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Ca$h 'n Gun$» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Ca$h 'n Gun$ – Much More than Theme rss

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Mark C
United States
Ypsilanti
Michigan
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It's very rare for a game that appears to be soaked in theme to have a great game under the box cover. Ca$h 'n Gun$ is that rare exception, and the theme is every bit as fun as the cool title suggests. This is also a game that has wide appeal, both in terms of gamers and non-gamers, as well as age groups. The guns are orange foam, and the artwork is cartoonish, giving the crime aspect a playful feel. Strange as it sounds, pointing a gun at your friends is all good family fun in this case.

The core of the game is a Mexican standoff mechanic of dividing up money in each of 8 rounds. You have 8 cards to play, one each round, assuming you survive to the end. 5 are “click, click, click” which do nothing, and are essentially bluffs. 2 “Bang” cards which take out the person you pointed your gun at from this round's pot, and give them one wound, assuming they did not hit you first with the last choice of card, a “Bang Bang Bang” card which goes off before any Bang cards & also causes one wound.

Play proceeds as follows, all players participating in each part simultaneously

1.Draw and reveal a new pot of 5 random loot cards. Cards are $5,000, $10,000, or $20,000
2.Select a player card from your remaining cards. Cards are of course face down and secret.
3.Point your gun at someone.
4.Drop out, or hold your ground and reveal your card.
5.Get some loot

If you drop out, you receive a cowardice token which lowers your score in money slightly, but no one will shoot you even if they pointed their gun at you. Not good for your score, but good for your health. It's a trade-off you'll be willing to make at times. All who hold their guns past the drop-off signal get to reveal their card. Many will be bluffs, but some will be bullets. If you're unscathed, you get a share of the pot, which is only given out to the extent it can be divided evenly among the remaining gangsters, with the balance carrying into the next round. Thus some pots will be much more risky than others, but also more lucrative if you can make it through the round. If you are hit when cards are revealed, take a wound and no loot for you. Three hits, and you are eliminated. For game purposes, your money goes with you to the grave.

Most money of the survivors wins.

Why does the game work so well? There's a lot of calculated risks, and no downtime, unless you're eliminated, which is typically only near the end of the game anyway. While you can gather some information, it's highly unlikely you can card count to the last round, since someone will almost always drop at least once, creating uncertainty in which cards remain (unplayed cards are not revealed). The pot size, who has hits, what card to play when, who the perceived leaded is, and of course what to do when a couple guns are pointed your way all require decisions. Fun decisions! The game really moves. There are also a couple interesting variants, one with player powers, and another with a police informant, that are just as good and provide variety to a good core game.

This is one of the better filler games I have played. Good enough that you could easily play it several times in a row rather than play another, deeper game. It can also be a fun party game for non-gamers. For a 20-30 minute, 4-6 player game, I can highly recommend it.
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Pete McCartney
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Calgary
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it also helps when playing the game with people you know, and you have to do psych profiling on who you think they will aim at next, etc.
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Diz Hooper
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Thanks for the review. I'm always looking for games with a psychological element.
 
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