You and your friends have just become gangsters, pulling off the greatest heist of all time. There's just one problem, how are you going to divide up all the loot you just brought back to the safe house? This is the scenario you find yourself in while playing "Cash n' Guns: Second Edition".
Cash n' Guns is a game for 4-8 people and it takes about 30 minutes to play. It is published by Repos Production and Asmodee Games. In the game, you are a mobster who is just getting back to the drop off spot with your fellow crooks. At the beginning of each round, eight bits of loot that you have stolen as a group are placed in the middle of the table. Equipped with a foam gun, players take cards that say "BANG" or "CLICK" and lay one face down in front of them. You are given five "CLICK" and three "BANG" cards at the start of the game, so you're trying to bluff the other players into thinking you're going to shoot them. The player who is designated "The Boss" for the round counts to three. On three, everyone points their gun at any other player in the game. This is where the game picks up, as you now have to decide whether you want to stay in the round or bow out. If you have 3-4 guns pointed at you, you might choose to sit this round out. Before the BANG/CLICK cards are revealed, "The Boss" will count to three again, and if you want out of the round, you tip over your character to show you're out of the running for the loot this round. Anyone who pointed their gun at you, as well as yourself, now discards your CLICK/BANG card without showing it, so people don't know what was used.
If someone played a "BANG" card and has their gun pointed at you, and you stay in the round, you're shot and take a wound. Three wounds and you're out of the game completely. Also, if you get shot, you don't get any of the loot from that round. If someone who pointed their gun at you played a "CLICK" card, and you stay in the round, nothing happens and you get to take part in the loot grab. If you're "The Boss" and you have a gun pointed at you, you can tell one person to point at someone else. I mean, it pays to be "The Boss"... After all of this is resolved, starting with "The Boss" (if they're still in the round), players go around the table drafting the loot one piece at a time. Depending how many people survived the round, you might get one piece, you might get three or four or all eight.
Now for the loot. There are varying bills from $5k, $10k and $20k. There are pieces of art, which are worth escalating amounts as many as you collect. For example, if you get one it's $4,000, for two you get $12,000. If you get all 10 during the game, which is 99.9 percent impossible, you will earn $500k at the end of the game. There are diamonds of varying values, and whoever has the most diamonds at the end of the game gets an extra $60k. One piece of loot will get rid of all of your wounds, and another will let you exchange a "click" card for a discarded "bang" card, giving you a little more firepower. Last, but certainly not least, you can pick up the desk card and become "The Boss" for the next round. The game is played in eight rounds and whoever has highest value of loot at the end of the game wins.
The components that come in the game are of an excellent quality. The foam guns are thick and sturdy. It would take a little doing to rip or break them. The guns, as you can see in the pictures above, are black with an orange tip. In the first edition of Cash n' Guns, the guns were bright orange, but now you get a little more realistic black gun (with the safety orange tip). That's probably for the best, so that you don't break this game out in public and people think an actual Mexican Standoff is taking place. The loot cards are made of a very solid quality, so that they're not going to be too easy to bend. The smaller bang/click cards don't seem as thick of a card, and could bend over time if you're not too careful.
The only issue I have with the quality of components are of the clips that hold up the character and boss desk. The clips are too tight for the thickness character stand-ups, so I've had a few start to peel a little at the bottom in trying to get them on. However, now that the clips are on, I'm not taking them off, so that shouldn't be a problem from here on out. The game also comes with "power" cards. If you want to play with them, you deal one out to each player before the game and it gives everyone a special ability. For example, one lets you take five wounds instead of three, another lets you choose what type of loot a player CAN'T choose that round, etc. They're fun to use if you want something extra in the game, but you don't need them at all for the game to be enjoyable.
Cash n' Guns: Second Edition
, in my opinion, is a must have in your collection for games to play at a party. Even after the one play through this weekend, I've already heard friends I played with recommending it to other people. It is silly fun in a box. It's like reliving scenes from Reservoir Dogs, or that Jeremy Renner skit from SNL. The loot comes out on the table and there is a brief moment where everyone looks to see what's out there, then you just catch everyone eyeing all the other players as if to say, "don't you dare, I WILL shoot you." One of our friends played a Russian Roulette style, where he didn't look at any of his bang/click cards before playing them. It was an interesting strategy, and kept you on your toes if he pointed at you, because neither of you knew what was going to happen next. Also, the moment where "The Boss" counts to three and everyone points their guns is full of laughs. Everyone is looking around assessing their own personal threat level, while trying to figure out their next move.
I cannot recommend Cash n' Guns: Second Edition any higher. I had gotten tired of Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity as party games. I wanted something with a little more gameplay and strategy than your normal party game, but still lighthearted and easy to understand. This is going to be a game I put in my car if I'm going to hang out with friends, just in case. You could certainly play this game in the parking lot of Commonwealth Stadium while waiting to head inside, beer in one hand, toy gun in the other. Just be careful of police trolling though the lot...
If I had one disclaimer, it would be this: if you are uncomfortable with the idea of pointing foam toy guns at someone else, then this game is certainly not for you.
The game retails for $39.99, but you can get it online for around $27-32 (plus shipping), depending on where you look. I bought my copy at The Rusty Scabbard
out on Lane Allen in Lexington, and they still had a couple of copies after I purchased mine. I'll always encourage first to support your local game store before trying to find the game online. If you pick up the game, or have played it, let me know what you think in the comments or on Twitter: @FunkhouserKSR