Hey folks! Back again with another game. This time we’ve pulled off the big heist. The boss is splitting the loot, but is it a fair split? Maybe I should skim some off the top or rob another player of their personal stash. Did I mention we’re all anthropomorphic animals? We’re looking at Goodcritters. It’s a game designed by Fabian Zimmermann and produced by Arcane Wonders. It’s a simultaneous action selection voting game for 4-8 players and players in about 20-30 minutes. The player with the most loot at the end of the game wins.
The game comes with 140 loot cards, 40 action selection cards, 40 payoff cards, 16 payoff tokens, 8 player tokens, 1 boss token, 1 fuzz card, and the rules.
To start, everyone will select a player marker and take the corresponding action selection cards. There are 5 cards in each players action selection deck. Take 5 payoff tokens and 2 matching payoff tokens for your color. Next, each player will receive a loot card of 2, 3, 4, and 5,000 value to start their personal stash.
Next, depending on the player count, shuffle the loot cards and separate them into the determined number of roughly equal piles. Take the fuzz card and shuffle it into the appropriate pile. Stack those up in order, and you’re ready to start the game.
Pick a boss. This is the person who is going to split the loot. They draw cards from the loot deck equal to the number of players plus two. Everyone gets to look at the loot pile. Look at the glory that is the loot. The art, jewelry, cash, or gems. This is the Show the Loot phase.
Next is the Distribute the Loot phase. You guessed it, it’s where the boss distributes the loot. They can distribute it how they please. They can hand it out fairly and equally. They can skip a player. Maybe they weren’t a good lookout and let the fuzz almost bust them. The only rule during this phase is that all the loot cards needs to be distributed.
Players don’t get that loot in front of them though. They have to first come to terms with how to boss is doing. The next phase is choose an action phase. First, you can threaten another player. You move your player token in front of another player. This will let you rob from another player if you pick that action. It could also bluff a player into picking a card to protect themselves.
The five cards in your deck are as follows.
- Yes card, play this and you agree with the boss and how they split the loot.
- No card, play this and you disagree with how the boss split the loot.
- Skim card, be the first player to play this card and you draw from the loot deck to add to your private stash.
- Rob card, play this card when you move your player token in front of another player and you steal a random card from their private stash to add to your private stash.
- Guard card, play this card and it protects you from being robbed, and instead you do the robbing.
You simultaneously pick your action while other players are picking theirs. These are selected face down and hidden from other players. A player can also use payoff cards and tokens to try and sway the vote of another player. Place the amount of payoff cards you want to pay another player and the Yes or No token on top of it in front of a player. If that player plays that card, they take that cash. If they don’t you keep that cash. Pay off cards get added at the end of the game to your total. Take more payoffs, get more money.
In the next phase, you resolve the cards. Starting with the boss and going clockwise, you resolve the cards each player selected. The “Yes” and “No” cards are important. After the cards resolve, you look and see if the current boss remains the boss or gets over thrown. If there are more “Yes” cards than “No” cards, the boss remains the boss and everyone keeps their loot cards that were divvied out. If there were more “No” cards than “Yes” cards, the boss is over thrown. All the divvied out loot cards go back to the center of the pile and the first player clockwise after the boss to vote “No” becomes the new boss. They reveal two more loot cards, divvy out the loot, and start the round again. If there are equal “Yes” and “No” cards, it is a tie. Everyone keeps the loot divvied out, but the boss shifts to the next player clockwise from the current boss. Every time a round is started, all players retrieve their player token and their action cards.
This goes on until the Fuzz, The Poe Poe, The Five-O, The Heat, Johnny Law, The Boys in Blue, Bobbies, Mounties, Smokey, The Man, The Brass, or Coppers show up. So when a fox and rabbit show up, the game is immediately over. Everyone counts what loot they acquired over the rounds. Highest amount wins.
So, this is a game of stealing, bluffing, threatening, and trying to become the richest criminal. I like bluffing games, I like the shenanigans that comes with player interaction of splitting the loot. I really liked this game. It reminded me of Sheriff of Nottingham, produced by the same company, but more of a party game feel. I say that and hopefully don’t turn anyone off of this game. I really enjoyed it. Like I said, I liked the bluffing aspect of moving your threat token in front of another player to try and force them to guard. I liked the skim card and trying to be the first one to play that. If you’re the Boss, do you try and stay the boss by playing a “Yes” card, or do you skim the top? Being the Boss the most doesn’t make you the winner either. There’s some strategy to trying to divvy out the cards equally, and please everyone. However, doing so doesn’t put you in the lead. Give one player too much loot, and make the other players mad and vote “No.” Or completely skipping over one of the players is hysterical. I liked the bribe part of the game. It says it’s optional, but I feel like it should always be included. I love the player interaction. People ganging up on the Boss, bribing other players to vote to over throw his power, while secretly trying to get the first skim card themselves. The art is great. A lot of it repeats, but it all fits with the theme. I like how the characters are animals. Like I said before, it reminds me of Zooptopia, and in that movie was a crime boss. Now, this isn’t a Disney game, but I might be able to sell it to non-gamer Disney fans as a Zootopia game and reel them into modern board games. The gripe I have with this game is actually the insert. It’s basically a throw away insert. Once you get everything punch out, it doesn’t fit inside the factory insert. I had to ditch it, and go with my own organization. Now, I didn’t mind this, since it’s what I do normally, but if it’s not something you enjoy then this will probably frustrate you. Overall, there were enough laughs, scheming, and looting for me to keep this game in my collection. I’d recommend this to people who like bluffing and voting games. The social interaction in this game really makes it a keeper for me.
There is a set of promo cards you can add to the loot deck. These have a value and an action you can turn them in to preform. These range from reversing “Yes” and “No” votes, using one as a bribe, choosing the new boss, or swapping two loot cards after the loot has been split. These cards are mixed into the loot deck, and once they are gained, they are kept secret in your personal stash. They can be robbed at this point. When you use one, you reveal it, and leave it face up in front of you. From that point on, they can’t be robbed, but still count as your total at the end of the game. These add some nice variety to the game. I like the abilities to change things up. The reversing votes can be handy. If you stack things in your favor as the boss, making sure the other players vote “No” you can play that to stay in another round. If you decide on purchasing this game, I would look at getting a couple of sets of the promos to add the variety and more take that to this game.