You surely know all those gangster movies in which thieves run away from the police in a thrilling chase. But this time, on their way to success, gangs will become enemies. Getting across the bridge in one piece with most of stolen finances into your hiding place is main goal. Best thief gets a reward in the form of an adjutant’s position.
And one such bridge will welcome all the players who make it into world of board game Gang Rush Breakout, which was prepared for us by the pair of designers Galladur and Henri Pym. Everyone contributed with their part – the first one is author of the idea, which was then processed by the latter into shape of this game. And Ankama company took the whole idea and published it. Graphics were made by Rémi Farjaud and its a novelty for 2017.
Box has a square shape, but its size does not belong to those classic larger games. On the contrary, it is making its own way being a drop smaller and better to carry. On the lid, we see a really explosive event in which cars fly through the air and trays are getting empty in a split-second. But the game does not disappoint even under the lid. First of all, there is a game board, which consists of a bridge with five lanes. But it also includes a number of cardboard pieces that make it a real treat for the eye. Using them, players complete their gaming environment in which the bridge goes really up and down. And all this is dominated by a large (of course cardboard) construction.
But setup continues with other components. Before the first game, players assemble freight containers from a series of cartons, but also jumpers and above all round pointers. They will be split among the players, but first they have to choose each one of the classic old gangster cars. And it will also determine color of the pointer, which will allow the players not only to monitor speed of their car, but also show damage and symbol in there indicates special skill of that car. They put miniatures on the starting line to determine initial funding. Finally, on the sides, they line up bonus tokens and a set of dice.
The ranking of opponents will determine the order of the cars on the bridge for the first turn. Who is more ahead will start the main stage (in the case of a tie, whoever is standing more to the left). But the round starts by putting up new obstacles and this brings advantages to those, who are left behind at the moment. Players can then choose from five different obstacles (tiles on offer) and place them on any position on the bridge. The only limitation in the rules is that two identical pieces of hazard must never be adjacent.
But then the players will move in the main stage, one after another, as their cars are placed. The first one takes five dice and tries to get the most advantageous set of symbols. He has two rethrow options. Then the icons have to be used and, as a result, first repair or damage their car in the first place. According to this outcome, he turns his pointer so that six holes show one green dot less (or more), than before.
At the same time, this level also corresponds to number of hundreds of dollars the vehicle is able to carry. However, due to the tachometer symbol, the vehicle can also accelerate and player moves its hand one point to the right. In case of a damage rolled, banknote has been lost and should be left in the place, where car is standing.
It is speed, that determines how many spaces player can move his vehicle. These points can be used to move forward or sideways, depending only on the player himself. However to do this, it is necessary to spend not only point of movement but also two symbols of turning rolled on dice. Only one point is sufficient for moving in straight line. But cars always have to avoid obstacles that stand in their way.
In addition, each player also has weapons and can fire with them when the revolver symbol is shown. The bullet always moves forward only in one line and always reaches the first car at an unlimited distance. Gangster can shoot even more times and injure each opponent for one point, and thereby make them lose hundred dollars from their trunk. The shot can also destroy barrier or force the police to do an evasive maneuver.
For their finances in front of themselves (in the form of small cards), players can buy bonuses from the offer. For each unused dice, they collect new hundred dollars if they have space to store them. However, income can also come from positions where it was left by others. On the road the cars can also hurt themselves or against the obstacles around. And as a result, it loses points and dollars with it.
Much more interesting options are special maneuvers, which can be a reaction to unexpected events. Players can stop or even turn their car around. And then they will surely welcome action to return the car in the right direction using handbrake. But this uses even more steering wheel symbols from dice. In addition, a stopped car can spend money and repair itself. On the player’s route, ramps can also be used by drivers to jump. As a result of the impact, their car may (decided by luck) suffer some damage.
Game ends, when one of the cars crosses the finish line and all other players have had opportunity to move their vehicles one more time. They will receive a reward for their position in the race, but it may not be enough to win. Players add up money left in trunk of their machines. Only the one who has the most money becomes the winner. But that does not apply to last competitor in order, who instead earned an unpopular one-way ticket to Alaska from the Mafia boss.
Gang Rush Breakout is a gangster game with everything in it. But its not a soulless shooter or a battle full of betrayal. It’s a purebred race full of shooting, chase, cops, and money. Somewhat in the style of Mafia II or similar computer games.
The theme is really great and perfectly suited to the gameplay. The game is not a dry and uninteresting tactic attempt but is full of unimaginable moments, twists and conflicts with other rivals. This is because the cars are not simply racing on an empty track, but there are many collisions between obstacles and reduced maneuvering space everywhere.
The bridge is always free space at the beginning of the game and is filled only as the game progresses. And that creates differences between each match. The offer of obstacles and bonuses is always different and dice are making another variations. Rear cars have always a large weapon at their disposal in the form of barrier placement (every turn), that their rivals in the lead must avoid or crawl through.
It is these gangster options that are, however, the essential element of the gameplay. Every failure means loss of some banknotes that are then just lying on the bridge and waiting for the one who picks them up first. And shooting belongs to the daily bread of every right criminal, so bullets will not be only some emergency.
Players are clearly forced into conflict because target bonus simply is not enough. Everything, however, is controlled by dice and their successes or, on the contrary, failures. Fortunately, it’s not all that bad, because players have the ability to reroll their results and at least partially transform symbols into their own image.
It is clear that the track requires more cars on the bridge. In the minimum of three, the battle is far from interesting. The more cars, the more obstacles. But it also raises the unpredictability that can spoil the game for some players.
What, on the other hand, is great? We are talking about processing. The game looks fantastic on the table and it’s not just the toy cars but the overall environment. And yet we have a single complaint that is a bit wasteful – the banknotes are so terribly small and thin that manipulation with them is really unpleasant. Due to the amount of cardboard material in the game, it’s surprising what lead the game publishers to include such incompatible content.
Gang Rush Breakout is a very interesting gangster game. Players will compete in non-traditional way on a bridge, in cars, with weapons in their hands. But at the same time, they struggle not only with each other, but also with luck of dice, and in particular with dirty banknotes, which make their lives uncomfortable. This all makes Gang Rush Breakout just the right entertainment for many.
Gang Rush Breakout takes you among gangsters. And as in every good mafia movie, money is the main thing you care about. On the run, the players try to lose as little as possible from their cash, but still being fast and avoid obstacles. Mixing racing, dice, shooting and placing traps makes this game a very interesting act, which is spoiled only by few minor problems. But overall it can be largely praised. It also comes with variable hazards and bonus tokens as well as different car powers. Gang Rush Breakout just really surprised and amused us.