Hitting Kickstarter next week, Burglar’s Bluff is a card game about creating and protecting melds (sets and runs) while also trying to steal banked cards from your opponents. Throughout the game, players will be creating melds and locking them in “safes” by placing a face-down card horizontally across the top of card stacks. These face down cards may or may not have a lock on them. If they do, that stack is safe from other players stealing cards. Of course, no more cards can be added to that stack. If the card doesn’t have a lock cards may be stolen, but the stack can also still be added to and will be worth double points at the end of the game. There are also bonus points to be earned by creating melds that contain Gold or by blocking steals with locked safes. It’s a clever take on a tried and true mechanic that plays quick and feels both familiar and fresh at the same time.
Burglar’s Bluff is set up by setting aside the Final Steal card, shuffling the deck, creating a Community Pile of 8 cards, and giving each player 8 cards. Play then continues with players doing the following:
- Pick one card from the playing area.
- Perform one of four actions (your choice):
- Pick three additional cards from the playing area.
- Bank a new 3-card treasure.
- Extend one of your banked treasures.
- Steal an opponent’s banked treasure.
- Restock the Community Cards in the playing area.
The game ends for two rounds after a player takes the Final Steal card, which can be taken when a player has banked 9 or more total cards. Points are calculated and the player with the most points wins. The game states that it takes 15-25 minutes, but once you’re familiar with the mechanics it really plays in about 10-15, which is a pretty sweet spot to sit in.
If you’re a fan of classic cards games, especially Rummy, Burglar’s Bluff is certainly a game to check out. Like stated before, it’s easy and familiar, but adds just enough extra in the bluffing and stealing aspects to keep it interesting and an excellent addition to any card player’s collection.
A prototype copy of Burglar’s Bluff was provided free for this preview in adherence to A Pawn’s Perspective’s 2018 Preview Policy
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.
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