Good evening, friends! Tonight’s game is Burgle Bros. 2: The Casino Capers by Tim Fowers and Jeff Krause. I’ve been waiting excitedly for this game for months, and the Kickstarter has finally arrived at my doorstep. I’m going to lead with an unboxing, showing a few of the pieces.
The unopened box
This piece detaches and looks like it’s intended to be discarded
Back of box
Some pieces ready to be punched out. I have a love of punching out board game pieces. I could do this for hours.
Loving that punchy feeling!
Various tokens. Note the thickness on those poker chips!
Top tier of the box
This box insert is one of the higher quality inserts I’ve seen in games.
Some sheets of stickers. One is for adding details to the character meeples, and another is for placing in the trophy case in the back of the box when finishing heists in the campaign.
The bottom tier insert, with the floor tiles and unlockables folders.
Excited to crack these!
There are 2 included mousepad-material game mats that come with the game, as well a set of stilts that turn the box into a platform that allows for a unique table presence showing a two-tiered casino game board.
A couple of decks for special tiles, and a “dead drops” deck for a variant game mode.
I had a great time unboxing the game, and getting hyped looking at all the pieces and getting everything set up. This game’s theme is a casino heist for 1-4 players. There are nine different scenarios that make up a campaign, with unlockable gadgets and abilities and a sliding difficulty scale that gets harder when you succeed at heists. Tim Fowers is one of my favorite game designers, and Burgle Bros. is one of my favorite games. You can read a review to Burgle Bros. here.
Initial game setup
I’m not going to go into exhaustive detail of the game rules, as they are quite similar to Burgle Bros., with a few exceptions and twists. The guards and actions in the turns are similar, and the peek and move mechanics are the same from the previous game. One notable change is that each character gets their own unique gadgets they ready for one action, then use at any time (even off turn). At initial setup, a set of poker chips appear on the board. When moving or peeking into a tile, these chips are turned over first, and resolved before revealing the tile. These chips represent people in the casino, who sometimes cause trouble for the players, or sometimes assist them. These include drunks, saleswomen, prima donnas, undercover agents, crowds, and moles.
Mid-game boards. Please ignore the toddler shoes in the upper right corner.
When the players finally crack the safe, the heist card is revealed, which inserts unique rules into the game for the remainder of play while the characters attempt to escape. I’m going to show the cards for heist one so ***SPOILER ALERT***
Heist one card front
Heist one card back
At this point in the game, I had to escape the casino, with additional game parameters, so additional caution was necessary to complete the game, since if any one character (I was controlling two) was caught, the game was over.
Mid-game board state
The game told a story through the tiles and card events as I progressed through gameplay. I was able to find and speak with the moles in the casino, who gave me the codes to crack the safe, which showed the identity of 2 prima donnas in the casino. I had to search the casino for them and escort them out, without crossing paths with the guards. At one point, someone made a cannonball in the second floor pool, making a commotion on the top floor and the one below, and also dropping me down. to the bottom floor. I also came upon a few drunks and undercover agents, who gave me some trouble, but was able to escort both prima donnas out of the casino without crossing paths with the guards.
As you can see from the pictures above, Fowers Games took out all the stops on this one. The cardboard tokens are chunky and substantial. The wooden meeples have unique shapes with included figures. The tiles are thick enough to not bend and the dice, wall dividers, and cards are all great quality. The two-tiered game board gimmick is a bit silly, and I’m not sure if I’m going to do it again with subsequent playthroughs, but I appreciate the publisher’s attempt at innovation. The game tray is one of the better ones included with board games I’ve come across in games I’ve seen. The art style is a flat cartoony look, with a ’60s mod vibe. My only critiques of the game are:
1. The box doesn’t want to shut cleanly closed with all the components put back into it.
2. The game mats need some rubber bands to get them to fit into the box properly.
Endgame board floor 1
Endgame board floor 2
This game is a meaty improvement to one of my favorite games of all time. It’s serving me casino heist vibes like I’m in a cheesy George Clooney movie or something. The art fits the theme well, and the game is exciting from beginning to end, with plenty of wacky events and characters to encounter as the heist progresses. Burgle Bros. 2: The Casino Capers plays great with one player, but I’m extremely excited to share this game with my friends once things open up a bit more. I highly recommend this game for board game beginners and veterans alike. You can pre-order Burgle Bros. 2: The Casino Capers here.