We’ve known about the flood of board game ports that tabletop giant, Asmodee, is planning on brining to digital. Time to grab your galoshes, because the flood is beginning today with the release of the 2015 SdJ winner, Colt Express.
Like most SdJ winners of late, Colt Express isn’t heavy fare. In fact, if you’re looking for deep strategy or even tactical brilliance, look elsewhere. Instead, Colt Express is organized chaos. Each player controls one bandit in a crew holding up a train in the Old West. Unfortunately, the crew doesn’t get along and everyone ends up being out for themselves and trying to grab more loot than their ex-comrades. Each player has an identical deck of cards, but only draws a small fraction of that deck each turn. Cards are actions such as “move”, “climb”, “grab loot”, and the most fun, “punch” and “shoot”. You also have cards that let you move the Marshall around the train as he tries to put an end to the bandits’ plans.
Gameplay consists of players playing cards to a central pile, sometime face up and sometimes face down. After all cards have been played, the pile is flipped over and cards drawn one by one to see how the actions play out on the train. You may have played a “shoot” card only to find there’s no one to aim at, or “looted” after someone else has snatched the cashbox from under your nose. Hence, it’s programmed movement but with a different spin than games like RoboRally.
On the tabletop Colt Express stands out because the train isn’t printed on a standard game board, instead it’s fully 3D and your characters are moved about from car to car and up on the roof, making for an attention getting display. The digital version does a good job of recreating that “wow” factor by incorporating gorgeous visuals that pay homage to the cardboard 3D train of its forebear.
The digital version offers online multiplayer with the original rules as well as a special variant for the digital version. There’s also a single-player campaign with 30 missions in which you can unlock different variants along the way.
Colt Express is available for PC, iOS Universal, and Android.