In Burgle Bros, Go For One Last Big (Three-Dimensional) Score

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Fowers Games, the folks that brought you Wok Star and one of my all time favorite deck-building games, Paperback, comes a brand new, cooperative game of master thievery:  Burgle Bros. Their tagline couldn’t be more appropriate, “Get Together. Get the Loot. Get Out.” as the game is just that simple to pick up and play, but has much of the depth and challenge of any great cooperative experience.

You and up to four of your friends work together to break into a three story bank that has a safe securely guarded on each floor. You mission is to find and crack each of the safes, steal the treasure hidden inside, and escape from the rooftop without getting caught by the guards.

There are nine unique characters to choose from, each with a special ability. “The Rook” gives advanced orders to the rest of the team, helping them move around on his turn. The retired performer known as “The Acrobat” can leap, skip, and jump his way around the guards without making a sound. And of course, an electronics expert called “The Juicer” can wire alarms to create distractions. Oh, but there is more! Each character has an secondary version that grants them a more advanced power for bigger scores, essentially doubling your choice of characters to choose from.

Floors are simply four by four grids, or five by five if you are playing different modes, built out of tiles that represent separate rooms. Each room has different obstacles such as alarms, locked doors, hackable computer consoles, and of course the safes, separated by walls restricting player movement. All of the tiles begin face down, so at first, you want to cautiously navigate your way around the guard to find the safe. Once you have, you will want to reveal each room that is in the same column and row as the safe, since this will reveal the combination for the lock. Players will roll to unlock the safe and get the right combination, all the while the guard is patrolling around.

On each of the floors is a stairwell, which allows access to the floors above and is how the gang will ultimately escape to the rooftop at the end of the game. There are also rooms that provide unique items that can be used at any time to gain an advantage, such as blowing a hole in a wall, or a cloud of smoke to hide their movement. As mentioned before, there are rooms with alarms that will trigger under different circumstances, such as the player ending their turn in the room or even carrying equipment.

While aside from a small pile of cardboard discs, this game has some fantastic art and components. The cards are thick and smooth, the tiles are sturdy, and the character stickers apply fabulously to uniquely shaped wooden pieces that fit so wonderfully with the visual design. Speaking of the visual design, it is just perfect, fitting in with the 1960s Ocean’s 11 style and feel, you can’t help but feel like your are just the right team for the job, and the score is going to be big.

Normally you set the game up with each of its three floors next to each other, but I was lucky enough to have a nifty wooden platform that allowed us to play vertically as though we were actually in a building. While the game alone is a blast, but if you can manage to score this peripheral component, it’s almost double the fun. As a cooperative game, this is great for all ages and types, and you can play it all by yourself if you really wanted to. I would recommend everyone give this game a try if they have the chance to; great components, great visual style, and a all round great game.

Featured image: Fowers Games

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