Julian is back here for another card game review of the month and this time, It is Master Thief by SPARR GAMES and published by Breaking Games.
To give a short background, this game began as a kickstarter and within time, over 1000 backers pledged this game for it to be developed with a total amount of $47,321 making it one of the fastest growing kickstarters for a card game of all time.
This game can be played between 3-6 players and it comes with 112 cards, 1 instruction sheet, and room for expansion booster packs which you can bus seperatly. The object of the game is to try to steal the highest valuable items from the museum and at the same time, you can try to sabotage your opponents from doing the same thing that you are. You have to escape without getting caught and while I was playing this with a few friends, I noticed the tension rising as we were near the point of getting caught.
I would also like to bring up that I like the design of the cards and the artwork. Especially the Museum cards with the colorful holographic effects. The Thief Cards (white) are actions, the Museum Cards (black) are treasures and some of them are security cards, and the Calling Cards (grey) are objective cards for the player to reach a goal.
To begin, you have to shuffle and scatter the Museum Cards face-down in a pile at the middle of tyhe table or playing area. The Thief Cards are in a deck to draw format next to the museum. The Calling Cards are also placed face down in a deck draw format as well next to the museum. Each player draws 4 Thief Cards and one Calling Card. Be sure to not show the cards to your opponent since your moves should catch them off guard. When the game begins, a “heist” starts as all players steal one card from the Museum pile at the same timne and then place the card that they stolen face up infront of them. Every player has to do this when their turn begins also while the game goes on. If a security card is drawn, you will have to go straight to immediate action and the player’s turn ends (also to note, if this type of card is drawn during the “heist”, your turn will not end). The action to prevent the Security Card’s effect is that going counterclockwise from the player who pulled the card, the next player will have to give up one of their treasures and after that, the Security Card and the item will go back into the pile. You are also allowed to play as many Thief Cards as you like per turn, as long as it is not more of the same titled thief card. Also, you are only allowed 4 Thief Cards in your hand per turn and you have a carrying limit of four items as well.
There are a few ways for the game to end. If the Thief Card deck has run out of cards to draw, the game ends. Escaping the museum is another way to end the game as you can actually do that at any end of the turn by revealing your Calling Card and if that sucessfully works, all of your Carried and Stashed items will count towards your final Black Market Credits total score. If your opponents do not stop you from escaping, then you are free to go with your items. But keep your score a secret until the game has fully ended. Also, if you are the final player inside the museum, you must escape after your final turn. One final way the game can end is that you accumulate 3 Security Strikes and when this happens, anyone still in play drops all of their carried items back to the Museum pile since they have failed to escape the Museum. When the players have been caught or escaped, everyone counts up their individual totals and the player with the most BMC points wins the game. If there is a tie, the thieves will have to return to the Museum for one final steal and the highest value of points wins.
This card game is very fun to play. It will take a few tries to fully learn the mechanics, but it is not overwhelmingly hard at all. I played this with five people with four games total. The game could end quick or long depends on how long it will take for everyone to get either caught or escape the museum. You will feel like you are on a spy mission while you are playing this game and I recommend this game for any party gathering as you can try to steal from a museum without leaving your house!
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