Posted Wednesday, 28-Aug-2019
Bomb Squad Academy is a press your luck card game where you must have nerves of steel. Will you be brave enough to cut the wires, or will you play it safe with the chicken card?
Bomb Squad Academy by Josh Cappel (Wasabi!, Rock Paper Wizard, Foodfighters) and Daniel Rocchi (The Artemis Project) is a press your luck card game where you try to not be the one that causes the bomb to explode.
Be bold and cut the wires for big points, but don’t forget to use the tool cards, wait cards, and chicken cards to your advantage.
Bomb Squad Academy comes in a small but sturdy box that makes it easy to pack for game night.
You might be surprised at how much they managed to fit into the box.
There are four colors of “wires” in the game; green, blue, red, and yellow. Each “wire” has a cardboard track, 3 tokens, a wooden cube, and a stack of cards that move the cube down the track.
Each player has a set of 6 cards. One card each in green, blue, red, and yellow, a chicken card, and a wait card.
The tool cards give the players special abilities,
and two tiles give bonus points.
Last but not least, there is a supply of double-sided point tokens. The ones have fives on the opposite side, the tens have twenties, and the fifties have hundreds.
This is a great way to make sure that you have enough tokens in the values that you need, while minimizing the components needed in the box.
Each player chooses a card to play, and all cards are revealed simultaneously. Playing a blue card means flipping over a card from the blue wire deck.
The number on the left in the square shows how many spaces the wooden cube moves down the track. If a card had previously been turned over in that color, the new card overlaps the old card underneath that column. The small numbers along the right side of the cards plus the large number on the most recent card is the amount of points that will be scored this round.
When you are the only person to choose a color, all of the points are yours. When another player also chose that color, two cards are flipped, which moves the cube down the track faster, and you must share the points.
Therein lies the trick; if you go for the biggest points, you’ll probably have to share the points, but if you don’t go for that color, you might be letting an opponent keep all of the points to themselves. But if both of you avoid that color, you might end up sharing a smaller point value.
When a cube moves down to the bottom of the track and onto the cardboard tokens, the tokens are flipped to see if the bomb explodes. If a bomb explodes it is the end of the round, and any colors later in the sequence are not scored.
Each player also has a wait card, which keeps that color wire from being cut that round, and a chicken card, which can earn you points if a player causes a color to explode.
Two cards are left on the table before rotating back into your hand, so not every card is available to you each round.
In the second and third rounds, there are bonus point tokens that move around the columns, changing which color looks the most enticing each turn.
There are also tool cards that give the players special abilities.
Tool cards are dealt out into a display (number of players + 1) and each player chooses one in order.
Bomb Squad Academy is widely available for less than $15, and its small size means it can find a place on almost any shelf. Its simultaneous action selection is reminiscent of Montgolfiere, and when you add the press your luck element, it has similarities to Diamant.
Playable in about a half hour, it’s the sort of game you can play while waiting for others to show up at game night, or while sipping coffee at a game café. It scales down to two players with the simple removal of the yellow components and by leaving one card on the table instead of two.
Overall, Bomb Squad Academy provides the right amount of tension in the right amount of time. If your group enjoys pressing their luck and trying to out-maneuver their opponents without a big time or price commitment, give it a try.
Published by BoardGamePrices.com
Can we fit all the photos we took at Spiel into this article? No. But we’ll sure try! Here’s your last look at the last day of the biggest board games show in the world.
The tiredness starts to take hold; but we press on toward Day 3! We’ve got dice! We’ve got minis! We’ve got mechs! It’s Spiel!