Part of the renaissance in board games that’s been happening in the last few years is a ton of new twists on old familiar game types. “Bullshit,” one of the most popular card games to play with a traditional deck, has found itself iterated on in games like “Coup,” which are designed for you to have fun lying to your friends. And now there’s a new player in that game, Outlawed! from Green Couch Games.
We had a chance to speak to Outlawed!’s designer, Ryan Cowler (Jurassattack, SuperPLEX), and he took us through the game. Each player starts with a hand of the same ten outlaws. Each outlaw is some sort of hilarious animal and old west pun, featuring gorgeous art from artist Shaz Yong. At the beginning of each round, each player places an Outlaw face down in front of them and “claims” that outlaw by saying his or her name outloud. Of course, being a bluffing game, you can completely lie about which Outlaw you’re claiming.
Once all the players have placed an Outlaw, the cards are revealed. Each Outlaw has a different condition that allows their player to apprehend them. For example, Lionel the Lion has to be claimed truthfully. The Vixen Twins can only be apprehended if two of the same Outlaw are played on the same turn. The first player to apprehend seven Outlaws wins. You can check out all of the Outlaws and their special needs in our gallery below:
It sounds a bit complicated on paper, which Cowler understands. “It’s such a difficult game to show people why it’s fun…[but] once people physically play it, then it clicks,” he said, “Every person who’s played it at big conventions is like, ‘Where can I get this’?”
If the initial game seems a bit daunting, Cowler and Green Couch Games have already come up with a solution. Outlawed! comes with a beginner rule set that reduces the number of Outlaws that you start with, and the number you need to apprehend to win. While learning what each individual Outlaw’s apprehend condition is could take a while, once the game is picked up, Cowler assures us it’s a fun, quick play.
You can find out more info about the game – and purchase a copy – in their Kickstarter campaign, which ends next week, and you can listen to our full interview with Ryan Cowler below!