The Lazy Popcorn Tricycle Rides Again with Bad Company
Gather the crew to pull off daring criminal heists while staying ahead of trouble and standing tall in Bad Company.
It was the promise of tall characters that drew me into Bad Company! Actually, my husband was the one most intrigued by the idea. Finally, I found the time to bring this one out of the shadows to my solo table. The artwork was certainly unique and charming in its own way with all sorts of characters who could, indeed, grow taller and taller!
Dice rolls activate crew members, each of whom has a bonus. By recruiting more, they grow taller with extra abilities and hilarious appearances! The goal is to complete heists before a car chase results in getting caught… All in a day’s work for these Cheezy Angels!
November 1, 2023
November 1, 2023
34" x 20"
Zipping Around Town
In practice, this wasn’t too disjointed, although I didn’t feel like it was as coherent as it could be. Also, those road spaces were way too small. Almost skipped a few spaces!
Unfortunately, with the continuous required movement in the solo mode, I didn’t feel like I got to recruit that much.
It was tricky to generate a lot of money when the heists needed to be completed pretty quickly. Drive on!
A Slight Head Start
The first few rounds were certainly a nice way to slowly ease into everything, but the police car moved 1-3 spaces every round. It was hard to not prioritize movement.
Checkpoints provided some interesting decisions, though, and I tried to pick up bonuses this way while checking off the heist requirements. My crew was very busy!
So, too, was this board. I missed a few of the shortcuts at first glance since there was a lot going on visually.
At least I didn’t fall behind… An immediate loss happens if the police car ever moves ahead. Keep on moving!
You Seem Taller…
The greatest part of the game is the novelty of stacking crew members, who get taller and taller! I had a few good laughs at the silliness of this. How funny are they?!
With 3 matching symbols on completed heists, I also earned one of the bonus necklaces. My #9 crew member wore that and showed it off to everyone she met.
However, with the focus on movement and limited money, I felt like it didn’t make sense to stack these bonuses.
Effectively, crew members topped out with 1-2 stacked cards, which was a little less than I expected to see.
I used most of the checkmark tokens to complete a variety of heists. This crew had a penchant for stolen artwork!
However, I didn’t find anything that grabbed me about gameplay. There wasn’t any story, and time moved by a little too slowly as I checked through all of the rules.
It wasn’t a complex game, yet I found myself stumped by a couple of icons or in need of checking the sequence.
Had I never played some of the other games in this genre of activating characters based on dice rolls, this probably would have been a lot more fun! As it was… Just OK.
Appreciating a Game and Moving On Quickly
At a glance, this session report probably seems rather negative and resulted in a pretty low rating for this game. Yet as I’ve mentioned a few times recently, it’s not all about the numbers. I still laughed as I watched my crew change and literally take shape. Ha ha! But playing just a couple of times can be all I need to experience all a game has to offer.
The limiting factor is time. I used to give the solo games I didn’t like a second chance… Then a third chance… And then even a fourth chance… There was a hard rule that I absolutely had to play a game 10-20 times before allowing it to move on. At this point, that’s just not it! I’m comfortable with my gaming preferences and know what I don’t like.
I’ve also stopped worrying about the silliness of acquiring a game I sell. Will it happen? Probably. Yet there is a robust trading market and that’s going to be a possibility for the tiniest fraction of games. I got all the enjoyment I was going to get out of this one, so the best thing is to ensure that this copy doesn’t languish… Let someone else have fun!
Worst Getaway Car
In a daring heist, I caught a couple of Calico Critters making off with all the popcorn and a little container of jewelry! They had the perfect plan… But not for long.
First, never use the word “lazy” to describe your crew. This driver was taking a leisurely pace. Second, a popcorn tricycle is not a getaway vehicle. Who won’t see it?! Ha!
Naturally, the police car was right behind, despite the enormous size difference. Doesn’t matter. It’s all fine.
I promised the return of the popcorn tricycle, and I’ll have to ensure these Calico Critters get proper licenses! Ha ha!
It was neat to travel to the different spaces to recruit new crew members, but this got expensive very quickly. With bad luck, I didn’t pick up anyone with money bonuses.
There are likely more strategies to explore, yet these plays only made me want to play a few other beloved titles more.
Again, I think the issue is that I have other solo games that offer something similar that I prefer. For the right audience, this one is likely going to be a lot of fun!
Also… My second crew managed to get caught by the police car very early on. Thanks for the bad dice luck!
Play Number: 1 & 2
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game
Outcome: 35 & 0 (1 Win & 1 Loss)
The Sneaky Ninjas bungled about everything they could. Maybe it was because about half of them looked like they were still trying to pass their outfits off as Halloween costumes… Well after Halloween ended. Ha ha! Plenty of funny moments here, yet I’m happy to find a new home for my copy. It was nice to try out and reinforced how I enjoy some of my other solo games. But even in the worst case, this was a grand appearance for the popcorn tricycle!
Price & Value
Challenges & Mechanics
Design & Theme
Components & Rules
Achievement & Enjoyment
Distinctness & Randomness
+ Pros (Positives)
- Unique crew members offer a lot of funny visuals, particularly when upgrading and stacking cards to be taller.
- The car chase provides some interesting choices about earning bonuses or taking shortcuts to stay further ahead.
- Checkmark tokens can help complete heists or be combined for other bonuses, adding on a few fun decisions.
- Although re-rolls can get expensive, saving some money can help mitigate some of the worst dice rolls.
- Most of the main iconography is clear and easy to distinguish at a glance with a couple of helpful reference cards.
- Tying in the character artwork to their abilities in a lot of cases is clever and adds a good deal of humor to the art.
– Cons (Negatives)
- Bad luck can allow the police car to catch up very quickly or result in an extremely difficult selection of heists.
- Although crew members can have many stacked cards, it makes a lot more sense to upgrade each just once.
- There is a lot of variety in the loot and heists, but there are some cards that are simply so much better.
- Play time drags on a little bit and without a strong storyline, there isn’t anything to make this one stand out a lot.
Score 35+ Points
- Overall Goal Progress 50% 50%
Goals and Milestones
Score at least 35 points.
Score at least 40 points.
Continue the Conversation
What do you like about Bad Company? Have you managed to create an extremely tall crew member with lots of abilities? The ideas here are pretty fun, and I had some laughs along the way! Despite not wanting to hang onto this one for future plays, I enjoyed parts of it and hope that it provides some fun for others. Also… Ride on, popcorn tricycle crew!