He Turned It Sideways! Kill Shot! That's A Kill Shot! - Cash & Guns 2nd Edition Review

It's been a while since I reviewed a party game and it's dawned on me that I really don't own enough party games in my collection, yet I enjoy them a great deal. This will be something I intend to rectify as there are some classics out there and it's easier to teach them to friends of mine who aren't big gamers.

Now this is a game I've wanted to give a try for a long time but it was never around in my area and then it went out of print. But now we have the 2nd Edition, all brand new and shiny . . . . . well as shiny as black foam guns can get I suppose. Now some will argue that this isn't a party game and in all fairness I can see where you're coming from, but in my humble opinion I feel that this game is crazy and laugh-filled enough that it meets the criteria.

So was it worth the wait and does it play well? Time to find out, but as a side disclaimer I will not be going into the differences between the first and second edition as I've not played the first one. But I'll likely be right in assuming that if you own the first one, you won't be too desperate to pick up the revised version so I'm talking from the perspective of a brand new player to Cash and Guns.


"Despite the theme of shooting each other, you can tell this is meant to be taken VERY lightly"

Designer: Ludovic Maublanc
Publisher: Repos Production
# of Players: 4-8
Ages: 10+
Play Time: 30 minutes
BGG Rank/Rating: 1284 / 7.51
Dice Tower 2013 People’s Choice Rank: n/a
Category: Take That Party Game
  
Mexican Standoff

The game is played over 8 rounds which play exactly the same. Each player chooses a character, takes a special power card which is their own personal ability for the game and then takes 3 "Bang" cards and 5 "Click" cards to represent their bullets.

8 loot cards are dealt out which range from dollar bills to diamonds to paintings, etc and then the current Godfather counts down from 3. When time is up, each player places a bullet card face down and points their foam gun at another player. The Godfather has the opportunity to force one other player to change his target, which generally is used as a protection tactic.

"Nice and sturdy foam guns, but don't take liberties with that - I hope I never break one!"

After another countdown, each player must choose whether he's going to stay in the round or chicken out and hide under the table (not literally). If they leave, they take no further part in the round or looting. Those that stay behind reveal their bullet cards and any "Bang"'s revealed will deal a wound to whoever they were shooting at. Take 3 wounds and you're eliminated from the game.

Rinse and repeat this routine until either 8 rounds elapse or only one player is left standing. Those who are still living by the end count up all of their loot and the winner is the one with the least amount of money. . . . . . . . . ok I'm lying, of course it's the player with the most!!

I Know What You're Thinking Punk. . . . . 

The mechanics of the game don't sound that exciting on paper, but this is one of those games where you have to experience it and really get into it. The second you open this game to people and show a bunch of toy guns you get the strangest looks possible, but it doesn't take long for them to start succumbing to the inevitable pull of trash talking your friends at gunpoint - what does that say about us as gamers I wonder?

It's ridiculously simple to teach and with the rinse and repeat nature of the rounds, there is no reason why anyone should be confused about what to do. The rules are so streamlined and easy to follow. You can make it even easier by leaving out the player powers, but at your own peril, those player powers really ramp up the chaos factor in the game and give you your own personality.

"Not to say you don't invent your own personality with the wealth of random characters"

Bluffing is the name of Cash & Guns though. Only three of your eight bullets will hurt anyone so you have to psyche people out of the round if you're conserving your live ammo. It's great to have two people pointing their guns at one another and watch as they try to scare the other one away!

But you also have some tactics to play as well. The loot is taken in a Round-Robin style at the end from the Godfather onwards, so if you're sitting far away, you might feel like opting out of the round or you'll direct your gun at someone in between to try and close the gap.

On top of that the special loot (paintings and diamonds) will grant bigger rewards if the player can take plenty of them. If you're seeking them out, you'll want to opt in every round where they appear, but if you know someone else is harvesting them, point your gun to them, and while you're at it, coax a couple of buddies to do the same, why not, give it a try?

Public Enemy Number 1

You're going to want to play Cash & Guns with as many players as possible. You can go as low as four, but only do that with complete strangers. If you get singled out as a target constantly it's going to grate those who get angry easily in games as if you're been shot by multiple players, there's little chance you're going to survive a stand-off - this is most definitely an issue when you're teaching three close friends, one of whom is your girlfriend from experience!!

This game is best played with a minimum of 6 players so that there's plenty of choice for people to choose as a target. It's also a fun sight to see 8 grown men and women pointing toy guns at each other, quoting from every action cliche movie from the 90's that they've seen in their life.

"Lots of different loot cards from money to diamonds to ammo to med-kits!"

If there's any flaw with this game, it's that it's highly dependent on the group. If the group gets into the game and doesn't seek to simply gang up on one guy continuously then you'll have a blast. But anyone who's just sitting there going through the motions or not getting into the theme, is just going to drag it down. Granted other games have this issue, but in Cash and Guns, there's not much left in the game if you're not enjoying pulling guns on people!

Verdict

Cash and Guns is a great party game for the end of a gaming session. It's streamlined and can be done and dusted in less than 30 minutes. Some may take objection to the idea of pointing guns and shooting people but the artwork and theme of this game is so cartoon-y and light that it really isn't taking itself seriously and if you take the game too seriously you won't enjoy it.

Be prepared to be the target, just enjoy trash talking your friends and don't forget to twist your gun sideways, that's a kill shot.


You Will Like This Game If:

  • You get into the theme of pointing guns and trash talking.
  • You don't want a complex party game - these rules are so simple and streamlined.
  • Bluffing and player powers are two mechanics you enjoy.

You Will Not Like This Game If:

  • You fear you're going to get ganged up on every game.
  • You can't get a lot of players together, you really want 6 minimum.

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