No headline I've ever written has made me feel older.

Burgle Bros. beta be banging

iOS, Android •

Over the weekend I was invited to partake in designer Tim Fowers‘ next foray into the mobile gamespace, Burgle Bros. His previous board game port was the absolutely fantastic, Paperback, so I was immediately on board for checking out whatever Tim was working on. The only difference is that I’d played the cardboard version of Paperback before the app landed whereas Burgle Bros. was a completely new entity for me. Let’s take a look.

Burgle Bros. is a cooperative heist game in which 1-4 players work together to crack safes within a three story building, then escaping to the roof where they can be airlifted out. Instead of hit points, players have “stealth points” and if those run out and a guard spots you, it’s game over for the entire crew.

Jack LaLanne called…
Stop rapping at my chamber door!
I have no idea what these icons mean. Is this how people felt when they tried to play Race for the Galaxy?

The Nakatomi Plaza in this scenario is made of tiles, with each floor consisting of a 4×4 grid of unknown rooms. As you explore, you’ll find all sorts of cool places with different alarms, actions, or, if you’re lucky, stairs. There’s no John McClane wandering the building, but there are guards posted on each floor. They move each turn (not having played the physical game, I’m still not sure how the guards movement is decided. The digital version just does moves them after each turn), and will steal those precious stealth points if you’re spotted.

Apparently, you can’t fall into the basement.

At this point, the app is a beta, but it seems awfully complete with a few exceptions. The tutorial is present, but left me with some questions. The game, however, is fairly simple to figure out apart from little gamey details like the guards’ movement and how some tiles work. The UI could use a little polish, but it’s serviceable. All-in-all, I think we have yet another great board game port heading our way in 2017.

Hiding in plain sight.

There are no videos of the digital version, yet, but there’s plenty for the cardboard version. Here’s a full play through from the men and woman of Game Night!


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Notable Replies

  1. The lack of any kind of online multiplayer in Paperback is very frustrating. Hopefully this one doesn't disappoint in that regard.

  2. Well, this one is a cooperative game, which I'm far more lenient with when it comes to online play. I've been playing it solo with 1, 2, and 3 characters (you can play with up to 4) and it's pretty darn fun.

    It also works with pass-and-play, which works pretty well with coop games as well.

  3. js619 says:

    Not a huge fan of co-ops myself, but I'm digging the artwork enough to consider this one...

  4. I've given this a couple goes on Tabletopia, as was planning to pick up the physical version on Amazon. Didn't even know an app was in the works so I'll be going the app route instead. :smiley:

  5. Not to start a whole...thing...but why are you more lenient with co-op games? Yes, I get that the nature of the games lends itself better to playing solo since you are trying to beat the built-in game mechanics rather than a programmed AI player, but why go lenient on co-ops? We have some great ones on iOS like Pandemic, the Forbidden titles, Elder Sign, etc. that, while really good and very accessible for solo play, would be awesome if they gave me the ability to team up with friends against diseases, deserts, and squid-faced monstrosities.

  6. Since I'm in agreement, I'll throw in my two cents. Multiplayer coop online doesn't really work well, because most coops require a lot of discussion about what the team should do each turn. Even in a non-async scenario that would be a lot of typing or would require voice chat to get everyone on the same page. Instead, solo coops allow you to quarterback it all without feeling like you are shutting people out of the game, and just treat it like a puzzle for you to solve.

    I'm still refusing to get Paperback until multiplayer is added though...

  7. Fair enough. I'll buy the lack of communication argument. Still, I'd like the option.

  8. Mainly because the game doesn't require a good AI for me to enjoy it solo. Sure, I wouldn't mind if coop games had online play, but I just don't think I would use it all that much.

    In cardboard form, I tend to play coops solo about 90% of the time, so it might just be how I enjoy them. When I do play with others, part of the fun is sweating it out and working with other people which just isn't going to have the same feel in an online mode.

    I'm not against multiplayer in coops, but playing them solo fits the bill just fine for me.

  9. The reason I don't mind the lack of online in Paperback is simply because it's a word game and a big part of the fun is coming up with words. There's no "take that" or interaction of any kind in the game, so I enjoy just putting together the best words I can, buying cards and seeing how they can fit into even bigger words.

    Online play would be nice though, but the lack of it doesn't really hurt the game, IMO.

  10. I've played the tabletop game once and it was a lot of fun.

    And I also share Dave's reaction to co-op games and online play. I just don't think I would play async online co-op that much. There would be too much "why did you do that???" because we have no opportunity to talk things out.

    In head-to-head play, if the other player does something stupid, it actually benefits you instead of hurting you. :slight_smile:

  11. I'm sure I'd enjoy playing it, but unless I'm travelling, if I'm going to sit down and play a game it'll be something on the PC. Otherwise, bite sized asynchronous play is better to fit in throughout the day...

  12. You can do bite-sized chunks of game when it's solo, too. Log in, take a turn, log out.

    I have games of Elder Sign that have taken me a week or two to finish.

  13. Regarding guard movement.

    Guard's movement have the following movement rules:
    Speed = movement die + # of active alarms + number of 'guard movement deck' reshuffles. (max of 6, with perhaps an exception to alarms. But if you are setting off enough alarms to push it past 6, you are going to probably lose anyway)

    So, starting the game, the first floor guard has a movement of 2 (2nd floor 3, 3rd floor 4)

    On the floor the player end's his/her turn, that floor's guard moves. So if it is on the first floor, that guard will move two spaces. If there is 1 active alarm on the first floor (inc. silent alarms), that guard would move 3 spaces until he reached the alarm to turn it off, then the speed is down to two.

    There is a movement deck for each guard, each deck has 16 cards (1 per grid location). As soon as a guard reaches his destination, a card is flipped to determine the guard's next destination. The guard will travel to that destination by taking the shortest path possible. In the event their are multiple paths that are the shortest, the guard will take the shortest based on the shortest path from a clockwise (N then E then S then W) pattern.

    So you should always know the speed and the next path for each guard, and plan accordingly.

    This ONLY changes if an alarm gets set off. In this case, the guard forgets about his destination and heads toward the alarm first. In the case more than one alarm is set off, will head to the closest (again, using the clockwise rule for ties). Once all alarms are deactivated, a new destination card gets flipped.

    You are allowed to view exposed (discarded) destination cards to see where the guard can still go. In the event all destination cards have been used. The deck gets reshuffled and the guard's speed increases by one.

    Knowing the guard movement rules will increase the game's enjoyment greatly!


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