Larceny Review: Steal the Show at Game Night
by Amy White
The most impressive thing about Waning Gibbous's creation, Larceny, is the flexibility. This 3+ player game could work just as well for a family game night with young kids as it would at an adults-only gathering (and we suspect booze would introduce a fair amount of hilarity as well).
Although booze and kids were both conspicuously absent when the GameSkinny crew cracked open Larceny at a recent company lunch, another positive mark for this card game was that we were able to read rules, play three rounds, and discuss pros and cons in the time it took to order and receive lunch for our table.
Readers familiar with Apples to Apples (also easy to play with kids) or it's hilariously sinister cousin, Cards Against Humanity (which you shouldn't ever play with kids but are well-advised to play with booze), will almost instantly understand the core gameplay.
One player is named chief.
The chief pulls the Score card to determine the goal of your heist, and the Catch cards that will stand between your team of nere-do-wells and the Score. The role of chief rotates after each heist.
The rest of the players are the crew.
Each member of the crew has a hand of seven Fix cards. These are the tools at their disposal to combat the Catches presented by the chief.
The chief explains the Score and the Catches, while the crew combats the Catches to reach the Score using Fixes from their hands.
Here's where things get really interesting, and it's critical to know your chief. At GameSkinny, we quickly discovered that being able to debate, bluff, or explain your way into the winning Fix is key.
"Of course a horde of confused tourists would distract an armored tank before it reaches the secure gated area. What are they going to do, drive through 'em?"
"There's no way you want to stage a medical emergency - they'll see right through that. The sewers are the way to get our men into the compound."
The chief selects their preferred fixes and describes the plan for the heist.
The crew members with the winning Fixes get a point for each, and the game moves onto the next chief and a new scheme. That's the basic gameplay, but the Larceny guidelines show several other ways to use the deck. Each one looks like it would work well for different groups of players and lengths of play.
That kind of versatility is something I like to see; being something of a merciless nicknack remover, multi-purpose games have far better chances of scoring a spot on the shelf in my living room (and staying there).
Get Your Hands on Larceny If:
You enjoy a good debate
Several of the playstyles in Larceny allow crew members to pitch their fixes individually or as part of a grand scheme. If you long for the days when you were the star of the debate team, you'll really love being a crew member in Larceny.
You like storytelling
Storytellers will love Larceny. Chiefs have the opportunity to set the stage for each heist with drama and flair. When we played, each person put their own spin on it - some just stated the Score and Catches, while others would weave a longer narrative about how they all fit together.
You love mind games
As with other card games of this type, knowing your chief is key. 'Best' fix is very much a subjective judgement call, and it's up to the crew to leverage their knowledge of what the current chief will find clever or funny in order to win.
Room for Improvement
Clarify some of the special cards
Some Fix cards have confusing instructions, especially relating to discard rules. If we can't understand the intent of the card after reading it a few times, it's probably too complicated. That said, while some of the special cards caused a few minor delays while we discarded, they didn't really disrupt the game. They just left us feeling like there was a dimension to the game we were missing.
Overall, a Very Solid Addition to Your Collection
Friendly enough to play as a family, flexible enough to start some heated debates among inebriated or argumentative friends - Larceny will make a good addition to just about any game shelf.
Want to score a copy for yourself? Check out their Kickstarter.
Feeling Lucky? We're Giving Away our Review Copy!
Now that we've played and reviewed Larceny, it's your turn! Comment below if you'd like to take a crack at Larceny, and we'll select one member to get our review copy - free!
GameSkinny staff gives away review copies because it prevents us from drowning in a sea of gifts, prevents us from becoming biased, and lets us give awesome stuff away. Pretty much a win-win-win!