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Subject: Die Knastbruder - A review after a couple of plays rss

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This is a review of “Die Knastbrüder” (“Convict Brothers” in English) where the concept of the game is to free your convict from jail by removing the bars while preventing your opponents from escaping by adding bars to their jail cell. This is a game for two to five players aged eight and up with a game time length listed as 20 minutes.

The set-up is very simple, which consists of laying 10 wooden bars over the picture of each of the six convicts depicted on the game board. To begin, each player secretly draws one of the six convict cards revealing the convict you are trying to help escape. For each player’s turn, a die determines how many bars you are allowed to move during that turn. A result of one to five means that you remove the first bar from the game and place any subsequent bars over any of the other jail cells (obviously if only a one is rolled, no other bars get moved during that turn). One of the sides of the die can also result in a loss of your turn. The first player to remove all of the bars from the jail cell wins. For two players, it is suggested to select two cards with both jail cells free of bars in order to win.

Personal comments:
This game is very simple and may be considered boring by some. However, it is a very light filler, which can be played in substantially less time than the 20 minutes mentioned. The components and graphics of the game are nice and good quality. The “bars” are made of wood and the cards are made of heavy stock cardboard so folds and bends are not likely. When one looks past the simplicity, there can be a lot of strategy and bluffing in this game since it is not wise to remove just your own pieces from the cell you are trying to clear, which would reveal too early the card you have drawn to your opponent(s). There is also luck involved depending upon how many bars you can remove each turn. Obviously if someone continuously roles a five they will have a clear advantage over someone who misses their turn or roles a low number. Overall, I have played this game twice so far and found it to be somewhat fun but lacking in a lot of action. Both times played were only two-player games so it might be a different experience with more players. Both games were finished in less than 10 minutes so it might give a chance to play some games while waiting for another game to start. This game may also be more fun for younger players who are just developing techniques of strategy where bluffing is something that needs to be learned.
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