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Subject: Lots of fun in an inexpensive little package rss

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Tim Mirkes
United States
La Crosse
Wisconsin
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Wandering through Walmart one evening, looking for cheap, potentially fun games for a wide variety of group interests, I stumbled on this $4.99 gem. I thought, 'It looks cheesy, the box is hilariously lightweight, and the price point does not tell me I'm in for the Go of card games. Whatever. I've got a 5-spot in my pocket, so here goes nothing...'

I have to admit I've been pleasantly surprised by this little offering. Read on and find out if you might be, too.

The Good

Quick Play
I enjoy Bang!, as does most of my gaming group. We find that sometimes, it's just too much thinking for those of us with a 9-5 daily grind to concentrate for the time Bang! can sometimes require. That's saying quite a bit, I know. Bandits, with a similar theme (shooting other players for fun and profit in the Wild West), hits the "short Wild West game" spot perfectly. Once you get everyone on the same page with regard to the rules, play goes quickly, and it's almost over before you know it.

Simple Mechanics
Play guns to shoot people, they play badges to hide behind, and whoever plays more wins. It's so simple that anyone can learn it, and it's easy to remember. What's more, you can easily use it as a teaching tool to play with younger kids to reinforce addition and subtraction skills (although YMMV regarding the theme's appropriateness with your kids).

Short Rules
No spending an hour reading the rules before game night here. Ten minutes gets you through the whole rule book. Twice. And there are so few tricky cards that they're all explained on about a page and a half of the admittedly small rules sheet.

The Bad

Cheesy Illustrations
If you're looking for a mature style of illustration here, you'll be disappointed. The card art is cartoony to an extreme. But when you consider that the game is aimed at kids, the goofy art is probably more of a draw for them than a put-off. This element is purely up to personal taste; I don't mind it, but others in my group don't like it at all.

Flimsy Cardstock
The card stock is thin. Think relatively cheap photo printer paper. It doesn't help for shuffling, as the cards are already showing wear after less than a dozen plays. The cards just don't feel sturdy, and that tends to make me more protective of the cards than with other games.

There's a nice gloss on the cards, however. On the other hand, when playing in a humid environment (like, oh, perhaps a river-side city on a warm summer evening), the cards tend to stick together and make shuffling and drawing difficult.

Overall, not impressed with the card stock and finishing.

The Ugly

Nothing, really.
I'm left with there really being nothing about this game that will drive me away from it by virtue of its presence in the game. Everything that's here is either aesthetic griping or a consequence of me forgetting I'm not playing something heavier.

Conclusion

I've played this game with 2, 3, and 5 players, and it's always a blast. There can be some issues with an occasional runaway winner when the luck of the draw conspires against the table and lets one player get away with being able to stash a giant hand of ill-gotten loot, but that's somewhat rare and hardly enough of a problem to be a result of the design. Bandits is a light, fun card game that scales well, is easy to teach and learn, doesn't last too long, and can be played with all the gusto and tension of a round of Bang!.

Highly recommended for lovers of light, fast games. And it's inexpensive, to boot!

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MK
United States
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Re: Bang!'s Little Brother
Title of review must change. Far too easy to misread and misinterpret.
 
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Tim Mirkes
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Sorry about that. The title's been changed.
 
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Steve Duff
Canada
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I think it was a joke, more than an actual request to change.
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Chris Schenck
United States
Dayton
Ohio
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Thanks for the review!

I've seen the game many times on the shelf, but was turned off by what I'd read here on BGG. Maybe I'll pick this one up next time I see it.
 
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Tim Mirkes
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
I think it was a joke, more than an actual request to change.


In hindsight, you're probably right. That's what I get for posting late at night shake
 
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Michael Mehl
United States
Colorado Springs
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Picked up a copy today. 5 bucks is really cheap. Thought, I would use it as a cheap filler to kill time, or as a travel game. Thanks, for the review. I feel more secure in my impulse buy now. laugh
 
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Dang... It's $20 on Amazon. Came on here to read about whether this was going to be worth my money and now am wondering why the markup at Amazon.

Good review. I would definitely pick it up for $5.
 
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George Husted
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I just picked this up at a thrift store for $1.99. It is in good shape and I look forward to trying this out with my kids. Thanks for the review.
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Theresa C.
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Well, more then 7 years after your post, I found this game at GW for $1.49. It's complete and in like new condition. I'm looking forward to playing it and I appreciate your review!
Thanks!

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