Most families who browse family-friendly card games have at least heard of the game, “Apples to Apples”. It entails players taking turns as a judge, with the other players submitting cards to them in the hopes that said cards are picked. There’s a lot of fun to be had in games like this, especially if your group has an odd sense of humor. Now, make “Apples to Apples” a smidge more complex and add a “heist” theme to it. After the smoke clears, you’ll end up with “Larceny”, the next party game that is making its way onto the Kickstarter front. Before we take a sneak peek at what this game has to offer, I’d like to thank William Smith from Waning Gibbous Games for providing me with a prototype copy. As with all prototypes and previews, it’s important to stress that the content featured below may or may not fully represent the final product.
The components of “Larceny” consist solely of cards. The cards themselves are broken up into three types or decks: “The Score”, “The Catch”, and “The Fix”. Score cards list targets of opportunity in which the group will be attempting to steal…valuable things like the Mona Lisa or the Hope Diamond, just to name a few examples. Catch cards represent the obstacles that the group will face when attempting to steal a Score card. You’ll see things like armed guards, alligators, and laser sensors listed on these cards. Finally, Fix cards are used to overcome these obstacles (or catch cards)…think of them as the tools that the thieves will use to pull off their heist. These tools consist of things like sledgehammers, lock picks, and bolt cutters.
Gameplay is relatively simple. The game is broken up into rounds and in each round, one person will become “The Chief”. At the beginning of the round, the Chief will draw one Score card and two Catch cards, laying them out for all to see. The “Crew Members” (other players) will make sure that they have a hand of seven Fix cards and play one per Catch, face down. After all Crew Members have played their Fix cards, the Chief will look at them and decide which ones they like best. Once the winning cards have been established, points are awarded accordingly. The role of Chief moves around the table and play continues until a stopping point has been mutually agreed upon. For those of you who have played “Apples to Apples”, you’ll be able to jump right into “Larceny” without so much as a hiccup.
Variants exist to give players something new to think about and experience. “Best Laid Plan”, for example, tasks players with creating the best story based around the Fix cards that they choose for a particular heist. The Chief will then pick the best or funniest story, depending on what they feel is the most appropriate. Storytellers and imaginative minds alike will love this particular variant. “Worst Laid Plan” is similar in design, but opposite of the aforementioned variant in that players will be telling the absolute worst plan that they can think of with the cards at their disposal. “Heist” mode is more cooperative in nature, forcing the Crew Members to work together to complete a successful heist. The Chief, on the other hand, will be playing multiple Catch cards in an attempt to stop them. “Troubleshooter” serves as a versus modes of sorts in which two teams will be competing to either steal or defend a Score card. There are a few more variants that I haven’t mentioned here, but those are the hi-lites.
“Larceny” is one of those card games that you won’t be ashamed to bring out on game night. It also offers a lot of flexibility, what with all of the different game modes and variants. It goes without saying that having more options is generally a good thing. The kids seemed to enjoy themselves during our play sessions, though they’ve always taken to humor-filled games such as this to where they can spread their wings a little. I’ve personally seen other games try to mimic the “Apples to Apples” play style and not always succeed. I’m pleased to report that this particular party game exceeded my expectations. To that end, whether your group is imaginative, casual, or just plain silly, “Larceny” has you covered.
At the time of writing (8/28/13), “Larceny” is currently seeking finding through Kickstarter. You can learn more about and support the game by visiting the following websites: