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Buddy Cop - Designer Diary 1 - Overview

Brook City is a hotbed of criminal activity.

Thankfully, the men and women of the BCPD are ready to take out the trash. While each officer is highly-trained and more than capable of getting the job done on their own, the best cops know that you should always have someone watching your back.

Let’s get to work!

Hi there. My name is Mitch Schroeder and I’m the designer of Buddy Cop, the first small box experience from Blacklist Games, which is available now for pre-order. In this designer diary, I’m going to dive into what Buddy Cop is and what sets it apart from other titles in the Blacklist Games catalogue.

What is Buddy Cop?

Buddy Cop is a brand new game set in the blockbuster-inspired universe of Brook City. It is a small box game, but don’t let its tiny footprint fool you. Capturing everything you expect from a Hollywood cop flick and condensing it into a 30-minute action puzzle, Buddy Cop is filled to the brim with challenging decisions and epic moments.

As a fully cooperative game, Buddy Cop can be played with two cops riding together, as you may expect from a game called Buddy Cop, or as a lone wolf in an immersive solo experience. Regardless of which option you choose, players will progress through a series of interconnected operations in an attempt to bring down the most hardened criminals Brook City has ever seen.

Game Overview

In each game of Buddy Cop, players will choose a cop they want to control, a criminal they want to face, and an operation they want to complete. Each of the game’s three highly replayable operations can be played by itself in a stand-alone session, or they can be linked together and played as a complete story.

Each operation has its own unique objectives. Players may be tasked with interrogating small-time crooks to find information about their boss’s next big hit, or escorting scared civilians out of a severe hostage situation. Whatever the case may be, players will be required to think on their feet and find the particular strategies needed to complete each operation.

Playing the Game

Every round of Buddy Cop begins with the cop turn. This is when the cops will attempt to make the most of the resources at their disposal in order to stop the criminals in their tracks. Players can choose to take their actions one player at a time, or for a more cooperative experience, players can take their actions simultaneously. Players are not limited to performing a single action or playing a single card per turn. Players can play as many cards from their Action Track as they can afford using the resources in front of them.

Once the cops have exhausted all options, the criminals will take their turn. Each criminal will activate using a simple set of icons, which will guide how they move around the play area and attempt to eliminate the cop threat.

After the criminal turn, each location is activated, which will further the schemes of the criminal leader and bring them one step closer to completing their mission.

The Cops

Buddy Cop is a card-driven, tableau management game in which each player controls a single heroic cop, represented by a unique, fixed deck and a personalized player board containing their Action Track.

Each turn, players will fill the Action Track on their player board with four cards from their deck. These four cards represent the abilities the cop has available to them on that turn. Each card comes with two options: it can be discarded to gain the resources listed at the bottom of the card, or it can be played from the Action Track in order to perform the action listed at the top of the card. The cost to play each card is determined by its location in the Action Track, so resources must be carefully managed and cards must be strategically placed around the Action Track in order to optimize the abilities performed by a cop each turn.

The Criminals

The criminals in Buddy Cop are as dangerous as they come. The only way to defeat a criminal faction is to take down their leader, but that is always easier said than done.

Players will have to make their way through countless encounters with criminal lowlifes before they can confront the faction’s leader. Once the leader does enter play, however, players are presented with a quick and decisive fight to the finish. They had better be prepared.

The Operations

Operations in Buddy Cop illustrate exactly what is happening in any given game session. Through flavor text and detailed illustrations, they inject every game with rich story and theme. They describe what the criminals are trying to accomplish and exactly how they are going to accomplish it, while also explaining what players must do in order to reveal the faction leader from their hiding place and prevent them from completing their goal.

Each operation presents its own set of challenges that must be met with creative strategies. When combined with various enemy factions, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, players will find no shortage of new and difficult problems to be solved.


Thanks for checking out the first designer diary! In the next article I’ll dig a little deeper into the cops, their special abilities, and the strengths of each deck.

Don’t forget, pre-orders for Buddy Cop are open now! Sign up for our newsletter below or follow us on social media to make sure you don't miss out on more news!

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