Every little boy likes to play with toy guns and when we can’t get toy guns we’ll happily use our fingers to shoot our friends, in jest and in anger. As grown ups, the overwhelming desire to shoot your friends, family and co-workers with toy guns has to be tempered with a little thing called societal expectations. However, in Cash ‘n’ Gun’s you get to relive that childhood feeling of taking a foam pistol and holding it gangsta-stylie to grandma’s head whilst helping yourself to a fistful of diamonds.
A Quick Overview
In Cash ‘n’ Guns each player receives a foam gun, 8 cards consisting of 5 clicks and 3 bangs and the game begins. 8 loot cards are drawn from the deck and the oldest player becomes the Godfather for that round. Each player secretly plays a card from their hand and then they all simultaneously point their guns.
Once everyone sees where the guns are pointed they have 3 seconds to drop out and stay safe. Anyone who remains in the round and still has a target reveals their card. If they reveal a click nothing happens. If they reveal a bang the player they were pointing at receives a wound marker. Should any player receive 3 or more wounds they are eliminated from the game.
Any players who have not dropped out or been wounded then divvy up the loot cards and a new round begins. After 8 rounds the game ends and players score points based on the loot they collected. Eliminated players cannot win, regardless of how much loot they have.
Why Choose It?
Cash ‘n’ Guns is one of those silly games that has a dramatic table presence. A bunch of people sitting or standing around a table waving foam guns and yelling and laughing just looks like fun and it is. Players get into the theme, finding emphatic new ways to point their pistol, performing acrobatic gun-carta style moves and in Steve’s case, somehow, accidentally taking aim at himself.
Not only did I choose it for the frenetic energy that it brings to the table but Cash ‘n’ Guns is incredibly simple, it’s literally point and click (or bang) and even the scoring is easily explained with little room for error.
It is hard to ignore the times we live in and I’m sure there are gamers out there who believe that this game revels in the American gun culture and that violence should not be trivialised and made to look fun. However I play games with a group that grew up in the 80’s playing some of the best first person shooters and watching Sly and Arnie bringing the hurt. Perhaps it is our stoic British attitude but for us gaming and real world events do not intersect and we can enjoy silly fun because we wouldn’t really point guns at each other, well, except maybe Bob.
Player Elimination has become a dirty phrase in the world of modern gaming and rightly so, a player sitting out while everyone else is having fun is not what gaming is supposed to be about. However I do feel in Cash ‘n’ Guns you are given every opportunity to not be eliminated and will only be so because you chose to push your luck and stay in a round when you should have dropped out. I’ve also never seen a game where a player was eliminated more than one or two rounds before the game was over. Lastly Player Elimination can sometimes be the only way to bring down a runaway leader, so is actually a vital part of the in-game strategies.
I love Cash ‘n’ Guns. I like the look of it and I enjoy the feelings and emotions of it. I like the social interactions it fosters and the electric, energetic atmosphere it brings. Sure, it is mostly about the group you play with but it is hard not to be caught up the theme of it.
Despite being a fan of John Kovalic’s work the art in this game is one of my least favourite parts. I understand the desire to lighten the theme by using a more comic art style, but it does provide a thematic disconnect that is a little distracting.
For me then Cash ‘n’ Guns is a great experience and while it might not thematically resonate with every audience, it is a quick, simple, fun party game experience that almost anyone can sit down and play. And there is nothing quite like your five closest friends all pointing their guns at you to make you realise, you really need new friends!