Burgle Bros.

Game Overview: Burlge Bros. is a cooperative game where you play as a member of the Burgle Bros, an elite group that can pull off the impossible heists.  You will choose one of the six characters that each have a special ability that will be needed as you work your way through different floors of a building in search of a safe that requires you to crack the code so you can steal its contents.  All the while, you must avoid the security guards.  If one player fails, the entire team fails.  Will you be able to escape with the loot in the different safes and make your way to the top of the building to be rescued?

Box Contents: A wonderfully designed box that is in the shape of a building that can be used if you succeed in cracking the safes and making your way to the landing pad on top of the building/box.  The contents include multiple thick cardboard square tiles that represent a different type of room along with rectangular shaped wooden sticks which represent walls between the rooms.  A wooden character piece that matches the height and shape of each character along with stickers that go onto the character piece.  Additional wooden tokens are included which represent the security cards and multiple small dice that are used for the security guard movement along with cracking of the safe.  Also included are three separate card decks which are the same size as the tiles along with multiple cardboard tokens.

Clarity of Rules:  A sixteen page rule book that is in the shape of a manila folder provides excellent directions for game play.  It also provides three games and the setup required to play them (basic/intro, standard, and expert).

Game Play:  Play begins with players choosing their character and setting up the game board based on the map they will be using.  Two cards are drawn from the patrol deck which determine the starting location of the security guard and where they will be going to. They will be taking the shortest possible route. On the first floor, the security guard moves two spaces per turn and the security guard on each floor above has an additional movement given to them from the previous floor.  Players determine which tile they will enter into, with no penalty given if they turn over a card that may set off an alarm or require certain actions to enter it.  During a players turn, they can take up to four actions which include: moving to a new tile, peeking at a tile, hacking a computer, adding dice to the safe, roll the dice on the safe, or use 2 actions to drawn an event card.  Peeking at a tile is important to see what may be there.  If you go into a room blindly you could set off an alarm or fall to the previous floor.  However, peeking slows down your progress through the rooms.  Taking actions to hack a computer allows you to move through certain rooms without setting off an alarm.  If you draw an event card, you typically have to play it right away and may benefit you and your team.  At the end of each players turn, the guard is moved towards the room that was selected for him.  Once he makes it to his room, a new patrol card is drawn to determine his next location.  As players move around the building, they will encounter different types of rooms.  Some rooms may set off an alarm in that room.  When that occurs, the security guard now heads to that room to shut off the alarm and his speed is increased by one until the guard turns it off.  Other rooms may require that you take some of your four actions before you can move through them.  Two rooms you will be looking for on each floor are the stairs that will take you to the next floor and the safe.  When the safe is found, you will need to have identified all room tiles both horizontally and vertically along the same row as they have a small number in the bottom right hand corner.  These are the numbers on the dice that you must roll to crack the safe to get the loot and move onto the next floor and closer to escape.  Each character has three stealth assigned to them at the start of the game.  If a security guard passes through a room with you, this means that you are hiding from them but you must lose one stealth.  Lose all of your stealth and the game is over. 

Replay Ability:  You will find more replay ability within the game than what you may initially think.  You can go beyond the maps and scenarios provided in the instruction manual.  You can design rooms or floors on your own.  In addition, a website is available that provides players with a random room or floor setup http://gabob.com/burgle/.  Along with this, characters have a normal side and an advanced side.  You can always make the game more difficult yourself by reducing the number of stealth points at the beginning of the game or by starting the guards at a higher speed.

Appropriate Audience: The game suggests 12+, someone younger should be able to easily play the game if you are okay with the theme of the game.

What We Liked/Didn't Like:  We like how the game can be very challenging but fun at the same time and how there are so many options available for future game plays.  It really does require the group to work together to determine the best action to help the group succeed..  We found that it is best to split the group up and try and send some players to the additional floors.  If there are too many players in one location, it becomes much harder to avoid the security guards.  The boys do not like that when you crack the safe and get the loot, it typically has a bad effect on you.  Even though the outside of the box is top notch, it takes a little time and practice to get everything in the box so that you can close it.  The initial intro game seems a little easy, but as you progress to different levels and use the different character abilities, you will find it much more difficult to win. 

Add-ons/Other Releases:  n/a

          **A review copy was provided to us.