Friday, January 22, 2016

Games Review: Colt Express

So, our attempt to own and play all the Boardgames in the world continues. It has been, and remains, a main source of family entertainment around the house, and with Robert approaching 6 there there is always new games we can try him with. Z has also found a local games club, which we've only managed to get to once (dammit) but looks to be a fun group with lots of opportunity to make me buy new games. Which is pretty cool, it has to be said. So today we'll catch up with one of our recent aquisitions, Colt Express which has had multiple run outs recently.

Colt Express is a game you play on a 3d cardboard train, moving your Train Robber pawns through it to try and loot treasure.  I'll just repeat that - 3d cardboard train. Sold on it yet? It's a pretty cool concept. Just the visuals are pleasing; the train itself, with some stand-up cactus to dot the landscape. The loot tokens, the pawns, even the card designs are really top-notch, and it's a game that just looks like it will be fun. And the best part is, it is fun!

Gameplay consists of a number of rounds each of which has two main phases. In the first phase you all play one an action card from your personal deck into a central pile, one at a time. These can be moving along the train, or onto/off the roof, or shooting, or looting, etc. Sometimes you play these cards face up, so people know what you're doing, sometimes face down, so they don't. Then on the second phase you flip the action deck upside and work through it, everyone doing their actions in order. Sounds simple, right?

Well, no. It quickly gets out of hand as you can be shot, or punched to a different train car than you thought you would be in. The Marshall guarding the train can move, forcing you to run away (and again, not being where you expect to be). If you get shot, you get a "bullet" card that goes into your action deck, so when you draw action cards, there is a chance you'll get useless card. It's chaotic, and fast paced, and the sort of game you end up laughing a lot during. At the end of five rounds, you add up how much loot you've managed to steal, and declare a winner.

The game plays very fast, and despite initially sounding quite complicated is well laid out easy to pick up (if not describe). We have found that the cash bonus for shooting the most people tend to be decisive in victory, so either we are rubbish at looting or we all need to shoot more, I'm not sure. But regardless, Colt Express is a blast - great to look at, great to play.