Have you ever thought to yourself; “you know what I need in my life, The Crew mixed with The Resistance.” Well if the answer to that is yes, today is your lucky day, Sebby is going to walk you through what is one of the most unique trick taking games I have played recently and believe me, I have played a fair few. So, if you have played either of The Crew games, you know what the basic premise of Inside Job is. You, as a team must play rounds of trick taking and must succeed on a number of missions to win. These missions are similar to The Crew and are things like, ‘the first and last card must be the same suit’ or ‘only even cards may be played’. Complete the trick in accordance with these rules and you win the mission, easy as peas! Well, no because there’s a traitor in our midst, how very dare they!
To start with, you deal out role cards akin to something like Werewolf or The Resistance, the basic game is Agents vs The Insider but there are also advanced roles in the box to mix yup the game massively and they do. Just don’t play with them for your first game. Depending on player count, the Agents must win a certain number of missions and the Insider must just win a number of tricks. The fun thing here is that the Insider does not have to follow suit, which means you can fail and win missions at will but you must not be too obvious, or make a mistake. Otherwise you will reveal yourself to be a traitor.
Trick Taking With Attitude
To anyone who has not played trick taking games before, the starting player must play a card then all other players must play a card of the same suit, with the highest number winning the trick. However, if you do not have the colour you can play anything, including the trump suit, which is the most powerful suit in the game and the highest of this suit wins no matter what.
What makes this hilarious, to anyone who plays trick taking games is that sometimes, depending on your hand, you have to fail missions or play off-suit. This immediately makes everyone look suspicious and increases the tension all-round. Inside Job has two things I love in hidden role games, everyone looks suspicious and the game only takes thirty or forty minutes. It’s brilliant.
There is also an added bit of spice with the briefcases you get. Each time you win a trick, you win a briefcase, not only are they a good way to keep track of who has won how many tricks but they also have an added function. After you have played your card, in accordance with the normal rules, you can wager intel. To do thi place one of your briefcases on top of your card and it immediately becomes the trump suit. This not only adds a handful of spice, but also means that a few placed intel tokens, snaffled up by the Insider will go a long way to winning them the game. This added currency, which is also the winning goal for the insider creates another layer of tactical and strategic nuance to this already very clever little box. Super.
Cards & Briefcases
Being a trick taking game means that there is not much to Inside JOb other than cards and a few briefcase tokens. However, what we have here is very well designed cards, which are very easy to read and of a decent quality. They also have white edges, which is something over the years I have come to appreciate as it hides nicks and scuffs better than other colours.
The briefcases are of a thick cardboard stock and the rulebook is well written. From a presentation and component standpoint, I have no quibbles at all. There’s not much space left in the box either, which is another bugbear of mine, those pesky games that have too much space left in the box irritate me something rotten. That’s not the case here though, well done all involved.
Fans of trick taking games will love Inside Job. It has just enough wrinkles to make it different from others on the market. I also think hidden role, traitor style fans will love it too, once they get into the trick taking side of things. The intel currency mechanism is great and adds a lot of spice to the game, the runtime is short and the traitor stuff is handled well. Inside Job is cheap, fast and a whole lot of fun, I love it. Nuff said!