Ted Cheatham: Review of Out of Gears

Out of Gears

Publisher: Red Glove

Designer: Andrea Nani

Players: 2-8


Air Supply said it best, “I’m all out of gears. I’m so lost without you…..”  So, fire up your robot self and go get some of those missing gears in this fairly quick, light filler.

Here’s how it works:

First we set up the board based on the number of players. There are a number of locations in the game that equal the number of players (up to eight players).  So, if four players chose robots 2, 3, 5, and 8, there would be four locations, specifically location 2, 3, 5, and 8 to match the robot numbers.

Next, each player  places their gears face down in the center of the table where they are mixed and randomly two gears are placed in each active location.  On subsequent rounds, we add one gear to each location until all of the gears are gone.  You score two points for your own gears and one point for everyone else’s.

1.       Program your robot.  You will play one number card and one action card all secretly and simultaneously.

a.       Attack card.  If you play another player’s number with the attack card, you attack them.  If they are undefended, you take all of the gears they are carrying (tied players split).  If you play your own number with the attack card, you are defending yourself.  If someone attacked you, you may steal one gear from them.

b.      Harvest.  Your number card played indicates what location you want to take all of the face up gears (ties are split).

c.       Trap. The number card you play with the trap indicates which location has been trapped.  If another player attempted to harvest at your trap location, they are thwarted and you take all of the gears there yourself (ties are split).  However, if no one tried to harvest in the location that you have trapped, you will get nothing.

2.       Activate robots.  Here we apply attacks, traps, and harvests.

3.       Assemble gears.  If you are carrying three or more gears, you may move two of them to your circuit board where they are safe for the rest of the game.  The one exception to this rule is if you successfully defend and attack you may steal from what the attacker is carrying or from their circuit board.

4.       Explore.  This is where we replenish the gears on the board.

It really is this simple and straight forward.  Walter is carrying 3 gears and two of them are mine.  Perhaps I should attack him.  He will think that I am going to attack and defend, so maybe I better harvest the small location because no one will try to go there, etc.  As a result of this continual blind bidding/bluffing/stabbing style, the game really seems to work much better with more players.  There are rule variants for playing with less than four people to add a little more interaction.  If you don’t mind the chaos of blind bidding and are looking for a filler that will handle eight people, this is a decent distraction for 20 minutes.

 Dale Yu’s Opinion: I’ve played this one three or four times now, and it was an enjoyable enough experience.   The secret and simultaneous gets a bit repetitive, but the game lasts 15-20 minutes, so it doesn’t outstay its welcome. My kids enjoyed the constant tension of trying to guess what the other players were wanting to do.  Not something I’d play often with the gamers in my group, but it’s a keeper with the kids.


Love it:

Like it: Ted C., Dale Yu


Not for me:

About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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