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Game Idea A Week: Cops & Robbers

Week Twenty(19/02/2010)

The idea for this week is card game where players are either cops or robbers. Cops must protect their money from the robbers, while robbers try to steal the money and avoid going to jail.

Sample Cops & Robbers Cards


Non-digital Card game


Card game

Why it needs to be made:

This game involves players with opposite needs when competing for resources. Cops start with all the money, but can loose their money when robbers attack. Robbers start with no money and try to get some. This means that based on a player's role, the game objectives will be different (protect or steal).


After the players have been randomly allocated to a role of a cop or a robber, copes are given starting money and play rotates around the group. The main part of the game involves Offensives. A player targets another player on an opposite team and puts an Offence card in front of them (these are the cards with the explosions on them). The targeted player must then defend themselves with a Defence card (these are the cards with the shields). If the targeted player cannot match the offence, then they will go to jail (if they are a robber) or loose money (if they are a cop).

Players get out of jail by waiting until their turn to play more defence cards on top of the offence until the total matches or exceeds the original offence. Players can help each other out by placing defence cards in front of their fellow cops or robbers.

When one of the cops runs out of money, or all of the cards have been used, the round finishes. Players count the money they have in front of them. Each player's score is a sum of the money they have PLUS the money their team has. This encourages players to help out their fellow cops or robbers.

Why it will be a compelling game:

It will be a quick game to play and so can lead to multiple rounds. Players get points based on the other members of their team, and so cooperation and competition will give better social interactions. Over the rounds, players will remember who stole from them or put them in jail and will build up a history together.

Other thoughts:

The cards do not have any text on them and so if the rules are translated, this game can easily have international versions.

This game has been implemented. More information on the game, including rules and cards can be found on the Cops and Robbers page within non-digital games.

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