Congratulations gang, we pulled off the heist! We’ve got the money, escaped our foes and caught our ride in this big old plane. It couldn’t have gone smoother could it? Time to Hit The Silk...
Best Laid Plans
Well, I don’t want to alarm you but it seems the pilot didn’t take too kindly to our shenanigans. Much like in The Temple of Doom (the 2nd best Indiana Jones film) they’ve released the fuel, smashed the engine and taken off with several of the parachutes. There’s not enough for everyone and we’re going to need to get out of here with enough of the money to pay our casino debts ( you remember, the whole reason we're in this mess!). Of course you can try and land the plane, though the odds aren't in your favour if that's your solution. So grab a flannel, load your revolver and use your kung-fu as we prepare to hit the silk!
What's Going Down
Hit The Silk is a semi-cooperative, team objective game where you and your friends will be racing against decreasing altitude, trying to pick up a parachute and enough money to get the hell out of there before it’s too late. Each player starts off with a hand of 6 and must discard two cards face up.
You could have a plethora of different items/actions at your disposal. Ranging from briefcases of money (going from £10k to £30k), poison, steal, spy, kung-fu, revolvers and the power to handcuffs your friends together. Be careful, any actions usually involve decreasing the altitude and the same applies if you wish to discard a card to pick up another. The further down the altitude track you go, the more cards you can choose from!
However, you can never have more than a hand of 4. Many of these actions will also force your frenemies to pick up flannel cards, stocking up your hand with essentially useless cards. You can take as many actions as your hand can provide on your turn but can only pick up and discard once. You are also free to offer trades which you are in no way sworn to keep your word. This can be fun, especially if you add the crunchier rules for trading where you can accuse your partner of telling complete porkies.
Periodically within the game as the altitude drops, votes will be cast to see if you and your companions are ready to jump out of the plane. If a majority is not in place, your attitude drops even further and you continue in your quest to gain a chute and enough money to settle your debts.
Do You Trust Your Team
Hit The Silk plays from 3 - 6 players but from my experience, I would say really you're getting the best out of this game when you're 5 or over. This game really shines for a group who would like to add a little mischief but not too much ‘take-that’ action in their sessions. You’ll have a blast threatening other players with your revolver, only for them to call you out on not having any bullets.
What you thought would be a great ploy to gain that parachute you know Sarah has in her hand, has now turned into you losing your gun and being left with too many flannels. Never mind, you’ll just handcuff yourself to Sarah so now if you do jump, she’s going down with you. Isn’t a problem shared, a problem halved? Oh and I do have a key but I’ll be using that to open the lock box to hopefully find some of the money I need.
How Good Does This Plane Look
It’s a very beautiful production - the plane’s altitude gauges being the main board, thematically it looks great and incredibly slick in providing its information. The cards are made of decent stock and put across its information clearly and simply. The board you have for the landing mini-game makes it easy to see your descent. The colour palette works well with its shades of sky and night blue, bright yellow lights and cutting red. The 60’s style artwork gives you the feeling you're in a heist movie.
The Round Up
There’s a few negatives for me with this game - although the scope for treachery, double-crossing and bluffs feel plentiful when going through the cards, a lot of the time you’ll find yourself discarding these in the hopes of finding a parachute or a big money valued briefcase. We found through a decent amount of our games that you’ll not really end up too near the red zone of the altitude metre before a majority of you have enough money and chutes to call it a day in the plane.
Now, the element of player elimination is mitigated by the mini-game of landing, it just doesn’t always give the group that nerve-wracking ending you might have hoped for. Having said that, Hit The Silk can be a fun, fast-paced little number.
I think if you’re with a group of relatively new players to the hobby, this would go down well. It’s not too complicated that you overload others with rules and information but has enough push and pull that you’ll find the best of friends double-crossing each other for that sweet, sweet, money. Even if you don’t quite make it out of the plane, or land it on the slip. Hit The Silk typically plays between 20-40 minutes so you’ll be back up in the air in no time!
Like The Temple of Doom, Hit The Silk is a goofy, B-movie esq game with a major studio production. It may not have the critical acclaim, but it certainly deserves a space on your shelf.