BURGLE BROS 2 GAME REVIEW

In cinematic lore, the heist film is a product that both plays on the desire of the viewer but also the reckless abandon of their subconscious. Often the crime is a motivated act of hopeful greed but the location is more than its stage. The location reflects wealth, avarice and menace that both plays into conventions of the genre but also that subconscious. In the 1960s, these sort of films were front and centre. A few classics examples stand head and shoulders above others. OCEANS ELEVEN for example (both versions) is a perfect example. So is THE ITALIAN JOB. So to THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR. BURGLE BROS 2, the sequel to the mega hit BURGLE BROS, riffs off of all of these and much more. Taking the original game elements and some of its cast, packing them up for a trip to the RITZ Casino, cram packed with goodies. This is not a simple grift though. They can repeat the raids. Grow the prizes and swipe the lot. The issues are for this once in a life time series of criminal escapades are simple. Bigger Security, better security devices, dodgy people on the Casino floor and a strange series of risks inside the building from Tigers, magic tricks and crooners!

THE CONTENTS

Well on opening the box that contained the mammoth box to BURGLE BROS 2, I was breathless. It is a substantial upgrade to the first game. Three times the size, built like an actual casino building and all housed in a small paper cup. Opening it up, you are greeted with a flip open panel on the reverse. Inside is 32 Room tiles (with the same back images as the first), 17 wooden walls (like the first), 8 Wooden Doors, Dices for safes and slots, Meeples for the cast, Security and some of the wild elements around like a Tiger! Cards are in abundance here. Security cards for their movement, event cards, gear cards, scenario cards that include finale cards, A load of tokens for all manner of things! Then you get 4 rods to balance the upper level on (that is the now empty box by the way!), a rule book and finally two glorious mats that look like those terrible carpets in…well Casinos!

SETUP AND GAMEPLAY

This is a thing of both beauty and sometimes nightmarish juggling. It is well detailed in the rule book but I will give you a swift run through. You have to empty the box, prop the second floor on the four props and then off you go. Lay the two mats one below the upper level and the other on the upper level. You will remember most of the rest from the original game. Lay tiles, wooden pieces for walls and then add to this new encounter tokens for extra people you meet. Players choose their characters they want to play, take the first card of the security set and place the security beefcake and…lets get stealing. On the first floor is a control room. Use this to help you crack the safe on the next floor! Right at this point, probably a great idea to watch a master video on the game from Rondo! https://youtu.be/gFIwknfB3XI

WHAT WE LIKED

You might note, I have jumped and not told you about all the new powers, processes and tile flips that you get, game by game, progress by progress. Well the reason is simple. The game is frankly amazing and me spending time, regurgitating play process is not going to sell to you the leap forward this game is from its predecessor. If you have played the original, this has so much more (that game was superb so this is a welcomed jump), in so many terms. Firstly there is player experience (you feel more involved and more can be done with your character). Then the great elements of the original game are played into this but some of the sticky bits (the security cards, the tiles randomness, the stuck skills, the annoying dice fails) all gone. Instead it plays the player into a world that evolves and resolves quickly. Then  the action and event cards are clearer and allow for diverse plays of the same level from solo to multiple players. Fourth, the neoprine mats. Fifth, the chips and the character extras that bring bonuses. Sixth, a clever use of genre in the scenarios that both broaden and challenge players expectations. Oh I could go on.

WHAT WE HATED

Right, this needs a little explaining. The quality of the box is lovely. Frankly, lovely. Slots for everything. Well placed and easier to put away than its predecessor. But, but the inserts on the side do not hold the rods. They come away from the box and I had to glue them and the opening of the sides (which should be an event) becomes a test of catch falling items. I was a little disappointed with this. I also know it will jar some of the perfectionist types.

OVERALL

This is a masterpiece that reinvigorates and renews a great idea. It crafts a delightful homage to a well loved genre, taking care to nod enough to all the right players, places and plot points. However it stands on its own like a great triumph. Tim Fowers for president should be the cry, if he can make a game as good as this, what could he do for a country?

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