2 - 4
Easy to learn
Plays in 30 minutes or less
Card flavor text is good for a chuckle
High quality components
Takes a few rounds to really get going
If you are a fan of the Wild West or sweet card games, then you’ll love The Outlaws, which is live on Kickstarter right now with the campaign ending on June 25th. I received a review copy a few weeks ago and since then I’ve played the game with three different gaming groups and in both 2 and 4 player scenarios. The game is easy to learn, with only three possible actions to take. Only one action may be taken on a turn so turns are fast; there is little down time between player turns.
As mentioned in my teaser post, the game looks great. The packaging is unlike most board games or card games and looks closer to a PC video game box. It is slightly thicker than a DVD box or console game box, but it is very similar to those as well. I, for one, applaud this unconventional storage solution. It is both practical and convenient.
The components are high quality and darn near drool worthy. The dice are wooden, custom, and laser burned. Laser! The tokens are metal are laser etched. Lasers I say! Since the tokens are metal, they make a very nice “clink” sound when being handled. The cards and rulebook are also topnotch and are top shelf quality. It does not look like any expense was spared upon making this game.
But enough spittle about how great the game looks and how well the components are made. How does the game play? Is it fun?
Yes and yes. End of review.
Oh, you wanted a bit more? Okay, here goes:
The game is fun, especially if players read the card’s text out loud. The card text is both amusing and helps get everyone into the Old West outlaw mindset. And, if players use awesome accents/voices (which they just seem to slip into, unprompted) then it is all the more enjoyable. The rule book does a good job of promoting the Western feel of the game by throwing in phrases like “Howdy partner” and “I reckon”.
Players may complete only one of these actions on their turn. Some actions may not always be available to every player, depending on the cards that are available on their turn. For example, a player with only $2 loot might not be able to afford any of the characters or their posse might not be strong enough to complete any of the jobs. But, a player may always report a tip. Reporting a tip simply means burning/trashing a card from one of the stacks. This removes that card from the game and gains you $1 loot in the process. Reporting a tip is the action a player will take when they can’t do anything else. Of course, they can always perform this action on their turn, even if they could do something else. This is called strategy.
The amount of loot other players have is public knowledge, and so is their posse and their posse’s health. This means that it is sometimes advantageous to report a tip to keep an opponent from being able to complete that job. The new card that is displayed might be better than the previous one though, so watch out!
The goal of the game is simple enough: have the most reputation (victory) points when the supply decks run out of cards. Players gain reputation by completing jobs. Each job ranges in difficulty from 1 – 4 and that number corresponds to the number of dice a player must roll when completing the job. Members of a player’s posse are assigned to the job and suffer any consequences that might result from being on the wrong side of the law. Being shot is a very likely possibility.
Each of the games I played lasted just under 30 minutes, which combined with the game play puts this game into the “light games” category for me. If you’ve been looking for a light card game to add to your mix, The Outlaws is a fine choice. It is super portable and lightweight, which means taking it on trips is a no-brainer.
Is there anything you didn’t like about the game? Hey, I’m glad you asked. The game doesn’t have any glaring flaws so I’m hard-pressed to mention anything as a negative. However, at least one person I played the game with commented about the slow start of the game. The first few turns players are just going to buy characters to build up their posse, but it really doesn’t take that long until you can start completing jobs.
And at least one player complained about how light the dice are. While the dice are indeed light compared to plastic dice of the same size, I didn’t necessarily mind. They are wooden and made with lasers so that makes them pretty cool in my book.
Overall, The Outlaws is a decent game so go check out the Kickstarter campaign for more information.