Monday, March 15, 2010

Bang: The Bullet!

As if the sexual innuendo of Bang isn’t obvious enough, I present to you the extremely phallic packaging of The Bullet. Bang: The Bullet is a collection of the original game as well as of all the expansions; Dodge City, High Noon, and a Fistful of Cards. That’s pretty great in itself but the best part of it is that the game comes in a silver bullet. All of the cards fit neatly inside of it and it travels well, as a party type game like Bang should. It was also rather cheap (about $25 for everything), making it a great excuse to indulge in something so ridiculous.

Honestly, the packaging might be overkill if you are judging it on efficiency. Bang is really just a deck of cards, so it can be kept in a much smaller container, but the bullet really lends something to the game. I’m not sure that I’ve introduced anyone to the game that was not immediately impressed by the packaging. “Wow, this game comes in a bullet? It must be a blast!” Okay, so one actually says that, but close to it. The bullet is about a foot in length and is made of some sort of thin metal (Tin? Aluminum?), a seam splits it along the side to reveal the cards that are kept within. All of the cards, about three decks worth, easily fit into slanted little pockets that keep the cards in place. Even if you toss the bullet around the cards will stay in place. It’s fairly well made, and more importantly does what it is supposed to do.

Another nice aspect of the bullet is that it also comes with a small plastic Sheriff’s badge, to be worn by the player who is the Sheriff. Obviously. Bang is one of those games that really benefits when players embrace the role that they are playing, and having an actual badge for the Sheriff is pretty awesome. Besides, no one wants to be the Sheriff since they always get killed so the badge makes it a slightly less bitter pill to swallow.

I do have some complaints about it. For starters when I received it in the mail there was a slight dent in the bullet. Bummer. I don’t mind wear and tear on my games, I just like to be the cause of it. I also don’t know if I should blame the shipper or Da Vinci Games, so I won’t hold that against the game too much. My other complaint has to do with this strange little metal disk that was attached to the bottom of the game. I assume that it is supposed to help the game stand upright, for display purposes perhaps. Not sure. However, it was so poorly attached that Katie managed to break it off before we had played a single game of Bang! Once it was off it was impossible to get back on.

It’s nice to see a company put some thought into the packaging of the game. Not just the looks from the outside, but also the functionality of the inside. There are some very good games out there that have a mess inside of them every time the box is opened, Last Night on Earth and Pandemic come to mind. With Bang: The Bullet the near perfect marriage of form and function has been achieved. Well done.

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