Killers And Thieves Is X-Com For Criminals

Ah, the video game industry’s eternal quest to corrupt the hearts and minds of our youth continues. Not content with turning them all into warlike barbarians, anthropomorphous cubes of meat or cats, now that hateful, wretched ‘interactive entertainment’ is teaching them the ins and outs of running a medieval thieves guild! When will the madness end?

Killers And Thieves [official site] is the (evil) work of Alex Thomas, creative director of indie all-star The Banner Saga [official site]. He’s working independently under the banner of Candle And Key as the rest of Stoic move onto the sequel, though they’re acting as publisher. It’s about sending teams of criminals out on missions in a sprawling medieval city, breaking in and getting away with as much loot as possible.

Each thief will have a set of stats determining how well they fight and steal, as well as traits and flaws that alter specific situations. The one shown example was a character whose stats went up when he was being pursued by guards, but he was too proud to retreat from an incomplete mission. You’ll be selecting who goes where and then guiding them through that block of the city, trying to gather enough loot to pay your bills and expand without tripping alarms and getting your people killed. If they’re caught and slain, that’s it. They’re not coming back. Sometimes they’ll be hauled off to jail instead, putting them out of action for an extended period.

There’s also a home base to manage, keeping your gang well fed, entertained and in bed on off hours:

It’s newly announced, hence why it’s mostly concept art and there’s no trailer. If you’re so inclined, Alex is looking for a programmer to help put it all together while he manages the “art, animation, writing, sound, music, promotional and business aspects.” Blimey. He’s also written a big post detailing how the game came about, from Papers Please-ish origins, through pure management game to its current strategy-roguelike state.

More info in the FAQ. The current target for release is this year, possibly using Early Access.


  1. whorrak says:

    (throws money at screen) Need this.

  2. MeatMan says:

    “More info in the FAQ. The current target for release is this year”

    *looks at FAQ*

    “It will almost definitely be out by 2016. Probably.”

    Confirmed: Ben Barrett is speaking to us from THE FUTURE!

    • ikanreed says:

      “By 2016” is semantically equal to “during 2015”, and in both cases they state it as a target that might slip. You’re being nitpicky.

  3. Hex says:

    What. The. Fuck.

    I was sad to hear Alex left The Banner Saga.

    This more than makes up for it.

    I wish there was a way for me to scroll through all of my comments on RPS, as on several occasions I’ve talked about wanting this exact game, and now here it is.


  4. HyenaGrin says:

    Definitely my kind of game, really looking forward to this! I am mostly disappointed that it got announced so early, I’d rather live in bliss than wring my hands for a year hoping it turns out well.

  5. draglikepull says:

    I need this now, please.

  6. Robert Post's Child says:

    Fagin Simulator is a game I can get behind.

  7. DarkFenix says:

    Anything that can be described with the words “Like XCOM but…” instantly gives me an enormous stiffy. You’d think after what a success XCOM Enemy Unknown was there’d be more of these things popping up, but somehow the whole genre seems to have been ignored by all the suits.

    • 8080 says:

      I’d say Massive Chalice fills a “like XCom” description.

  8. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    That first bit of art made me think “gunpointlike”. Which would make me very interested.

    (With apologies for the whole “gamenamelike” thing.)

  9. Psychomorph says:

    The Dark Project is strong with this one.

  10. Solanaceae says:

    Looks awesome – I was saddened to see it wasn’t something in early access already (or any kind of playable form).

  11. 8080 says:

    Really interested in this idea. Keep us posted RPS!