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The Bank Job

This is a social deduction 'pass the parcel' game for 2-6 players where you'll need to try to work out what identities other players have and you need manipulate the loot so that you don't end up with a losing stash.

In The Bank Job, designed by Keith Wilcoxon, players are each dealt an assigned role, each with their own special ability that can be used once per round in place of an ordinary action. Players are also dealt a facedown card that tells them whether they are Crew or whether they are The Rat or The Snake... Players are dealt four Loot cards each and they place two face down in their safe and two face up in their bag. Three cards are placed face down to form 'the score'. In each of the game's seven rounds (representing the seven days of the week), players will choose the two actions they will take to variously peek at a facedown card or switch cards. Players first program their morning action and then the follow the descending play order of the AM actions to determine the afternoon choices. This offers some interesting player choices: you may deliberately choose a potentially weaker AM action in order to secure first pick of the PM actions...

The hidden identities each have their own victory conditions: The Rat wins if the Diamond and Tracker cards both end up with the same player; The Snake wins if they have the Diamond. If the Rat or Snake don't win, then the winner is the Crew member with the highest value of Loot, except that they must not have either the Diamond or Tracker and their Loot value must not be higher than in 'the score'.

This all makes for an initially chaotic game of deception and bluff but where players' choices offer clues to their identities. Of course, playing with a full complement of six players will mean all the roles are in play. The unusual feature of The Bank Job, compared with the majority of other hidden role games, is that the rules don't otherwise predetermine which roles are in play: in a four-player game, for example, you could have a Rat, a Snake and two Crew members but it's equally possible you could be playing with four Crew members. This adds an extra frisson to the game: great for fuelling players' paranoia!

There's a memory element in this 30-minute game as players try to keep track of the facedown cards, and the tension accelerates in an end-game that's feels like a reversal of the 'find the lady' card trick, as you try to avoid being left, for example, holding the Diamond - unless you happen to be The Snake...

Brains & Brawn Gaming are bringing The Bank Job to Kickstarter right now. Click here to check out the campaign.

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