Stop the crime spree by being the first FBI agent to apprehend the notorious Bonnie and Clyde in a Rummy-inspired game for up to four players.
|Bonnie and Clyde||Rio Grande Games||Card Game|
In The Box
This is a compact and relatively minimal game that puts most of its focus on cards. A deck of 77 is included, along with a foldout board and a cool wooden car figure that looks like an old jalopy from the Depression era. What Bonnie and Clyde lacks in volume it certainly makes up for in quality. Everything is illustrated with care, starting with the game board designed to look like a series of newspaper clippings spread out on a table as evidence.
The 10 major incidents depicted on the board are reflected in the deck of cards, which show scenes from each stop that Bonnie and Clyde made during their famous crime spree. A great small touch is the fact that cards from a single location actually have slightly different designs; if you set them out in the right order on the table it shows a sequence of events. The cards are designed to look appropriately vintage, like old oil paintings rather than crisp digital illustration that would break from the period setting of the game.
Along with the location cards you’ll find a set showing Ted Hinton, whom history buffs will recognize as playing a pivotal role in apprehending Bonnie and Clyde. The other notable component is a wooden rendition of the Ford Model B that transported the doomed couple from Texas to their fiery deaths in Gibson, Louisiana. We found it strange that the car token was painted a rather gaudy orange color, but it otherwise makes for a great addition.
How It Plays
The original inspiration for this Bonnie and Clyde game is Rummy, so it’s going to be immediately popular with a crowd that enjoys a good traditional card game. Thematic ties start with the idea that each person sitting around the table is a FBI agent tasked with tracking down Bonnie and Clyde. The game board is one place where things diverge immediately from Rummy, and the dealer sets up a game by placing cards under each of the board’s 10 locations. Included in this group of 10 cards is one card for Bonnie Parker and another for Clyde Barrow. A round then begins after dealing out a hand to each player.
The flow of the game, like Rummy, is to build sets of matching cards that can be set down on the table to score points. You’re not required to play a set immediately and might withhold it to prevent other players from building on that set. In Rummy parlance, the sets are melds and the add-on plays are called layoffs. Each time you perform one of these actions you get to move the car figure around the board, with the goal of playing melds or layoffs in a spot where the car is placed.
The round continues until a player puts down all his or her cards, or when the draw pile is exhausted. The Ted Hinton card is not a Rummy element, but was introduced here to give players more choice. Having one of these in your hand gives you the ability to draw more cards, pull from the discard pile, or take a peek at one of the hidden location cards and determine where Bonnie and Clyde may be hiding. The winning player is determined by score, usually over a few rounds, and all the strategies that make for a successful game of Rummy will come in handy here.
It’s possible–but not likely–to win in one round, so you end up essentially replaying the game a few times before declaring a winner. One solution for playing with younger games sensitive to repetition is to lower the score requirement.
This game wasn’t my favorite. I never really found Rummy that appealing, but I did think it was cool that the game was all about Bonnie and Clyde and that the events shown here actually happened.