Burton on trent
I picked this game up a while a go in a charity shop, I thought it might be a good game to play my younger nieces and nephews and now having played it as couple of times I would write a review for any other prospective thrifters who happen to come across it and want to know if its worth buying.
The idea of the game is a gang of thieves are trying to locate the old house where they stashed some loot a long time ago and now cant recall which house it is. The thieves venture out from their hideout and go into the town checking each house until they find the treasure and then take it back to the hideout. The gang are being pursued by Inspector Higgins who is tracking down the gang and hopes to have them all in jail before they get their loot back. The same is semi co-operative in that the players of the thieves are working together against the Inspector player.
Quality wise its a typical euro, single fold board depicting the a town and its environs with paths marked out in black between the buildings and forested areas. The board is attractive and clearly marked, the thieves are your typical swag carrying meeples in five contrasting colours, sadly there is no Mr Pink, there is however a meeple representing Inspector Higgins. The house markers are red plastic, inserted underneath these houses is a slip of cardboard which denotes either the house is empty or contains the treasure.
Set up is a matter of shuffling the house markers and placing one on each of the house spaces so that no-one knows where the treasure is. The thieves all start from their hideout and the Inspector sets out from the Police station/Jail at the other side of town. Depending on the number of players the thieves and Inspector use the same/different movement dice.
On their turn a player may move any thief they like, but they can only search a house once all the thieves have left the hideout. On his turn its a straight forward roll and move, you cant occupy the same space as another player, nor can you move past another player, so pieces can be use to block each other. If a thief lands on a house space, he can peek under the house to see of the treasure is there, if so he reveals it and that thief now has to get back to the hideout to win for the thieves.
The Inspector moves in exactly the same way as the thieves, if he lands on a thief he can cart the thief off to jail and the thieves are a man down. If the Inspector catches all the thieves he wins the game.
So thats it for gameplay, its a simple enough game, however the rules are a little hazy in some areas. It was not clear if an exact dice roll is required to deliver the thief to the hideout or whether he could just leave the board when he got to the hideout, likewise it was not clear if an exact roll was required for the Inspector to land on a thief. We had a couple of attempts at the game before settling on allowing the thief to leave the board without an exact roll, but we decided that the Inspector did need an exact roll to catch a thief. Having clarified the rules through trial and error we actually got down to some serious playtesting with my ten year old niece and my wife.
Okay so this is not a gamers game, although I would guess you probably worked all that out, but it was an enjoyable gaming experience and was enjoyed by all three of us. Its roll and move so there are only limited tactics available to use. Initially the Inspector had it relatively easy as the two thief player could only move 1 thief each per round so there were always unmoved easy pickings. However as the games progressed the thieves could be moved every turn and when down to one thief twice a round, which meant that that the Inspector could often strategically block the thief into a corner but not get in for the arrest.
There is a palpable tension in the game as the thieves have to often choose between preserving their gang or going after the houses. My niece really enjoyed working as a team with my wife against me and they won two out of three of the games, but only with a one thief remaining each time.
Overall the game is about what I expected, its simple enough for the kids to play easily but has just enough to not make it a completely dull experience, although you wont want to be getting it out every time the kids come round. Its a good training game to get the kids ready for more serious games and we had a good time playing it together which is really what its all about.
Våler i Østfold
I see it is some time ago that you posted this, just want to confirm for other players that the rules in Norwegian says that you have to have the excact roll to: catch a thief, look inside a house and delivering the treasure to the hideout.