Gang Up! A Criminally Fun Card Game
- Designers: Robin Keizer and Paul van der Meer
- Publisher: HOT Games/Czacha Games
- Players: 3-5
- Ages: 10 and Up
- Time: 30 – 60 minutesTimes Played: 2, with a copy provided by one of the designers
Gang Up! A Criminally Fun Card Game is a card game where players compete to be the boss and have the toughest gang. Players start the game with a hand of 6 cards. These cards can either be gangster cards, which you recruit to form your gang, or influence cards that can help your gang achieve their criminal goals. Players also start the game with 5 status; you need status to recruit gang members, exert influence and commit crimes and being the first to achieve a status of 20 will win you the game.
The game starts with a number of gangsters equal to the number of players In jail on the table On your turn you draw a card from the resource pile (gangsters and influence cards shuffled together). You then may play as many gangsters from their hand as they are able. In order to play a gangster you must have at least the amount of status listed on the gangster card; you don’t spend the status – you just need to have it. You may also choose to trade one of the gangster cards in your hand with one of the gangster cards in jail; the card you take from jail must have a lower status requirement than the card you are exchanging and can be played immediately if you have the status.
Once you are done playing gangsters you decide whether you are ready to commit a crime. If you are not, draw a card, discard down to 8 cards and your turn ends.
If you are feeling criminal, you draw a card from the crime deck. The crime card will list the manpower requirements to successfully commit the crime. Each gangster in your play area counts as 1. You can also ask another player to be your ally and negotiate with them as to what they will provide; the ally then contributes the agreed-upon number of cards. You may also add influence cards that boost your odds of success; other players may play influence cards that will make the crime harder for you to complete.
If you decide you cannot commit the crime you discard the crime card, draw a card and end your turn. If you decide to play it, you announce a crime is in progress and there is no going back; you cannot add or remove any gangsters. Other players can play influence cards that will make the crime harder; once everyone is done playing cards you determine the outcome. If you have sufficient manpower both you and your ally gain the status points and any benefits listed on the crime card. If you do not have enough manpower both you and your ally lose the amount of status points on the card and suffer any penalty that is listed on the card. You then draw a card and end your turn. The game ends as soon as a player gets to 20 status points.
I enjoyed the game. The rules and the instructions on the card are clear, and the artwork is good and fits the theme well. The influence cards and special abilities of the gangsters make things interesting and the ability to play cards on anyone’s turn keeps the downtime to a minimum. I found it a little bit frustrating to not be able to plan for a crime that you are going to commit, as it is a random draw, but since you can choose to discard the crime once you draw it this was a minor concern. You also could have several turns early on where you cannot commit a crime and thus cannot increase your status to get better gangsters, so the start of the game can seem a little slow. Since other players can play cards that adversely affect your crime, there is a definite backstabbing/” take that!” feel to the game. If there is someone who would take that personally, this is probably not the game for them; if you don’t mind a little chaos and treachery in your games, this is a light, fun card game that plays in about 30 minutes.
I like it