Who can steal the most valuable loot in our mad dash to escape safely over the bridge?
Publisher: Daily Magic Games
Designer: Nick Sibicky
Artist: Denis Martynets
Game Type: Card Drafting, Set Collection
Initial Year of Release: 2017
Age Range: 14+
Expected Playtime: 10
Number of Players: 2-5
Theme and What is it?
The wise wizard Alazar has some interesting things locked away in his tower. Sadly for him, he is not home right now. He is off doing important things, like saving the world from an evil artificer. This is the perfect opportunity for you and I. We are those with larceny in our hearts. But we have no great love for each other, only for the treasure contained within these walls. Who can steal the most valuable loot in our mad dash to escape safely over the bridge?
To start the round, each player receives a single treasure that the other players do not get to know about. This could be pure deal from the deck or using a draft system to add a bit more strategy. On their turn, each thief picks an artifact card on their current floor or any floor below them to add to their treasure stash. The first thief to choose not to loot any more and escape over the bridge at the bottom gets a bonus. The last to escape gets a penalty.
Once all the looting is finished, players compare their stashed loot to see who wins each of the scoring tiles down the side of the board. Each type of artifact has a color and symbol, the player with the most of these gets the scoring tile for that type. If there is a tie, neither receives anything. The numbers on the artifacts also matter as they have scoring tiles as well. And finally there is a bonus for the player with the least cursed cards and a penalty for having the most cursed cards.
10 minute heist is one of the few games that lists a time in the title that actually delivers on its word. Even for a first time play, it was relatively easy for players to make decisions about what sets they wanted to collect and which sets were a lost cause for them. The dynamic with multiple players was very unique. Do you just focus only on your own artifacts and let everyone else do exactly the same? Or do you and another opponent conspire together to use some turns taking artifacts someone else needs so that it ends in a tie with no one scoring the points? Quite a lot of decision making points for such a short and simple to learn game.
Game Build Quality
The cards and scoring tiles are perfect for a game of this size and duration. The little thief avatars do not have very consistent stands since they are punchouts. Some of them punched really nicely and fit snugly. But a few of them didn’t quite fit perfectly so that when you grab the thief by their body, the base falls off. Use caution when first punching them so they wont get even slightly bent in the process. I wish they had included the little black circular stands that hold standees tighter. I pulled a few out from a different game to use for future plays.
Each type of artifact has some unique themes to the art. I was very pleased with how the numbers/types matched with the most appealing artwork cards. There are very strong themes within the art style favoring lighting effects and vaporous smoke effects. Those elements of artwork are exceptionally hard to do right and every card gives exactly the intended effect.
There are two main things that make this game so much fun. The first is a very simple thing, bluffing. Grabbing an artifact that doesn’t quite make sense unless your hidden card supports that goal can force other players into being overly cautious and picking up way more cards than they needed. In particular, tricking them into taking a curse card in the process is tremendously fun.
The second main point of fun is determining when to jump further down in the tower. If two players are fearful of losing a particularly juicy item a line or two down, they risk leaving the other players to collect every single worthwhile card in a slow roll to the bottom. How many things can you leave behind? How do you score more than just 2 categories you went all in on? This is the real meat of 10 Minute Heist.
Age Range & Weight
14+ ??? Why? This is a simple, fun game. It has very simple set collection rules and mostly visible scoring. It offers some good decision making, but nothing that would be frustrating to a younger audience. I think this would be likely to play just fine with children at a much younger age. 8 would be my gut instinct for a starting age. Perhaps it is attempting to be highly conservative about the theme involving theft in general?
10 Minute Heist fits in a very small box. This makes it easily portable. It has a low playtime and is very easy to teach in a minute or so. This makes it highly accessible and great for game days away from home. I wish the card display didn’t take quite so much room on the table as it could be an on the go filler game if it was less spread out when setup.
This is the perfect type of game to play when waiting for another player to show up for game day. Or when you have just a little bit longer left in the night and want to squeeze in a little more play. For me, this is one I intend to pull out for some of the other players to engage in during downtime during game days. Sometimes I have a lot of setup steps to deal with or need to teach one new player. While I do, the others can often finish an entire game of 10 Minute Heist.
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