Dirty Squad: Crime Themed Bluffing Game
|Game: Dirty Squad||Time: 30 minutes|
|Publisher: BINCA||Players: 3-5|
|Age: 12+||Replayability: 8/10|
Dirty Squad is a game for 3- 5 players that includes bluffing, power cards, and a crime theme into one 20 minute gameplay. The game comes with over 100 cards and introduces the rules through a thematic crime portfolio. Throughout the game, you (as a crooked cop) are helping killers escape from being questioned by stating that you are letting go of character types (such as bystanders, victims, family members, etc) and disguising the killer as one of them (similar to Sheriff and sneaking contraband into the city). However, if you get called out, you will not only lose the killer you tried to help escape to the person who called you out’s custody, you’ll lose valuable medals used to help you catch your opponents’ killers fleeing and also for helping your killers escape. At the end of the game, the player with the most escaped killers wins!
I played dirty squad with two other players. This is an awesome bluffing game where you were supposed to free as many killers as you can from being detained and questioned (cards from your hand) and helping them escape. On my first turn, I grabbed three tokens. I wanted to make sure that I had enough token to call out my opponent in case he was trying to get some bluff and help some killers escape. My opponent followed up my turn by grabbing tokens as well. This made sense because even if we started with three, we don’t want to lose an opportunity to call each other out. When I started again, I pulled two innocent bystanders out of my hand and stated “two innocent bystanders”, my opponent could now decide if he thinks I am bluffing with one or more of these cards being killers, or he could assume I am telling the truth. He thought I was lying (which I was not yet both cards were honestly bystanders), and he had to pay me three tokens for calling me on a truth. In the strategy I was using, I was not ready to play any of the killers from my hand, my strategy instead was to drain his token supply so I can push the killers into an escape without having him have the option to call my bluff. Fast forward, at this point, I have helped a couple killers escape from my hand as well as stolen a killer from my opponent (which is in my custody until I free them from a power card I used). On my turn, I played five tokens onto the killer in my custody which helped him escape (told you tokens were valuable). My opponent pulled the bang power card, which kills a killer who recently escaped (so i guess I wasted my five tokens because my opponent played a solid card…) When the game ended, I had nine killers in my escape while my opponent had six (I know this is a three player game but it was easier for me to write notes on two of us rather than the three of us–I don’t know why).
I think this is a great game for three or more players and I think the bluffing aspect of it is also great. What I’ve noticed with my experience with bluffing games is that of the bluffing games I’ve played, they are normally experienced through small or micro sets. Coup, Saboteur, Resistance–they all offer small amounts of pieces for high replay value. Dirty Squad follows the route of Sheriff, which offers a large amount of content but does a great job delivering a game play worth the extended amount of content given. I feel a lot of games suffer from fillers and over excessive content like throwaway action cards or strangely fitted game plots. I am happy with the outcome of my Dirty Squad experience. One thing I did not like about the game was how many cards there were to shuffle (so yes, a onetime problem), the shuffle took a while because there are a lot of action and character cards to mix together. But after that initial shuffle, the following shuffles are more just mixing up the doubles we paired together through earlier plays. One thing I loved was the immersive rule book that came in a case portfolio. I loved how thematic the game keeps readers as they learn how to play the game.
You will like this game if you want a bluffing game that is easy to learn and offers power cards.