The Heist of the Century? - burncycle Review


Now I want to play V-Commandos again.

I very nearly backed the Kickstarter for this.


You’ll have another chance in…July, I think? I highly recommend it, personally.


Between me not finding the game I wanted to find with Too Many Bones, and my impression of this game when it was on Kickstarter… well, I’ll just say I’m glad I don’t have to wonder any more if I missed out on something great.


Also I’d add (and I’ll probably comment on the main site as well), anyone who thinks they might like the game but who’s on the fence because of the price and/or this review, there is an officially sanctioned (I think just plain official?) TTS mod with all current burncycle content. You don’t get the awesome feel of the premium physical components that made all my friends immediately on board with why it’s so "over"produced (then again, they didn’t have to pay for it), but you do get to see how it plays.


I considered backing back then. I don’t quite remember what kept me from doing so. Possibly the price. I had hoped for some movement programming game a la Robo Ralleye and was looking forward very much to it getting into the hands of people to figure out if I might still acquire it. I have now heard not-good things from multiple sides about it.

Although, I must admit a game with random setup where some constellations just don’t work out, is not normally a deal breaker. We get unsolvable Pandemics or Crews all the time. However, if this comes at the end of an hours long game maybe it is a dealbreaker.

I am a bit apprehensive about the Chip Theory game I ended up backing… I went half in for the Hoplomachus Victorum campaign. The new game not the new version of the old game.

I really wanted burncycle to be good. Some kind of mashup of Cyberpunk / Robo Ralleye was what was in my mind. Ah well, someone will end up making something as funky and great as Robo Ralleye or maybe I’ll just go back and play some Robo Ralleye at some point.


Having backed out of this I watched with trepidation. Glad to hear the ambivalence in this review.

I mainly backed out due to some money needs and recognising that I play less often, that being said it was good to hear I’ve not just missed out on a stone cold classic.


I’m curious since I don’t follow Kickstarter or the releases that come from it all that much: Are there any stone cold classics that resulted from it? Scythe I know is (or at least was) widely discussed and lauded, with some (and maybe more with the distance of time) saying it doesn’t live up to the hype. Is there anything else that came out that could be considered a modern classic like The Crew or, say, Quacks of Quedlinburg?

Spirit Island was originally a Kickstarter, I believe. Sorry (not sorry) to say that Gloomhaven only came to my mind second. I think Brass Birmingham also went through KS. But I acquired every single one of these via conventional means.

My most “classic” game I acquired via crowdfunding has to be Sprawlopolis :slight_smile: It has also caused me no end of acquisition mistakes trying to find another game as good!

Most games that stick around get retail printing after retail printing.

Everdell is another quite popular example for a crowdfunding game that is now available everywhere in retail. If it’s a classic? I don’t know. Big crowdfunding trends towards the expensive side of things. F.e. CMON, Blood Rage is pretty popular and in some circles might be a classic but obviously way more people own cheaper games like the Crew or Quacks. Cascadia may be on the way in that category… but it is still too young to be a classic.

PS: all the Cole Wehrle games are crowdfunding.

edit: a link of all the games that are marked Kickstarter Crowdfunding

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I didn’t know that about Spirit Island! Definitely that and Gloomhaven (which I didn’t think of) are solidly in the classic territory.

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I think Sentinels of the Multiverse started that way; Flash Point Fire Rescue certainly did, and they’re both still going at least medium-strong after over a decade.


Spirit Island and Gloomhaven are the top 2 that jumped to my mind. Also Lisboa was my second Kickstarter and it sits high on the bgg scales and remains in my collection, for what that’s worth.

Flip side though is how many stone cold classics came out from traditional publishing in the same time frame?


Burncycle is not a game with a random setup. You select your bots, the corporation, the mission, and I think you can select the captain controlling the guards as well. The floor layouts are determined by the floor number and corporation. The random elements as far as setup are which guards specifically (there’s only a few kinds currently but that could change if they wanted) at which points and the dice you roll when you enter most rooms, which could potentially spawn guards but it’s like a 1/3 chance.

This is I think one of the biggest problems with Tom’s review. I don’t know if he and Matt didn’t realize it doesn’t have to be random or feel like selecting these elements is effectively random until you’ve played enough to know them well. The latter is perhaps fair. But for sure a lot of people have come away with the mistaken impression that they are mandatory random and they aren’t.


Every one of my favorite games of the last five years and most of my favorite games of the last ten have come from Kickstarter or other crowdfunding, even if I didn’t buy every single one of them that way. I can only name a couple of traditionally released games in recent years that I think are even that good. (The Crew for sure.)

At some point writing my post I was going to include the question: why not eliminate the random and just pick combos you think should be interesting? I would always not do a random setup anyway. There is nobody preventing me from it. It’s like “sure I can go with a random set of characters for a game of Blood on the Clocktower but isn’t it probably more fun for all players if I pick a somewhat balanced setup?” (I don’t think BotC suggests anywhere to randomize… )

I didn’t say that though… kind of forgot. :slight_smile:

My problem with this argument is it puts the onus on the players to do something the publishers should be doing instead. If a game isn’t going to be consistently entertaining with a random setup, that’s completely fine, but the game should then come with some curated setups for players to explore before they are experienced enough to semi-design the setup themselves. If a game like Undaunted didn’t come with a scenario book, for example, I doubt many people would argue you should just come up with setups that feel balanced, because that’s not the players’ responsibility.

Anyways, I’m glad I didn’t back this one! I almost took the plunge as my first overproduced Kickstarter back, but ultimately chose not to because the setup looked too onerous. Seems my ideal solo stealth game is still lurking in the shadows somewhere…


I’m trying to puzzle out whether they knew the setup wasn’t supposed to be random, or if they were exaggerating for emphasis, as to point out that later floors may be unpredictable.

That’s my biggest beef about things like this; I don’t mind random nonsense, but I don’t like random nonsense to have a heavy impact on an hour or more of gameplay that may prove to be miserable or a slog.