Unspeakable – Vaults Review (Beta)

Vaults_Head

The Story So Far…

You look over your shoulder again as you slip into the dark alley, you can never be too careful. A police zeppelin soars overhead, too far up to spot you, and even if they could, you know you’re in the clear, half of the cops are on your payroll. You sneak into the warehouse and the crew you summoned are waiting to hear your plan, through thick goggles one of them looks at you with awe while she lights a cigarette with a miniature welding torch. You greet your associates and lay out your plan: this heist is the big one. The one to set them up for life it it goes as planned, or life without parole if the botch it.

FACT BOX

Name: Vaults

Players: 2-4

Ages: 12 and up

Playing Time: ~20-40 minutes

Type: Card Drafting / Number Matching

Theme: Steampunk/Crime

The Game:

Vaults is a simple, fun card game that puts you in the shoes of a a ruthless crime lord looking to set up crews to break into the titular Vaults – all with a unique Steampunk aesthetic. You’re going to need a boss, some henchmen and a handful of reliable tools to break into the city’s vaults and be the first to make a fortune!

The Crew, The Tools, The Heist.

So a game of Vaults is very easy to learn and fast to play – while it does require a certain deal of luck, it also calls for the ability to assess your risks and know when to disrupt your opponents. The game flows naturally as each player uses their available actions to draw or play cards – then use their crews made up of a Boss and his henchmen and tools to break into a Vault – simple!

VaultsCards

Risky Business

So you chose your boss, carefully decked him with the right tools and some expert safe crackers for the job. You have enough strength, know-how and blasting powder to open one of the toughest Vaults ins the city when, you overclock your magnet-o-drill to get the job done when suddenly – BOOM! – the alarm goes off! The doors drop before you can bolt and sirens are blaring outside – you have failed.

Opening a vault can mean a good deal of money, but it can also mean a botched job – which means your crew ends up in prison. As if losing half your crew isn’t bad enough, your opponents can now bail them out and use them against you! Better plot Revenge!

Content:

Vaults is a card game, with the cards split into separate decks for vaults, main draw deck and disrupt deck. A simple layout for arrested (discarded) cards that can be subsequently bailed makes for a setup space. The artwork has a great authentic Steampunk feel to it and the card design is neat and easy to follow.

The Verdict

Vaults felt like a fun game. On our first game, we went from reading the instructions to playing the game in a matter of minutes, and agreed to a second game immediately… After a few games I felt like I really understood the game, weighing risk and reward, planning ahead and swooping in to capitalise on the misfortune of others.

The contents of the vault are a mystery, so a great reward or a crippling setback can be behind any one of them. In one game I managed to score thee failures in a row, setting be back hard and leading to a loss with zero money…which only led me to seek revenge in the next game so that’s cool!

Hits:

  • Game is fast, fun and easy to learn.
  • Compact game is easy to learn and carry and has an original theme.
  • Artwork has a genuine Steampunk feel.

Misses:

  • The high risk factor can be frustrating and lead to severe penalties
  • The sudden ending can make a game feel anticlimactic.

Score

4/5 – Great Game!

About the Blogger:
Michele Pace Bonello is a board game, horror movie and comic book fan, form Malta – Europe. If you want your comic or game reviewed – send him an e-mail on mpacebonello@gmail.com.

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