Spurs--A Single-Take Review

Today's review is of Mr. B Games' Spurs: A Tale in the Old West, a sandbox-style game in which you decide your destiny and work your way to victory by choosing a path of virtue or infamy. Will you help the rancher wrangle up his cattle, or rob him blind!? The choice is yours in Spurs! Let's dig in!

The Components

There are a TON of them!

  • Game Board
  • Fame Tracker
  • Mini Board (for the mini games within the game!)
  • 6 Cattle Tokens
  • 1 Rider Token
  • 7 Terrain Obstacle Tokens
  • 3 Town Boards
  • 12 Wanted Tokens
  • 3 "Most" Markers -for end game scoring
  • 30 Event Cards
  • 16 Desperado Cards
  • 15 Saloon Cards
  • 28 Equipment Cards
  • 1 Stack of Game money (assorted bills, but it's paper money...)
  • 1 Bag with 10 Gold Nuggets and 15 Stone tokens
  • 8 Dice
  • 30 Spurs - These are used to boost your luck...
  • 66 Bullets 
  • 18 Injury Bullets
  • 36 Challenge Tokens
  • 5 Character Sheets
  • 6 Hats -These are your fame trackers
  • 5 Character Minis
  • 5 Bullet Bags

As you can see, there is a lot going on in this game, and I'm not going to break down every last detail of the game but here's a quick rundown of how the game works!

Essentially the game is a string of mini games placed within a Wild West-style sandbox. During the setup you'll select a character board and matching mini, you'll also get a bullet bag and grab bullet tokens matching the ones shown on your character sheet. 

Once the rest of the setup is complete you'll place your mini on a starting territory or town space of your choice, and you're ready to get started!

On a player's turn they follow three simple steps:

  1. Roll the Movement dice
  2. Move on the board
  3. Perform an action

Now, you'll notice that earlier on I said this was a sandbox-style game, and this is where that comes in. Each player has a certain riding skill, which will tell you how many dice you can roll, and then you can go wherever you want!

The goal of the game is to reach a set number on the Fame tracker (you can set the goal higher or lower depending on the length of game you'd like to play).

How one gains Fame is completely up to how you're feeling at the moment; here are some of your options on a turn:

  • Duel another player--This is a mini game that has players facing off in real-time, pulling bullets out of their bags in order to pull hits before the other player.
  • Visit a Building--If you end on a town territory you can visit a building to gain health, items, bullets, money by visiting the General Store, Sheriff's Office, Saloon, Bank, Doctor's office, etc.
  • Resolve a challenge--Either helping a rancher wrangle cattle or you can steal cattle from a rancher, fight desperados, or outlaws, or you can dig for gold! And you guessed it, each of these are their own mini game!
  • Rest - You can simply pass and not take an action on a turn.

Each of the challenges is a mini game. Some of them are very similar, but have different win conditions, etc. But trust me, you'll have to read the rules for each of these in order to play the game. 

if you take an injury during the game (usually by losing a challenge or a duel) you add more red (miss) bullets to your bag which makes it harder to win challenges or duels with other players, etc. No matter which way you go, good guy or bad guy, you'll gain Fame, just for different reasons, so your path to victory is completely up to you!

Thoughts and Final Verdict

I really enjoyed the immersive theme and concept of Spurs. I've really just scratched the surface of the gameplay above, but this game is DENSE; there are a lot of moving parts, and a lot of rules to keep track of. Obviously the learning curve for this one is pretty steep, but the idea of a Grand Theft Auto-ish concept for a boardgame is really fun. As you dig in and get a good handle on the game each time you play it, it gets smoother and better (and let's not forget the HIGH replayability of the game due to the sandbox feel).

If there's a fault in the game, I'd have to say the components as a whole could use some upgrading (in fact, Mr. B ran a Kickstarter to upgrade to some sweet wooden bullets!). The player boards are pretty thin, and the bullet tokens are single sided, so you'll often pull bullets from your bag and place them down face down and have to scramble to flip it over and see if you hit or not. Now, there are a TON of components in the box so in order to do a deluxe version the price point would have to be extraordinarily high. 

Final Verdict-- Spurs: A Tale in the Old West is a series of fun little games tucked inside  a cool western world that allows you choose your own path to victory. A few optional upgrades to the components will help take this one to the next level. Spurs is an immersive game that is not for the casual player or faint of heart!

Have you played Spurs? We'd love to hear your thoughts below!

We'd like to thank Mr. B Games for supplying Jeremiah with a copy of Spurs. This in no way affected his opinion.