TL;DR

What: A co-operative heist game in which you have to get the loot and get out!
Players: 2 – 4
Time: 60 minutes
People: That are up for a challenge and working as a team
Available: If you want to support independent designers then we thoroughly recommend you buy this game directly from the man who created it here.

The Gist

Why we recommend it

Battling against your friends’ wit and skill in a board game is always fun, but there is something special about working together to overcome the game itself. It’s essentially you versus the game designer.

Many of Best Play’s favourite games embody this principle, such as Escape: The Curse of the Temple and Pandemic Legacy. Well today we have another such entity to join the gang: Burgle Bros.

I am a huge fan of heist movies. It’s one of my favourite genres. They’re often daft and require a fair amount of suspension of disbelief. I love the team building dynamic especially, the part where you’re assembling a skilled group of experts. Giving them an over-the-top convoluted plan to steal some ridiculous prize. Then of course things never go as expected and you have to improvise your laser gymnastics, making sure you do it whilst also holding your breath and keeping your body temperature at exactly 38.5C.

Or you’re just Bill Murray in clown makeup trying to rob a bank.

As you probably expect, given that pre-amble, Burgle Bros is a heist game. You and up to three of your friends are trying to steal three pieces of desirable loot and escape in your helicopter. Unlike a heist movie you seem to be doing this on a whim, and there isn’t much of a plan in place.

In fact, you don’t even know much about the layout of the building, or even what loot you’re after. Think of this more like that mid-film twist when the plan falls apart and everyone has to improvise. This is a game of making it up as you go along, using your surroundings and taking those risky gambles all in the name of a caper.

You start by assembling your team from a regular rogues gallery of double 0 knock offs, bomb experts and tech wizards. You then enter the building.

They’re very confident about the security here so you only have one guard on each floor, but there are a multitude of lasers, scanners, locks and more to slip past.

Your major obstacle is those guards. They patrol the hallways in only a semi-predictable fashion. You see, these cards dictate where they are currently headed, allowing you to sneak around them unawares. Well, at least that’s how it starts. As you progress they become quicker, until they are almost sprinting around the halls and you just have to gamble and pray that their next destination isn’t straight for you.

Guards, however, have their priorities and there is something you can do to distract them too. That’s your option to set off an alarm. Be it intentionally or not, it allows you to change their patrol and manipulate them away from your team as they frantically try to find the nearest safe.

Ahh yes. About those safes of loot you’re searching for. The quicker you can find them all the better, but it’s not as easy as that. The thing is, with the guard looking for you, you can’t afford to dally. Leaping into the unknown is the quickest way to get around but it’s certainly not without its risks.

Each safe you find needs to be cracked open with some good luck with the dice and when you get in you’ll have your first loot. Result. Except the loot actually makes things worse for you, making it more likely you’ll set off alarms or get found so the stakes are escalating with every floor and every treasure.

You might then think you should all move as a unit, taking it very slow and steady – methodically moving from room to room until you eventually make your escape. Well it’s never that easy.

The game’s systems are designed to force you forward, meaning if you don’t take some gambles then you just won’t make it. Guards speed up once they’ve searched a floor once, meaning they’re going to clear it quicker and quicker. If you don’t use all of your available moves then events are triggered which often don’t work in your favour.

The interplay of the floor layouts, the guards patrolling, your items, your teams skills and even those surprising events mean this is a game of constant team work, tension and risk.

“Ok I’m going to go over here to distract the guard, you then run the other way and find that safe”

“Run! If I trip one more alarm our whole plan falls apart”

“I’m going to take it slow. ”

“What if you use your bomb instead and blow up that wall to make a new path?”

Every game is different too. The floors, walls, loot, guards and even events that happen can differ each time, meaning no two games are quite alike. Just when you think you have found the perfect strategy for beating the game, someone falls over a walkway – landing directly onto an alarm on the lower floor. Do they have time to now scramble back up all the floors to get out the roof and escape with you and the rest of the crew? There’s only one way to find out.

We wholeheartedly recommend Burgle Bros as the closest (and safest) way to feel that thrill of being in your own heist movie. If you fall in love with it like we have you’ll probably even want to build your own fancy tower to play it on. Happy heisting.

If you want to support independent designers then we thoroughly recommend you buy this game directly from the man who created it here.