Ryan Courtney tends to design games that I want to like more than I actually do. Pipeline was good for a few sessions before it began to feel solved. Curious Cargo was curiously burdened by confounding scoring. In both cases, these were games about arranging curlicue routes from a pile of mismatched tiles, except the routes themselves played second fiddle to underwhelming bookends.
But then there’s Trailblazers, Courtney’s upcoming title that should hit Kickstarter next month. I have a bit of a thing for Trailblazers. Probably because the routes are finally front and center where they belong.
Question one: Why is this the best title in the whole trilogy?
Question two: Is it “hot lead” like bullets? Or “hot lead” like a tangent you pursue? Or both?
Today, Criminal Capers takes on the mafia. The puma mafia. The pumafia.
Dr. Knizia, you’re a master game designer. Surely you know the value of expertise. So maybe leave the puns to the punfessionals?
Okay, okay. The bones of Pumafiosi are based on Knizia’s own Rooster Booster, which wasn’t exactly the best-received of the good doctor’s catalog. Good thing, then, that Pumafiosi is only partly a remake. This one has layers.
Sometimes, a little Reiner Knizia is exactly what we need. Emphasis on the “little.” That’s the goal of Criminal Capers, a trilogy of digestible titles designed by the good doctor, illustrated by Paul Halkyon, and published by Bitewing Games via Kickstarter sometime next month.
First up, Soda Smugglers.