A game for the criminally imaginative, that’s the tagline. Whilst board games have enjoyed a massive resurgence in the 2000’s and beyond, so too have games where there are less typical boards involved. This month, we investigate a game that’s been on my “to play” list for quite some time – Rogues to Riches. This was a game I backed on Kickstarter quite some time ago and I received it late last year. We finally got around to playing it as a small group at this past GeekOut Bristol Meet and I will say it’s one of the most funny games I’ve picked up in quite some time. Read on for our full review!
||Approx. July 2016|
First and foremost, this is a bluffing game, or at very least a creative game where you have to make stuff up. You’re given cards called Gear to help you through your bluffing, giving you the tools you need to create the perfect story of how you, a simple rogue, managed to defeat the Governors Mansion and ended up taking their loot. You take the role of a rogue, attacking buildings of interest for the loot that they contain. In a larger game, you will have up to 4 scenarios you can try to go for, with varying degrees of trap rooms and gear to help you get through the obstacles placed before you.
With the scenarios, you’re given a large flat card. These might say something along the lines of “Prison Block”, as well as giving you a little bit of intel on what this place is like. Some of these scenarios have some ridiculously tricky little quirks, such as having to stay really quiet whilst telling your story, or you’ll alert a guard. There’s also one which you must complete, start to finish, in 5 minutes, or you’ll unleash a very dangerous minion. It’s a clever way to get the scenarios to take effect and to make them just as dangerous as the traps.
Moving on to the traps, there are 2 normal traps and a third hidden trap. The two normal traps are there to let people see what they’ve got going on for them. The hidden trap then is one that you place as a sort of warning to people. You know what it is, you know how dangerous it is – but they don’t. Every rogue gets their own property they act as a defender for and every rogue wants to take the stuff from the other players buildings. But since this is a game about stories, how do you know who get’s what bit of loot and who knows how they get through the traps?
The rest of the players, who are neither the attacker or the defender, will decide if the trap successfully defends the scenario, or if the rogue actually manages to defeat the trap. For instance: If I had a room where the water is constantly rising, an attacker might have a grappling hook, which they throw at the door to grapple onto the handle of the door through the room. I, as the defender, then go to point out that to reach the door, they’d have to throw the grappling hook through all of the water – and that’s not likely going to happen. The rest of the players then put one thumb up for “could work”, two thumbs up for “definitely works”, one thumb down for “won’t work”, two thumbs down for “you’re having a laugh, aren’t you?” and finally thumb in the middle for “No comment.”
Finally, to see if the rogue is successful, you roll two dice and you have to make up a number (9 or greater), after adding or subtracting the number of thumbs the other rogues give the story. If the rogue succeeds, they add the trap they defeated to their loot – If they don’t, it’s the end of the rogues go and it continues to the next player who decides what to do from here. It’s a very simple game, which ends when there is only one scenario still standing. Then you add together the number of traps you have still active (if you’re the last place standing), as well as all the traps you defeated and the loot you have. The person with the most wins and is the ultimate braggart!
Yes, this does mean that Rogues to Riches is pretty reliant on having at least a small group with you. Three people probably wouldn’t be enough for this game, but it does support up to 5 players and this game definitely works well with at least 4 people. Just go gather three or four of your friends, get yourselves a drink and play a game of bluffing, blagging and boisterous bragging about the riches you acquired through relatively dubious means. It’s typically over in about an hour and a half at this game size and all in all, it’s damn good fun. I’d highly recommend you at least check out Rogues to Riches, if not add it to your collection today.
There’s nothing in my mind that’s actually even remotely similar to this games concept. Whilst the idea of a bluffing game certainly isn’t new in it’s own right, the unique board and trap mechanic is actually rather brilliant. Couple this with the gear cards and the well thought-out gameplay, you’ve got yourself a great night of gaming and chatter. What do you think of Rogues to Riches? Is this the sort of game for you and your friends/family? As always, let us know what you think in the comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit. We’ll aim to get a video of this game up in the not too distant future.