We’re big fans of cooperative games here at Dad Kingdom. One of the more recent additions to the ol’ game collection is Burgle Bros. designed by Tim Fowers. It’s an immersive heist game for 1-4 players, where crooks navigate through a 2 or 3 story building (made up of beautiful tiles); all while avoiding security, finding stairs and most importantly cracking safes and grabbing loot! I love the theme and the gameplay mechanics are very innovative.
The game is perfectly fine on a flat table, but playing Burgle Bros. in 3D adds to the already top-notch immersion. Towers like this one on Etsy can be bought or made at home. But, I took a different approach for a few reasons; First, I’m an architect and I wanted to feature the building’s exterior. The other towers available out there seem more to me like architecture-less skeletons. Second, I didn’t like how the height of other custom towers forced players to literally stand up from the table for significant portions of the game. Third, I like that my platforms require zero assembly and can be stacked and displayed on a shelf (as shown to the right). Last but not least, I can be clumsy at times and could easy imagine a scenario where I’d be reaching between tower floors and knock over one of the vertical towers.
So, my inspiration just happens to be the building I work in on a daily basis. The Equitable building (right) in downtown Atlanta is an international-style skyscraper built in the late 1960s. To me, it has a Chicago bank vibe and seems perfect for a game that’s all about robbing banks/offices and is deeply rooted in classic heist movies from 15-30 years ago.
I’ll get more into the process I went through to make the platforms later. Basically, I just snapped some photographs of the exterior of the building, printed them out and pasted them to some black foam-core boxes of varying heights. I’m happy with the results and I think that they add an exciting physicality to an already fun game.
And, without further ado, here are some pictures of the final product. If you like what you see and you’re a fan of Burgle Bros. scroll further down for some instructions on how to make your own platforms. Also, feel free to ask any questions in the comments section.
FINISHED BURGLE BROS. PLATFORMS
Now that you’ve seen the finished product, time for a little process…
It’s all pretty simple and can be made from a 3-pack of 16″ x 20″ foam core that costs less than $10. I started by cutting an 11″ square from each sheet of foam core. (An 11.5″ square might be better for chubby fingers. 11″ doesn’t leave much room between tiles.) Then, I finished the boxes by wrapping them on all 4 sides. The first platform is flat with only a 0.5″ perimeter trim. I added a bump for a “front door” but that’s entirely optional. The second platform is 3.5″ and the tallest is 5″. I left a quarter-inch lip on all three for the appearance of an “exterior wall.”
Next, I glued some Midwest micro-lumber (.0416″x.0416″) in a rough grid pattern to keep the game tiles looking neat and tidy. Of course I left room for the wood sticks that represent walls in the game. Of note, none of the tiles are surrounded by micro-lumber on all four sides so that it’s easier to flip them.
Needless to say, the random tiny sticks (upper right) didn’t look great IMO. So, I painted the whole top surface – sticks included – with a dark slate grey paint (lower right). Much more uniform and visually appealing.
All done. Let me know what you think and follow us on social media! Finally, if you own Burgle Bros. and you want some groovy heist music for ambiance, check out my “Burgling” Spotify playlist – a mixture of Ocean’s 11 & 12, Mission: Impossible and Caravan Palace (Electro-Swing).
If you want to copy my building exterior, click on the jpegs below for full resolution. You could either print them on a large-format color printer, or do what I did; Chop the image into left and right halves, then print it on 4×6 and 5×7 photo prints at home or a local store.