Wallet Review

Wallet is a game by Wilfried and Marie Fort, published by Cryptozoic Entertainment. It is for 2-7 players. In this game, players take on the role of a birthday party goer for a huge mafia boss. Unfortunately the cops have decided to raid the party causing the big boss to escape on his private helicopter. Seems in the rush, he dropped his walled and players have a few moments to fumble through the wallet for something to save them from arrest. Of course if they’re able to grab a bit of money and jewelry at the same time, that’s all good too. In the end, the player that can secure their innocence and snag the most loot will be declared the winner.

To begin, the Hourglass cards are placed in the center of the table with the hourglass side face up. A Victory Point token of value 1 is given to each player. The remaining Victory Point tokens are placed in the interior zipped pocket of the wallet. The pocket is then zipped closed. The Special cards are shuffled together. Two cards are dealt face down to each player. The remaining cards are set aside not to be used in this round. Each player looks at their Special cards and places them face down in front of themself. The 5 Extra ID cards are placed in the front compartment of the wallet. If playing with only 2 players, the cards with the number 2 in the bottom left corner are the only ones used. For all other player counts, all the cards are used. It should be noted that if players wish to play a more balanced game, then they may choose to use the cards with the numbers on them that are equal and less than the number of players. Any extra cards are set aside. Once the Playing cards are chosen, they are shuffled together. Each player is then dealt 5 cards face down. The rest of the Playing cards are placed into the wallet. A number of coins equal to the number of players is placed onto the table face down. Each player randomly picks a coin. Once each player has chosen a coin, the coins are revealed. The player with the coin of the lowest value is the first player. These coins remain face up on the table in front of the players. Play now begins.

The game is played over 3 rounds. During a round, each player in turn order will take a turn. On a player’s turn, they may perform one action from a list of four. First, they may take 1 card from the wallet without looking at it and add it to their hand. Second, they may place a card from their hand into the wallet. Third, they may buy an ID by paying 300 CU (currency units) or more in any combination of currencies and/or jewelry, placing them face up on the table. The player will then take the extra ID cards from the separate compartment and pick one without showing it to any of the other players. The new ID card is then added to their hand, while the remaining ID cards are returned to the compartment they were taken from. Finally, they may flip over one of the Hourglass cards in the middle of the table. It should be noted that when the Playing cards are placed into the wallet, they should all be facing the same direction. Anytime a card is placed into the wallet, it should face the same direction. When taking cards from or placing cards into the wallet, players should do this without looking. When placing a card into the wallet, the player is allowed to place the card anywhere in the deck. Once each player has completed a turn, the first player must then flip over one of the Hourglass cards before taking their next turn. One last thing of note, Special cards grant a player a special benefit that allows them to different things, like perform 2 regular actions, force all players to pass a card in their hand to the player next to them or even exchange cards with another player of their choice. These cards have instructions on them that tell when they may be used, either at the beginning of the player’s turn or at the end of the round. Each card’s text should be followed as written.

Once the last Hourglass card has been flipped over, the round ends. As noted above, some Special cards may take place at this time. Once they have been resolved, any Police Officers on duty reveal themselves. A Police Officer is considered on duty if the player has the Police Officer ID, no more than 500 CU and no more than 2 types of currencies on hand. He may not have any other IDs and must also have the Police Badge. The Police Officer will then inspect a player by looking at their ID and prop cards. All players will then reveal their cards. Players will either be found innocent or guilty. Players are found innocent if they have only one ID, no more than 500 CU and no more than two types of currencies on hand. It should be noted however that Jewelry is not considered a currency. Players are found guilty if they don’t meet the requirements mentioned above. It should be noted that some IDs and prop cards will change what a player may or may not have at the end of a round to be considered innocent or guilty. For more information on this, please check out the rulebook. Any player found guilty must lose 1 Victory Point token of their choice, placing it in the interior zippered pocket of the wallet. Innocent players will then count their money. Innocent players will then draw a number of Victory Point tokens from the wallet depending on the number of players, starting with the wealthiest player. It should be noted that not every innocent player will receive Victory Point tokens. Victory Point tokens are kept face down in front of the player. Once all this has been completed a new round begins. Setting up a new round is much like before. For more information on this, please check out the rulebook.

The game continues until three rounds have been fully completed. At this point, players add up their Victory Points and the player with the most points is the winner.

COMPONENTS
This game consists of mostly a bunch of cards and some tokens. However it does have one really unique component that I’ve never seen used in a board game before, a large wallet. The wallet is a bit larger than most wallets would be. It appears to be made of the same type of material as those kids wallets we used to have back in the 80’s. The logo for the game is printed on the front of it, along with the board game companies. The wallet has one zippered pocket and one regular pocket. The back part of the wallet, where one would normally keep their cash, has a zipper on either side. It’s actually quite weird, not only because of the zippers but also because the wallet doesn’t open all the way up like a normal wallet would. The material that the 2 pockets are on is smaller than the length of the full wallet. Still, it’s a very unique and unusual game prop. The tokens for the game are made of thick cardboard. These are used for the Victory Points and the coins. The coins have a special design on them, while the VP tokens are just numbers. These are pretty good quality. The rest of the game is comprised of the various types of cards. There are the hourglass cards which depict a giant hourglass on them. These are used to keep track of time during the game. The special cards are played at different times and have several different images on them, some that are in keeping with the games theme and some that are more about actual game mechanics. The Playing cards contain IDs, props, jewelry and currency notes. There are also 5 extra ID cards. The ID cards have large illustrated images of the specific character type that they represent. The jewelry and props are all large images of what they represent, such as a credit card, badge or ring. The currency cards are brightly colored almost like Monopoly money, just in card form. The game also has some reference cards to help during the game. Needless to say, the game looks really interesting. I like the artwork for the cards especially the different character designs. Each piece fits in well with the theme and helps you to really get into the game. I like that cards were chosen for the money instead of going with paper money or something like that, although that would have been a bit more thematic. I think all the different elements work well together and make for a unique party style game.
8 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game is rather small. By that I mean that it is literally about the size of a normal playing card. It’s also not a very thick book either. Even with the book being small, it’s still got plenty of great pictures and some examples as well. The actual rules take up about 2 pages, plus an extra page for setting up the game. There are 6 pages of nothing but ID, prop and special cards. Each card is explained in great detail with an actual picture of the card. This is really great and is extremely helpful, especially when learning the game. Everything is really easy to read and understand. It doesn’t take long to read either. I will say that it does take a little bit of reading to completely understand how the game is played. For instance, you’ll have to read the section for the different cards to understand how they work instead of everything just being lumped together in the general rules. It’s a little bit annoying but with the book being so small, it’s not too bad. There is a bit of page flipping that you’ll have to do to completely get everything, so just be aware. Overall, the rulebook is pretty good. I think I would have preferred a bit bigger book, but this one gets the job done.
8 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
On the box, this game calls itself a party game that only takes 15 to 30 minutes to play. While I get where they’re coming from, I don’t exactly get the reasoning behind that decision. I guess it’s due to the fact that games with a similar feel, such as Werewolf or other social games of that nature, are labeled as party games. Whatever the case may be, this is definitely one of the most unusual party games that I’ve ever played. It definitely has aspects of social deduction, as players will be trying to figure out which ID the other players may have. However unlike in games like werewolf, it’s not as big a deal unless you’re guilty and someone else has the policeman with a badge. That’s about the only real time that you’ll worry about it. The other IDs just place different restrictions on how you win. Of course the main idea is to get exactly what you need from the wallet and then to flip over those hourglass cards as quickly as possible so that you win. Of course the fact that each player is dealt out 2 special cards that can really mess you over is something that you have to watch out for. You may have to do a bit of bluffing or rearranging some cards into or out of your hand to get things lined up just the right way. The main thing is to keep a watch on the hourglass cards and make sure that you only have the cards that you need to be innocent. Even if you have to accept less CUs, it’s better to not be greedy and push your luck. I found that every time I felt like I could sneak just a little more money into my hand, that’s when I’d mess up. Overall this is a fairly easy game to play and it doesn’t take a lot of time either. It’s a quick party game that the whole family can enjoy. It’s easy enough that even some younger players can enjoy it as well. Fans of games like Werewolf or any of the other social deduction style games should enjoy this one as well. This is one that I’d recommend giving a try. It’s definitely a different way of playing and it gives more options and choices for players to make. I found it to be a fast, fun filler style game that will work at family gatherings or with just a group of friends.
8 out of 10

OVERALL
Wallet is a party game that utilizes a very unique prop, an actual wallet. The game doesn’t take very long to play. Most game sessions last around 15 to 30 minutes. The components are great and completely unique for a party style game. The wallet is a little weird in how that the zippers are placed which makes it not want to completely open. The artwork on all the cards is top notch and the tokens are all good and thick. The rulebook is very nice looking, albeit a bit small. There are some great card references in it with plenty of pictures. The rules do tend to skip about a bit making things a bit frustrating as you have to flip back and forth through the pages. The game itself is a neat take on social deduction and bluffing especially for a party game. I feel that it’s a bit unusual for a party game but thematically things fit together quite nicely. I like that the game is short and doesn’t really overstay it’s welcome. I think fans of games like Werewolf or one of the many other games of that type should enjoy the way this one plays too. Players looking for a new twist on social deduction or for something different in a party game, should look no further than this one. This is a family friendly game that everyone can participate in and enjoy. While I’m not necessarily crazy about party games or even social deduction games, I think that this one is quite entertaining. This is a game that I would recommend giving a try. Who took my wallet?
8 out of 10

 

For more information about this and other great games, please check out Cryptozoic Entertainment at their site.

http://www.cryptozoic.com/

 

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About Gaming Bits - Jonathan Nelson

I'm a happily married man with 2 wonderful kids. I love my family very much. I'm a big fan of board, card and RPG games and have been playing for over 20 years. As a board and card game reviewer, I'm hoping that this blog will inform, educate and entertain you. If you like it, please tell your friends and have them join in on the conversations. Thanks and GAME ON!!
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