By Raymond "DuMeeple" Dumee on October 15, 2020
After the arrest of the most fearsome crook Bandido, the cops thought they could go into retirement, eating donuts all day, every day. The crook thought otherwise, making their lives miserable with several escape attempts. Just when they thought things couldn't possibly get any worse, a dangerous lady who calls herself Bandida enters town. And while the cops may have caught this Bandida, the two crooks are now together, and start planning their great lovers' escape.
Bandida is the sequel to the already really fun cooperative card draft and laying game Bandido, published by Helvetiq. Bandida comes with new cards and new game modes, all nicely tucked away in a handy small box. The game contains a Super card with the notorious Bandida illustrated on it, seventy Tunnel cards including ten Object cards, Two Alarm cards and one Ladder card. To top it all off, there's also a set of rulebooks, which come in six different languages.
Setting up a game of Bandida is done by placing the Super card on its five-exit or six-exit side in the middle of the table. The more exits there are, the harder it is to win the game. Now shuffle all cards and place them face down on the table. Each player will receive three cards and when someone draws an alarm card they draw a new card and the alarm card goes back in the pile. The youngest player may start the game. During your turn, place one of the cards from your hand in order to connect it to the cards already on the table. The best way of doing this, is by connecting two or more ends together or ending a tunnel with a flashlight card.
New to this edition are the object cards, which may trigger effects like drawing an extra card, playing an extra card right away or removing cards from the table. The two Alarm cards, also new, put some extra pressure on players because when they are drawn, they cause all players to discard one card and continue playing with a card less. The other alarm card will discard five cards from the draw pile. The players win the game when every exit is closed before the draw pile runs out of cards and Bandida has nowhere to go anymore. Bandida comes with two more Game Modes, including a mode which includes Bandido's Super card, but I'll let you find them out for yourself.
What I like about the games coming from Helvetiq, is that most of their games are packed in a small box and are easy to take along. They are highly accessible and have great replay-ability. Bandida is certainly no exception to this rule. It's light, it looks good and within twenty minutes you have played a game. We love playing Bandido with our four year old and for now we play Bandida without most of the extra rules from the object cards and we may sometimes help him a little bit with which card to choose. I'm already looking forward to explaining more and more object cards to him in the near future.
Bandida improves on its predecessor Bandido by adding a couple of abilities to the cards and more ways of playing, which makes the game more appealing for mature players. The principle of the game have stayed exactly the same. You do not necessarily need to buy both Bandido and Bandida to play. If you're in the market for one of them, then I would advise to grab Bandida, although you then cannot play the hardest game mode. When you already own Bandido, there really is room for Bandida, as it adds a lot of variety to the game and they just look so darn cute together!
Year of release: 2020
Designer: Martin Nedergaard Andersen
Artist: Odile Sageat
Players: 1 - 4 players, ages 6 & up
Playtime: approx. 20 minutes