Monday, March 31, 2014

Devious Games: Cops and Robbers Card Game Reviewed!


Today we will review the upcoming card game Cops and Robbers released by Devious Games. Devious Games is a new game company started by the two brothers Kieran and Neil Billings. This new card game will be funded through the crowdfunding website kickstarter where the campaign will be launched on the 20th of April.

Introduction

Have you ever wanted to be a criminal mastermind but can never find the time for it in your busy schedule? Have you ever fantasised about making a daring getaway but just find your cheap bicycle is too rusty and broken to reach that top gear? Well your prayers have been answered. Now you can do all this from the safety and comfort of your favourite sitting place. Time to make that seat groove a little more worn while you sit down with your mates for a great game of "Cops and Robbers"; the safe way to rob a bank.


Cops and Robbers is a card game for 2-6 players, ages 8+. The objective of the game is to be the Robber with the most cash at the end of the game. You will need to be the Robber that uses his cards most wisely to steal loot from wherever you can, including your fellow criminals. You'll need to create the fastest getaway car with the best driver if you want to evade the cops and you'll need to play dirty tricks on your opponents to send them to the slammer. 

The game is quick to pick up, hard to put down, and each game brings something new. With only five cards in your hand will you decide to hold onto the cards that send others to jail or that help you getaway? Will you create the best getaway car only to have it stolen from under your nose? Will you steal from other peoples stash only to be caught by a nasty surprise? Form alliances with other robbers, then break it to steal their hard earned cash. It's all up to you. Some strategy that worked in one game may not work in the next.

Gameplay experience

We received a draft version of the game which included all the necessary loot, robber and cop cards. Although we received a proto-type deck of Cops and Robbers we were already very impressed by the quality of the artwork by Neil Billings and the clear lay-out.

We have playtested the game with three players and all had a blast! The gaming group was impressed by the simplicity of the rules while they still offered countless ways of reaching your criminal goal of stealing as much money you can get! The game is extremely well-balanced as you can’t be too greedy or you will be locked away in jail for a seemingly eternal long turn! If that’s not enough you also lose all of your unstashed loot and car decreasing your chance for a new getaway when back on the streets.

Another nice feature of the game is that you can easily modify the duration of a game by changing the amount of money you need to stash. As said the gameplay is both fast and exciting as each robber can choose to perform one of the following actions: 

Lie low: When you decide to lie low you may take two robber card. These cards can be used to increase your chances for a succesful get-away by upgrading your card or save special cards that may come in handy during an exciting get-away. You can also use other robber cards to decrease the chance for your opponents to get-away so choose carefully!

Loot: This action is how you acquired the loot needed to win the game. If you choose this action you may draw one loot card which increase your loot significantly if you're lucky and one robber card. But be carefully and don't collect too much loot. As the amount of loot cards also determines the amount of cops cards you need to draw during a get-away!

Get-away: During this action you try to outrun the cops and stash your loot into your stash pile. When you announce a get-away you draw a number of cop cards equal to your number of loot cards. Each cop card has a certain value ranging from 0-3 and a number of caught cards which put you immeditaly in jail if you can't counter them. 

The value of these cop card in compared with your car upgrades and one-use cards and when you equal of better the value you have managed to get-away and stash your loot. But be careful as your opponents can also play one-use cards to decrease your value! When you're caught you loose all of your upgrades and unstashed loot as if this isn't enough you also end up in jail for one turn. Giving your opponents the chance to get-away themselves without you infering with one-use cards.

Conclusion

The game is both easy to learn but hard to master as each game brings different problems depending on the drawn cards and the other players. I would surely recommend Cops and Robbers for everybody looking for a hilarious and challenging card game. I’m already looking forward in adding the finished game to my card game collection! So all keep an eye out for the launch of the Cops and Robbers kickstarter but in the meanwhile you can all follow the progress on the Cops and Robbers facebook page and their recently lauched Devious Games website. You can also purchase this game as PDF or actual printed cards over at DriveThru RPG by clicking here.


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