App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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Burgle Bros is a board game that lets you step into the shoes of a heist crew. You and your team of up to four teammates need to break into a building, empty the vaults, and get out before being discovered by guards. Despite being turn-based, the stealth action here is super challenging, making for a fun (though absurdly difficult) game.
Case the joint
In every game of Burgle Bros, you start by choosing your crew, a place to hit, and a starting location on a randomized map full of tiles and walls. These tiles are not revealed to you at first. It's up to your crew to figure out where the vault is, as well as where hidden dangers might lie, like motion detectors and fingerprint scanners. All of this is done by using a turn-based system where players spend action points to peek at nearby rooms, move to them, or use special abilities.
While doing all of this reconnaissance, there is also a guard walking the floor at all times who patrols to random spots of the floor. If the guard ever moves to a tile with one of your heist crew on it, they lose one of three stealth points. Once a crew member has lost all three stealth points, they can then be arrested and end your run if discovered a final time by guards.
In and out
The ultimate goal of every game of Burgle Bros is to extract the contents of every vault and make it to the roof before you can be stopped by the guards. Depending on the game setup you choose, the amount of challenge at performing this task may vary. Games played using the Office setup are recommended for beginning players, as it uses a smaller building and a limited number of tile types, while the Bank and Knox setups prove significantly more difficult.
To help you surmount these challenges, your heist crew is full of specialists with their own unique abilities. The Hawk can scope out tiles through walls, for example, while having The Spotter lets you check out the guards' next movements. There are also certain tiles that can grant bonuses like extra stealth points or equipment to help you better pull off the job.
The turn-based stealthing of Burgle Bros is quite fun, but it's also ruthlessly difficult. Even on the Office setup, completing a game can be quite the challenge. Most of this has to do with the fact that Burgle Bros relies quite a bit on luck for players to be successful.
Cracking vaults requires dice rolls, and guard patrol patterns are determined by drawing a randomly shuffled deck of cards. Although there are certain actions and precautions you can take to increase your odds of success, things can still go south quickly because of bad rolls.
The bottom line
Burgle Bros is a solid board game to play solo or on the same device with friends. It's not a game you'll win a lot, but there's fun in trying to overcome the odds anyway. If you like heisting games and a healthy challenge, this is a worthy purchase.