Publisher: Overworld Games
Game Designer: Brian Henk and Clayton Skancke
Artwork: Dwayne Biddix
Players: 3-8 Players (works best with 5-8)
Ages: 12 and up
Playing Time:10-15 minutes
Suggested Retail Price: $15
Good Cop Bad Cop: Bombers and Traitors is the first expansion for the Overworld Games title that was successfully funded on Kickstarter in May of last year. The base game is a straightforward hidden identity, bluffing and deduction game for 4-8 players where good cops and bad cops are trying to eliminate each other while protecting their leader, the Agent or the Kingpin.
In my review of Good Cop Bad Cop last year I said the game was “a decent hidden identity and bluffing game that makes for a fairly fun little finisher at the end of a long night of gaming, on occasion.” I found the game fun and have played it several times since my review, liking it a little more each time but I still felt as I did when I reviewed it. It’s a good game, on occasion.
Although I didn’t heap the highest praise on Good Cop Bad Cop, Brian Henk from Overworld Games contacted me again and asked if I’d be interested in doing a follow up review for the expansion and I’m really glad he did. Good Cop Bad Cop is a simple social game, the good cops tried to get the bad cops and vice versa, but this expansion really does expand and positively elevates the game, creating a multidirectional web of chaos with four different potential winning paths.
I’m not going to rehash how to play the game, you can read my original review for that along with my initial thoughts on it. It’ll be a good segue into this review because you’ll see that after playing the expansion, I’ve become quite enamored with this game.
Good Cop Bad Cop: Bombers and Traitors adds new elements to the base game aside from the Kingpin and Agent as the main protagonists. We now have suicide bombers and traitors which may sound a little odd but it works beautifully at instilling a sense of paranoia and concern. Second guessing yourself will become second nature because the odds and repercussions are higher this time.
You still need to figure out the identities of everyone at the table but also weed out any bombers and traitors whose motives override those of their integrity cards. Three bombs in the corners of your cards make you a bomber and likewise, three knives changes your role to traitor.
With the new roles come new win conditions tacked onto the original ones. If a suicide bomber is shot, he immediately blows up and wins the game! If there are any surviving traitors after either the Kingpin or Agent is eliminated, the traitors win. So your goal remains to eliminate the opposing protagonist, if you’re a good or bad cop, but also any traitors while avoiding the suicide bomber. Good investigating is key here, if you go whipping out your gun and busting caps, you may find the game over very quickly.
What makes this work so well is that there is always at least one traitor and one bomber possible in each game and sometimes more depending on how the cards are dealt. It is possible to have no bomber/traitor combinations, leaving you with the base elimination game but you won’t know until you start investigating players. Even then, circumstances can change if a bomber or traitor is inadvertently or intentionally created by swapping cards after using an equipment card.
Speaking of equipment cards, some of the existing ones have been reworded a bit to better define their use, this is a welcome addition in clearing up questions that did arise during some plays of Good Cop Bad Cop in the past. Not that the cards are hard to understand, the rewording just clears up any ambiguity that was present in some of the cards in the first edition.
Five new equipment cards have also been added in Good Cop Bad Cop: Bombers and Traitors; Fake ID, Grenade, Classified Orders, Fingerprint Kit and Holster. Fake ID works similar to the Blackmail card in Good Cop Bad Cop except you swap two face-up, versus face down cards but you can also use this on a player that has been eliminated. Using this can make another player a bomber or traitor, which could be a good strategic move or a blunder of epic proportions.
The grenade is a hot potato, being passed twice before the second player to receive it is automatically shot. This can lead to some funny consequences, if another player uses an equipment card to swap integrity cards and turns the grenades intended target into a bomber. Boom! Game over man!
The Classified orders card is similar to the restraining order from the first edition, but the shooter does not have to choose a new target if they don’t want to this time. Fingerprint kit lets you investigate repeatedly, if you show one of your own integrity cards each time you investigate. Holster allows you to choose a new target once you’ve drawn and aimed your pistol.
One of my favorite original equipment cards to use in the expansion is the restraining order. If you are a bomber and know that another player is also a bomber, playing this causes anyone aiming a gun to pick a new target. If luck is on your side, the shooter may pick you or the other bomber for the win!
Another great addition to Good Cop Bad Cop: Bombers and Traitors are the chipboard pistols and lead investigator cards, with stands. No more laying the gun cards on the table kind of turned in another players direction, now they stand up and show everyone who is being aimed at for the next rounds shots.
The lead investigator card as a standee makes it much easier for everyone to see who is leading the turn and that player can more easily follow the quick reference guide on the back of the card without needing to look down.
Overall, I found the components in this edition a good step up from the last and the artwork looked crisper and better detailed than what I had in the first version. The box is just slightly smaller than Coup, making for easy carry in your game bag.
If you’re in the market for a fast, lite and fun social game to play with your friends then I highly recommend picking up Good Cop Bad Cop: Bombers and Traitors. If you have the first edition, it’s well worth your hard earned dollars to go and back this one to flesh out your original and make it an even better game and social experience.
This expansion has changed my opinion of the original game in a big way. Bombers and Traitors is a great example of how a couple of smart additions can enhance and improve a game without adding unnecessary complexity or length, while making it even more fun than the original. It’s still a simple and very social game but now with a little more tension and chaos, making the game feel bigger, more fun and involved than you’d take it at first glance. The game plays quick and smooth with any size group but again, I feel it’s at its best with five or more players.
Company Website: http://www.overworldgames.com/
Company Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Overworld-Games
Company Twitter: https://twitter.com/overworldgames
Note: A review copy of this game was provided to me.