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. 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.

  2. 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...

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

  4. 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:

  5. 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...

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