Gibsons Games, £20
Also available as Capone by Amigo
Designed by Caspar Games
2-6 Players, about 60-80 minutes
Reviewed by Mike Siggins
Having never been privy to a copy of Caspar Games' Mafioso, I cannot say for sure if The Mob the same game. The awesome publicity machine that is Gibsons has done nothing to enlighten me, so I must rely on rumours and assume it is a straight re- issue of that collectable and allegedly brilliant game. My doubts are raised because the new game is far from brilliant, even approaching average. If someone lucky enough to own the original could enlighten us as to any differences, I would be grateful, and if you have a set of rules as well, I'd like to try it as Caspar intended.
The Mob is actually little more than a glorified card game with a gambling element. Each player is dealt a hand of cards with which he takes over various parts of town nightclubs, casinos, gunsmiths and so on. The cards are played throughout the hand and you cover them with mobsters of varying value. If these mobsters are alive at the end of the round, you score that amount of money. They are killed (apart from the cheapest hoods, gangsters cannot be replaced) by another player laying the same type of card as the space they occupy. Exciting huh?
Essentially, unless I have missed a higher level of play, the knack is to assess the chances of a second or third card of the same type appearing during the hand (bearing in mind not all cards are dealt). If you are reasonably sure there won't be one, you gamble accordingly. In play, this translates to holding back your cards till you are pretty confident they are safe to play and then piling in with some high value gangsters. Even better, if you are lucky enough to have been dealt two of the same card, you have a very good chance of collecting a pile of cash on the turn.
There is no doubt in my mind that The Mob is a cheap production. The whole thing feels flimsy, cards excepted, and given that it costs about the same as the relatively luxurious Civilisation or HotW, I am left to wonder what gives. It will be interesting to see the German equivalent from Amigo for comparison.
The net result, in feel and play, is of a simplish card game with a board and strong theme added to give it some weight (both physically and in play). In my view, the latter doesn't work and it ended up virtually as a 'so-what' exercise. There is nothing really wrong with The Mob, but it hardly made the earth move. It is a mildly diverting gambling game that will probably emerge again at some stage, but if you are looking for a gaming challenge then I suggest you look elsewhere. I would guess The Mob has merit as a filler or end of evening finisher, but little else. Meanwhile, I'm left wondering quite why Mafioso was so highly rated.
On to the review of Anagram or back to the review of Die Erbraffer.
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