While criminals run amok all over space, we’ll need a few good bounty hunters to take them down! The catch? Oh … well … only one of you can be the best in the solar system, obviously. Will it be you?
Whether you choose to overpower these brutes with your strength, or investigate their crimes with clues, you’ll want to thwart these baddies before they can escape. So, are you ready to jam?
What Is It?
A deck building game for 2-4 bounty hunters. Players, taking on the roles of the four members of the Bebop crew, begin their journey on the titular ship and must travel to Earth, Mars, and Ganymede to stop criminals and collect their bounties. Eventually, the players will face off against the infamous Vicious and work to collect the biggest bounty of the all! In the end, the player with the most renown points wins!
Who Is It For?
This does a great job of capturing that source material; the theme is on point with the mechanics and it really pulls from the anime well. So, I would definitely recommend it to fans of Cowboy Bebop if they’re interested in gaming. It’s also a really solid deck builder, with a unique movement mechanic, so if you are already into deck building, this might be a great one to add to your collection. I felt it wasn’t terribly difficult, and the art was far more fun than anything else, so I would personally also say it’s a solid family friendly game!
Contents + Quality
By far my favorite component in this one is the miniatures! They’re really cute and look just like the characters. Plus, I adore that Edward has Ein on the platform with her! In case you’d like to paint yours as soon as you open the game, never fear, some cardboard standees are also included so you can still play the game perfectly while your paint dries!
All of the boards and cardboard tokens are really sturdy, high quality, which is great. The player boards have handy quick references on them for character actions, much appreciated, and all the planets and player boards have slots for fuel cubes, which they fit in well. Never really saw an issue with them falling out. I also really liked the Big Shot stand, which was just a fun way to have criminal cards come out.
The cards have great art and are very colorful and vibrant, which makes the game even more attractive. The only, small, issue I had personally was that I felt the appearance effect that was on some of the criminal cards blended in a little too much, so I sometimes forgot about it in my earlier plays.
The rules are written really well, very easy to follow. Even if you’re kind of new to games or deck builders, you should have no problem getting through them. The box is also fun and vibrant, once again, and holds everything in the insert really well. I will mention though, if you like sleeving card, like we do, they may not fit quite as well in the insert and you may need to make some modifications.
Solo Mode – Even a single player can take on the space criminals and Vicious all on their own! It plays very much the same as the multi-player game with the biggest differences being – revealing a single new criminal every time you shuffle you deck, in addition to the 2 every time you capture a criminal, and Vicious moving at the end of every turn instead of only when he loses a resistance token. I thought it brought a really nice level of challenge to the game and if you manage to defeat Vicious right at the end, you get such a great feeling of success! Definitely recommend this to solo fans if it already sounds good to you.
- Variable player powers – and you get to use other character’s abilities and the characters don’t even have to be in the game to use them – extra cool
- Variable criminals and Vicious difficulty depending on player count
- Really nice quality components
- Cool use of team effects on cards (triggering bonus actions/abilities based on matching colors in your deck)
- Nice turn to turn flow; Can take anywhere within the 30-90 minutes the box suggests, but never feels long or arduous
- A lot of options turn to turn with which criminals to go after, what method to use, and if you want to split off from opponents or try and keep on their trail to steal points from them. That variety makes the game so different every time which is awesome
- The word “remove” was unclear to me. The rule book defines removing cards as permanently out of your deck. However, some damage cards also go into your deck and say “remove” but those cards can get reshuffled and ultimately make it back into your deck. I just thought these should have had a different keyword so that it was clearer that they would be reshuffled when needed.
- In my opinion, some of the character abilities seemed way more valuable than others, and the costs didn’t necessarily account for that (I’m looking at you, Jet). But, I think it could also just be a matter of working your deck and strategy more heavily around your own abilities.
This was a great deck builder to add to my collection, and I’m looking forward to playing it more! As someone who isn’t a diehard fan of the Cowboy Bebop anime myself, I can see plenty of deck building fans loving this one too. I really like the movement mechanic for the characters, and how chaotic it can get, especially when you really want certain characters on your planet so you can use their communal ability. It was a quick learn, and a really enjoyable game, and I know there’s so much more strategy to be had. Definitely recommend this one a ton!
My Final Ratings:
Overall Game – 8/10
Aesthetics – 8/10
Difficulty – 2/10
Replayability – 7/10
*I was provided a copy of this game to do this review*
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