  25. Apr 13, 2012
    A good game with over fifty unique music minigames and a simple but entertaining story to tell. An excellent rhythm game for 3DS.
  26. Nintendo Gamer
    Apr 2, 2012
    The constant shift in direction will leave you confused. But there are genuine pockets of excitement amongst the humdrum. [Apr 2012, p.92]
  27. Aug 8, 2012
    The opening scene of Rhythm Thief professes, "Imagination rules the world," and what it delivers follows suit. For its minor slip-ups, the game still innovates in the rhythm genre by offering a real story. If anything, the final product proves that extra creativity can make a difference, but it needs to be spread through all aspects of a game to make it a top contender.
  28. Jul 13, 2012
    Rhythm Thief's collection of musical minigames is one of the best in recent memory, but the game's bogged down by dull adventure segments and a broken rating system.
  29. Apr 18, 2012
    SEGA reinvents the music adventure game by giving us a strong story and a very pleasant background which is Paris under the lights. A really a nice mixture of Rhythm Paradise, Elite Beat Agent and Samba de Amigo.
  30. Apr 16, 2012
    A brilliant idea and a nice structure, but the concept of the musical mini games is often too simple and recycled.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 52 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 52
  2. Negative: 4 out of 52
  1. Nov 4, 2012
    A wonderful game. The music is catchy and fantastic, and the rhythm games are brilliant. A unique and interesting story blend the whole thingA wonderful game. The music is catchy and fantastic, and the rhythm games are brilliant. A unique and interesting story blend the whole thing together with beautifully animated 3D cutscenes. You really should go and buy this now. Congratulations SEGA. Full Review »
  2. Jul 18, 2012
    So, after playing Rhythm Thief and doing everything there is to do in the game, I must say, I'm impressed! The game does to the rhythm genreSo, after playing Rhythm Thief and doing everything there is to do in the game, I must say, I'm impressed! The game does to the rhythm genre what Layton does to the puzzle genre: Add a plot to a genre which is normally just minigames. And it does it in an anime style, too, which I love, being a huge anime fan. The plot is basically this: You play as a guy named Raphael who lives a secret life as the famous Phantom R, a thief who steals artwork, artifacts, and a bunch of rare stuff like that from museums around Paris only to return them later.Phantom R's father left him when he was a child and left him with a coin with an unusual mark on it. He looks in the newspaper and sees that the Louvre has a bracelet which has the same mark. Thinking it has something to do with his father, he and his dog, Fondue, set out to steal it and the plot fleshes out from there. I'll go ahead and say that the entire game isn't getting the bracelet. You get it in the first chapter, actually. So it's not one of those kinds of games where the entire game is doing one set goal. Like any good game, the plot has plenty of twists and turns to keep you going, with most of the important parts told in anime cutscenes. It's all incredibly entertaining and the plot is one of the best aspects of the game. As for the main attraction, the gameplay, then it's all excellent. Unlike most rhythm games, there are variations in the gameplay. In the first level, you have to slide the stylus in different directions in time with the beat. In the next, you have to hide behind statues to prevent being caught by guards. In the next, you have to fight the henchmen of the main villain, Napoleon. Yes, Bonaparte. He's the game's main villain. But back to the gameplay, each of the 50 levels in the game are all varied and original. Even though some minigames share gameplay types, then the missions that do are far apart enough to make you not notice. It's all brilliant and the way it's set up makes it create a story that doesn't cut corners. You know how Dragonball Z games skip story to get to the fights? Well, in this game, the story IS the rhythm games. So the plot isn't butchered because of the lack of minigames. None of the segments in the game feel shoved in the plot for the sake of it. As for the games themselves, they all are incredibly fun and the controls are responsive enough to make it be your fault if you mess up and not the game's. The only levels that I have a problem with are the ones that use the 3DS gyroscope. To be specific, the fighting levels. Though, there are only 2 of those in the game. 2 more missions that I hate are the 2 poodle levels. You have to control Fondue and a Poodle both at the same time and unless you have two pairs of eyes, you're going to lose. A lot. The other 46 missions are great, though. Another thing: much like Layton, you move around in a point and click kind of world. You can search for coins in the game, which are much more plentiful than Hint Coins in Layton because there are some on every screen, and purchase things from Auban's shop, like cutscenes you've viewed and help for minigames for those levels where you're just stumped. I like the coin system and I think it works. Also, did I ever mention that Paris is bigger than all of the worlds in Layton combined? It's huge. REALLY huge. In fact, it's somewhat of an issue. Some of the names for the parts of Paris are french, making them hard to tell apart. The game helps with this by making the path to the story colored red on the map. Follow the red, follow the story. Of course, it's great with how its set up and I just love it. Also, as for characters, they're all awesome. Every. Single. One of them. Seriously. A few of our characters other than Raphael and Fondue are Marie, a girl who plays violin and has the same mark on her violin as on the coin and the bracelet, Inspector Vergier, who is a cop who is trying to catch Phantom R and loves Paris and wants to protect it with all his heart, Charlie, Vergier's kid, who wants to help Vergier catch Phantom R, and Napoleon, the main villain, who has control over the world's suckiest army and has supposedly been revived from the dead. All of the characters are lovable and, out of all of them, my favorite is Vergier. His love for Paris really shows in the later half on the game and you have no choice but to respect a guy who goes through a bunch of stuff to protect Paris. The music is also, great. So great, that I'm listening to it as I write this review. Considering that if I talked anymore about how great this game is then I would run out of characters, then I should rap this up. Rhythm Thief is a great game that anyone should check out. Even if you don't like rhythm games. In fact, this is the first rhythm game I've ever played and I love it! Go Moonwalk over to the nearest game store and pick this up. You're sure to love it. I give Rhythm Thief and the Emperor's Treasure a 9/10 Full Review »
  3. Jul 18, 2012
    Welp after buying and completing Rhythm Thief, I have a lot to say about the game.

    The graphics are fantastic. The cutscenes are definately
    Welp after buying and completing Rhythm Thief, I have a lot to say about the game.

    The graphics are fantastic. The cutscenes are definately up to the standard of Professor Layton and look great in 3D. Phantom R's dance moves ingame are matched only by Inspector Cabanella of Ghost Trick. the animation's that good :V All the locations and such have plenty of detail and there's always lots to look at; just check out the intermissions during "Show time" in the demo to see what I'm on about.

    The story is definately intreuging enough to keep you playing.
    it's definately not up to the standard of the game it's clearly inspired from; professor layton, but it has its fair share of moments. There are several mysteries that you want to find out the answer to, involving the wherabouts of Raphael's father, Napoleon's return and Marie's mother. I just feel the story and characters...weren't really fleshed out enough. There are only ten chapters and I don't feel like they spend long enough developing characters and adressing their issues and feelings. I feel like Marie's the biggest victim of this, as it seems to very briefly skip through her issues. Some characters, however, do generally become really interesting as you learn more about them. Inspector Vergier is, in my opinion, the best developed character in the game, Good characters and story, just need a bit more fleshing out.

    The voice acting is good overall. I don't care what anyone says; Napoleon's voice is awesome. Raphael's got a good voice, as do most of the main characters. Jean-François's smug british accent is the best voice in the game though. Some voices can be pretty corny but none of the voices are outright bad. They're all tolerable.

    The music is definately the game's strongest point, and good thing too because it's a rhythm game. All of the tracks are very memerable and they've all been stuck in my head at some point~ I found the music rather remeniscent of Sonic games, especially Colours, so Sonic fans will more than likely love it. and there's such a huge variety too. I'd post a bit but it's best to hear it in game because it fits with the games, which I'll get into now

    The rhythm games are incredibly fun, and rather different frome eachother, ranging from elite beat agents style dancing to jumping over cops and sliding through gaps sonic style, to dodging an opponant's attacks and landing punches by tilting the 3DS similar to punchout. And the best part is keeping the rhythm during all these varied events. The only one that wasn't so good was this hang gliding one which took me a while to figure out, but luckily it only appeared once. Most minigames repeat twice throughout the game, but it never feels repetitive as they always differ. For example, one game has you fighting off Napoleon's soldiers in order that they appear. This minigame appears later, only you have to press a different button depending on the soldier's colour. Heck, there are even minigames based on Samba De Amigo and Space Channel 5 in there!

    The world map is very inspired by Layton, borrowing everything from touching people to talk, to tapping suspicious objects to get coins. But surprizingly, it does it better. There's an overhead map which makes navigating different places much easier, and you don't have to tap a foot to walk, the arrows are already there for you. No harm in ripping something off if you do it better now is there~ What this map is used for, however, is a bit pointless. The overworld puzzles are all extremely easy, and if anything, a bit of a waste of time since they're all so obvious and drawn out. I would have liked it if they used the sound recorder gimmick more creatively.

    Bottom line, it's clear from the ending that they want to make sequals. So please; buy this game. support another sega franchise that could grow to be the next samba de amego, phoenix wright, or professor layton.
    Full Review »