As the sun sets behind the mountains and dusk slowly turns to night there is barely a star in the sky and the moon is but a sliver, you and your fellow thieves couldn’t have asked for better. You gather the last of your supplies and head out. The wizard will be far away tonight and this is your only chance for the next several months. You arrive at the tower and the grappling hooks quickly glide silently towards to balcony. You climb towards the balcony and through the windows you can see the amazing treasures that will soon be yours. This is one of the biggest and yet most dangerous scores of your career, but the Wizard’s Tower is now yours for the picking.
The setting up of the 10 Minute Heist is quite easy:
- Shuffle the Dark Deck (cards with unlit windows on the back), and then remove two cards. Return these cards to the box without looking at them.
- Shuffle the Light Deck (cards with lit windows on the back), and then remove one card in a 4-5 player game, two cards in a 3 player game, and three cards in a 2 player game.
- Place the Balcony Tile in the upper left corner of the playing area. Then, take the Light Deck and deal five cards face-up to form Floor 8. Do the same underneath Floor 8 to form Floor 7. Set the remaining light cards aside to later.
- Take the Dark Deck and continue forming floors in the manner described in the previous step. The last card dealt on the bottom floor will be dealt face-down.
- Place the Bridge Tile next to the face down card on the bottom floor. On it place the “1st to Exit” and “2nd to Exit” tiles. Then, display the remaining score tiles near the tower where everyone can see them.
- Take the leftover Light Deck cards and give them to the player who will go last. They select a card and place it face down in front of them to score points at the end of the game. The remaining cards are passed counter-clockwise until everyone has chosen a card. The rest of the cards are placed in the box without revealing what they are.
See the below picture as a reference guide to how the board should be set up:
The game play in this game is very easy and takes place over several quick rounds and ends when all players have exited the tower. On your turn, you may claim a card in the tower by moving your token along the outside wall of the floor onto the card you wish to take. If the card you claim has instructions on it, you must do what they say immediately. You can skip floors if nothing appeals to you, but the most important rule is that you can only travel downward, NEVER upward. The first player to exit claims the “1st to Exit” tile and the second player to exit claims the “2nd to Exit” tile.
Then, final scoring occurs. Final scoring in this game is quite easy too, thanks to the tokens on the right hand side of the wall. If two players tied in any category, the score tile is turned face down and is not awarded this game. Once the score tiles have all been awarded or turned face down, players add up the gold and the highest wins. For a quick reference see below:
- Treasure Suits – Players add up the value of cards they have in that category and the one with the most is awarded the tile
- Number Sets – Players count the quantity of cards with that number on it.
- Curses – Players count the quantity of curse icons on all their cards
First things first, 10 minutes isn’t entirely accurate. This game is so much quicker than that, or at least feels it. The game certainly creates a sense of you actually stealing and as such creates the feeling it should be played at a quick pace. I discovered that by playing the game quicker I was a lot more invested and having a lot more fun. By not allowing yourself too much time to think, players will grab anything as if in a real robbery.
This was a game I was really looking forward to reviewing. The mechanics and art really intrigued me. I thought it would either be amazing or just not work, and man was it amazing. It was everything I hoped for; quick, beautiful and downright fun. I played it with a few buddies before a BBQ, and we may have arrived an hour late to said BBQ (Clearly the fault of traffic). The game is simple to learn and would be a great family or entry level game.
Over the course of several games we found ourselves moving through the game a lot quicker and 10 Minute Heist quickly turned into 5 Minute Heist. I think that is what makes this game fun, especially when playing with 5 players. You consider your route and just hope it all goes to plan. It is amazing how quickly your plans get a spanner thrown into them. This game really does make you think on your feet and takes more strategy than I originally realised. My word of advice while playing 10 Minute Heist is use as many of the special instruction cards as possible and grab Amulet of Nae, it is brutal and won me several games.
As you can see from the above, the artwork on this game is excellent. The detail and originality of these pieces are stunning. There are so many great cards that will have you looking through in awe. Denis Martynets, has done an amazing job with the art, made each piece unique and eye catching, yet still feel like they all belong together. The little touch I like about these cards is the backgrounds, it is subtle but you notice that they are lightly coloured to the treasure suit. This makes it very easy when you play fast to pick out the colour/colours you are going for. I also like that the artwork and items are a little on the darker side, it almost makes you not feel as bad for stealing from this Dark Wizard.
I thoroughly enjoyed this game and the only fault I could really pick with it, is this sort of game isn’t for everyone. I personally love small box and quick games. As I like to play several games or have several play through of a game when I sit down to play or go to a gaming night with friends. But if you are looking for a more complex and longer game, this isn’t going to be for you. There is some great strategy and requires you to think on your feet, but like the name suggests. 10 Minute Heist is all about quick and fun game play. Having said that, there is no reason you couldn’t play a few quick games of 10 Minute Heist before settling down to a longer gaming session.
You can find the Kickstarter for this 10 Minute Heist – The Wizard’s Tower here which is due to go live on the 4th of October, and like the game itself this will be a 10 Day Heist (10 Day Campaign). So if like me, you enjoy fast paced games with a heap of replay value, this is a game for you.