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Burgle Bros.

January 28th, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

So you’ve already saved the world countless times from various diseases in the game “Pandemic” and you’ve saved as many civilians as you could from a burning building in “Flash Point: Fire Rescue“.  All noble causes, don’t get me wrong…but what’s left to do?  How about cooperatively pulling off daring and dangerous heists?  In “Burgle Bros.”, players choose a scenario and attempt to get out of the building with their precious loot!  Before we begin, I’d like to thank Timothy Fowers from Fowers Games for providing me with a free press copy for review purposes.

 

Burgle Bros.: 1-4 Players, Ages 12+, Average Play Time = 45-90 Minutes

Burgle Bros.: 1-4 Players, Ages 12+, Average Play Time = 45-90 Minutes

 

Components

The game includes 120 square cards, 48 tiles, 9 custom shaped wood meeples w/ 2 sets of stickers, 24 wood walls, 80 tokens, 9 dice, and instructions with different game modes. High Rise Tower not included.

Setup & Gameplay

Game setup will vary, depending on which scenario is chosen.  The standard game (Bank Job) is for 2-4 players (though you can play solo), consists of three floors, and takes 90 minutes to get through.  The intro game, on the other hand, consists of two floors and takes about 45 minutes to get through.  I’ll sum this part up by simply saying that players each get a character and three stealth tokens.  They will also set up the floors (face-down tiles), walls, and guards as appropriate for the scenario.  Each floor consists of a grid of tiles, each containing one safe and one stairway.  I’ll let the rulebook do most of the talking with regard to setup.  The object of the game is to find the safes and escape with the loot through the roof without being caught by the guards.

On a player’s turn, they’ll take up to four actions, in any combination they choose:

a. Reveal an adjacent tile (Peek).

b. Move to an adjacent tile. If that tile is face down, reveal it.  Some tiles have icons that depict things like laser beams, alarms, and do-not-enter which will have varying consequences.

When on a Computer Room tile:

c. Add a Hack token to this tile.

When on a Safe tile:

d. Add a die to this Safe tile (costs 2 actions).

e. Attempt to crack the safe by rolling the dice on this tile.  In order to crack the safe, players must discover the combination by revealing all 6 tiles in the same row and column as the safe. The combination will be the numbers written on the bottom right corner of each tile. After each roll, put a Cracked token on all tiles that match any of the numbers you rolled.  Cracking a safe awards the player a loot and tool card, though triggers a silent alarm and adds a movement value to the guard on the current floor and the ones below.

If the player used less than three actions, they get to draw an event card.  After the player’s turn is over, the guard on the current floor moves.  A fixed guard die will indicate how many tiles they move…the more alarms that go off, the higher the number becomes.  The guard will move in accordance to their patrol card, giving players an idea of where the guard will be going next.  Once the guard reaches their destination (using the shortest route possible), a new patrol card is drawn.  Guards will be drawn to alarms in the order they are set off.  Once they are all turned off, the guard draws a new patrol card.  Players lose a stealth token when they run into a guard.  If a player has no stealth tokens, they are captured and everyone collectively loses the game.

Editor’s Note: The above doesn’t cover all of the rules found in the manual, but should give you an idea as to how the game is played.

The Review

As you probably suspected, this game can be quite strategic.  Most of your time will be spent talking with others, trying to figure out how best to manipulate the guard so that you can get to where you want to go.  While walls have a fixed place every scenario, the tiles are randomly placed, so you never know what tile you’re moving to unless you peek first.  There’s some strategy in this too…peeking makes your time on that floor take longer, but will help you avoid triggering any nasty alarms.  As a group, players will need to coordinate and sometimes even set off alarms on purpose if one of their crew is unable to avoid a guard.  It’s harder than you think, since the guard moves after every player’s turn.  In a four player game, a guard will move multiple times before your turn rolls around again.

Besides trying to manipulate the guard, the game comes with some special tiles and optional rules that make things pretty tense.  The atrium tile, for example, lets you peek up or down (on the floor above or below), though guards can see you and you’ll lose a stealth token if they’re present.  Players can add tokens to computer tiles using action points to accumulate some security…meaning they can spend these tokens later to disable fingerprint, laser, or motion tiles appropriately as they come across them.  Keypads force players to roll a six or they’ll be unable to proceed, and some tiles let players draw cards from varying decks.  There’s more tile types that I haven’t mentioned, but there’s a lot here to keep things interesting.  In addition, players can opt to use the “Lost Visual” expansion which causes the guard to disappear and then reappear via a new patrol card on the next turn.

All in all, “Burgle Bros.” turned out to be a pretty fun cooperative experience.  I highly recommend that players try out the “Intro Game” scenario first so that they can get a handle on the flow of play.  Trying the default scenario (“Bank Job”) will most certainly take you over the average 90 minute play time if you don’t know what you’re doing or haven’t played before.  There’s a lot of replayability too, what with the floor tiles being randomized each time you play (like in “Forbidden Desert“).  The box, while different, is admittedly awkward (resembling an office building) and doesn’t stack well with the other games in my collection.  If you’re looking for a new cooperative game to play, I recommend giving this one a spin.  I think the $36.99 price tag (as of 1/28/16) is relatively fair for what you’re getting here.

Final Verdict: 8/10

Purchase: https://fowers-games.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/burgle-bros

High Rise Tower Accessory: https://fowers-games.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/high-rise-tower-for-burgle-bros

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