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December 13th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

We all know that robbing a bank is generally career suicide, especially if you instruct the bank teller to deposit the money into your personal account while waving a gun around.  Don’t laugh…this ACTUALLY happened.  “Thieves” puts players in the shoes of well, thieves, with your personal goal being to have as much money as possible when the game ends. Before we get into specifics, I’d like to thank Cassidy Werner from Calliope Games for providing me with a free press copy for review purposes.  Calliope Games are the same people who brought you “Tsuro“, “Tsuro of the Seas“, “Roll For It!“, “Got ‘Em!“, “Double Double Dominos“, and “Ugh!“, for those of you who recognize the name.



Thieves!: 3-6 Players, Ages 8+, Average Play Time = 20 Minutes



The game includes 58 Playing Cards, 7 Gem Tokens, and 6 Reference Cards.  The gem tokens are only used to track game wins, assuming players opt to play more than one game.

Setup & Gameplay

The deck of cards is shuffled and each player receives three cards to form their starting hand. Any getaway cards are shuffled back into the deck with replacements being dealt. The rest of the cards form a draw deck.  The player wearing the most black goes first.

On a player’s turn, they’ll:

1. Draw up to four cards.  If a getaway card is drawn, it is played immediately.  The player will draw replacement cards if this happens so that their hand contains four cards.

2. Play a card.

Loot cards (valued 0-3) can be added in front of the active player, face-down, adding to their stash. Alternatively, they can be played face-up in front of another player, adding it to their stash.  Ring cards are worth three points during a raid and one point at the end of the game, while horseshoe cards are worth one point during a raid and three at the end of the game.

Police cards (valued 1-2) are played face-up near the deck.  Once the combined value reached four or more, a raid occurs.  Players reveal their stashes and the player with the highest valued stash has their cards (including any police and thief cards played before the raid) shuffled back into the deck.  Play then continues as normal.  Siren cards instruct other players to immediately play police cards, if they have them.

Thief cards have a number of different effects, like the ability to move a loot card from one stash to another or remove police cards from the table.

Getaway cards are ALWAYS played immediately, with a replacement being drawn for the player that drew it.  The game ends when the seventh getaway card is drawn.  Whoever has the most loot in their stash at this point, wins the game.  If players opt to play more than one game, then the winner earns one game token (first to two wins).

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

“Thieves!” is an interesting push-your-luck, screw-your-opponent game that will constantly question the obvious strategy to earn as much as possible.  In other words, it’s a game that encourages you to be greedy, but not as greedy as your opponents (at least in the beginning/middle of the game).  Since the player with the most valuable loot pile loses everything during a raid, you’ll sometimes find yourself stacking your opponent’s stash to ensure that they’re the next target.  Rings are a great way to do this, as they’re worth three points during a raid and only one point at the end of the game.

Despite this game being listed with a three player minimum, I don’t see why you couldn’t play with only two.  The game works better the more players you add, but you can get away with two players in a pinch.  In the end, it comes down to timing…that is, stacking your stack as high as you can just before the game ends, but not before you get hit with a raid.  “Thieves!” plays quickly and supports up to six players, making it both a great filler and family game.  It can be a bit “in-your-face”, so parents with competitive children may want to keep an eye on things to prevent escalations.  The $10 price tag via the official website (link below), is fair for what you’re getting here.

Final Verdict: 8/10

Purchase: http://www.calliopegames.com/


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