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Review: Burgle Bros. (PC)

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Simple and effective

Co-op games make me happy. Although I'm always down for a good competitive experience, there's something about teaming up with people, whether it's dear friends or strangers, and putting your heads together to solve a common problem.

Burgle Bros. is one of my favorite realizations of that concept, even if the digital conversion is a little rough around the edges.

Burgle Bros. (Android, iOS, PC [reviewed]) 
Developer: Fowers Games
Publisher: Fowers Games
Released: November 29, 2017 (PC)
MSRP: $4.99

Think of Burgle Bros. as a re-creation of Oceans 11. Born as a tabletop game first and foremost, the idea is that you'll be guiding four characters by way of a randomized tile-based board to a treasure located in a multi-floor building, then escaping on the roof. Tiles might include helpful locations like stairs to traverse to the next floor, or more often than not, security devices that draw enemies closer. Guards are patrolling all the while, and after being "caught" (read: sharing the same space as them) a certain number of times, you're out of the game. No ifs ands or buts, even if one person is caught, it's lights out.

Burgle Bros. thrives on the idea of multiple playthroughs for several reasons -- you can bring several archetypes in for extra bonuses and mess with a bunch of different combinations therein, each board is unique every time you play it, and it's hard. This is just an estimate, but I'd say that at first, you'll maybe win 10% of the time. Every action counts in the end, and even not taking actions can spring random events that you'll need to deal with. As always, the digital version will take care of all of this for you, including tile placement, guard movements, and said random events.

It's a lot of work! To win, first you need to find the safe, get the combination by uncovering the tiles that make up its row or column, then spend actions rolling dice to unlock it, grab the actual item (which debuffs/weakens you in some way), then escape. Having searched far and wide for a rewarding co-op games that are tough to crack, I appreciate designer Tim Fowers' efforts here.

To add some flair, the aforementioned team concept involves crew members who have certain set of skills. The Acrobat can avoid guards, the Peterman excels at cracking safes, and the Hawk can look through walls. In this digital rendition you're controlling all four characters on a single device, which allows for an element of pass and play or use of screen-sharing tools to "play online" -- but there's no default option for it.

It's one of those games you feel like playing "just one more round" of, especially after a spectacular failure, and you can approach it with multiple points of view. Sometimes I'd get a tileset where I could rush to a certain point with plenty of room to move around in, and with others, I'd have to slowly make my way through a labyrinth of walls that would trap my crew in. To deal with that I'd try to manipulate the guard's path or bring in anti-guard characters to crawl around in those hard to reach areas.

There's no easy way to say this, Burgle Bros. isn't all that flashy in digital form. The menus have a very basic Flash presentation, as do the tutorial messages that tend to blend with the rest of what's happening on-screen, and the animations are rudimentary. Also again, there's no online play or true multiplayer of any kind, it's up to you to facilitate that manually by swapping players in and out of the hotseat.

In spite of all that, the spirit of Burgle Bros. is here, and the foundation for this tabletop crime spree is rock solid.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]

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Burgle Bros. reviewed by Chris Carter

8

GREAT

Impressive effort with a few noticeable problems holding it back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.
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Chris Carter
Chris CarterReviews Director, Co-EIC   gamer profile

Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! ------------------- T... more + disclosures


 


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