Hold on to your loot as there is no honor among Thieves!

Recommended Age:8+
Our Recommended Age:6+
Players:3-6
Cost:$10.00
Play Time:20 mins
Contents:58 Cards, Instructions
Company Site:www.calliopegames.com
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Thieves! is another entry into Calliope’s “small box” games but don’t let it trick you – that small box holds so much fun it should be criminal! Staying true to their mission of making fun and accessible games that bring people together, Calliope has put out a game that is quick to learn but has great player interaction that really gives the game an exciting feel.

They recommend ages 8 and up for Thieves! but once again the 6-year-old Diva is up for the challenge. As with pretty much all games, a big deciding factor on age is how much gaming experience your child has and you know that much better than us! Games usually run around 20 minutes although you can give that a decent 10 minutes either way thanks to the uncertainty about when the end of the game will trigger.

Thieves! comes in a small lift-top box with an insert that divides it into two compartments – one for the cards and one for the plastic jewels. The cards are the main part of the game and are standard coated playing-cards.

The jewels are there if you plan on playing the extended version of the game (multiple rounds) and are small, clear and plastic.

The artwork on the cards feels like an old-school cops versus robbers cartoon and meshes very nicely with the theme of the game. All the thieves are wearing the classic black masks and can be seen tip-toeing around with their giant bags of loot. It’s very light-hearted and fun.

Now, on to the game!

Objective:

Have the most loot in your stash once you’ve escaped from the police.

Setup:

The setup for this game is nice and simple: shuffle the deck, deal three cards to each player and place the rest of the deck facedown in the middle of the table. First player goes to whomever is wearing the most black

Play:

Thieves! is played out with each player taking a turn in clockwise order. Each turn is broken up into two phases: Draw Cards and Play a Card. Play goes like that until 7 Getaway cards are played signaling the thieves’ successful escape from the police.

During the Draw Cards phase the current player draws cards until they have 4 in their hand. Normally this will just be one card but there are ways to end up drawing more.

After you’re back up to 4 cards you then pick and play one card from your hand. There are three categories of cards that we’ll go over next: Loot cards, Police cards and Thief cards.

Loot cards are pretty much what they sound like – loot. They’re played either in your own stash or in another thief’s stash and are worth between 0 and 3 loot. If you play a loot card in your own stash it’s played face down so the other thieves don’t know how much loot you have.

However, if you play it in another thief’s stash it’s played face up. You might think it’s odd that you’d want to give other thieves your hard-earned loot but that will make sense when we learn about the police.

Police cards are played face up next to the draw pile and come in two varieties: either one or two helmets. By itself a single police card isn’t enough to make anything happen but once there are at least four helmets worth of cards on the table, that’s when the raid starts.

During a police raid each thief reveals any face down loot in their stash and totals up the value of their loot. The thief with the most loot is busted and has to turn all their loot into the police. If multiple thieves have the same amount of loot their all busted!

The Thief cards have a variety of different affects including things like stealing loot from another thief, drawing extra cards or playing a police siren that forces every thief to play all of their police cards at once.

The only card that works a little differently is the Getaway card. When a player draws a Getaway card it is immediately played and a new card is drawn to replace it. Once 7 Getaway cards have been played, the game is over and it’s time to figure out who won!

Winning:

Figuring out the value of your stash is pretty straightforward: just add up the value of your loot cards and whichever thief (or thieves, there’s no tie breakers here) has the most loot wins! The only tricky cards are two special loot cards, the ring and the golden horseshoe.

The ring is worth 3 loot during a police raid but only 1 at the end of the game. The golden horseshoe is the opposite and is only worth 1 point during a police raid but goes up to 3 points at the end of the game.

Like Calliope’s other small box games, Thieves! is fast enough and travels well enough to play in a waiting room. However, the depth of player interaction it brings with it makes it a great Game Night game as well.

Let’s see how sneaky you can be! @MyGeeklings #Thieves @CalliopeGames

“I want to do it because I want to do it.”
~ Amelia Earhart

Author: sandyz