Lupin The Third brings the characters of the decades-old Lupin III franchise, created by the late Monkey Punch, to the game board. Players take the role of at least one of five characters from the series, each represented by a colorful miniature:
- The stubborn and indefatigable Inspector Zenigata, who will arrest...
- The unpredictable gentleman thief Lupin the Third
- His inseparable friend with the unerring aim, Jigen
- The taciturn master swordsman Goemon Ishikawa XIII
- The charming and mischievous Fujiko Mine, Lupin's love interest and flaw
Lupin the Third attempts to recreate the adventures of Lupin III and his gang with two new heists. One of the players will control Inspector Zenigata and be visible on the game board along with his team of police agents, while the other players will work together to try together to steal the treasure and escape; these players are visible only when within view of Zenigata and the police, but both sides can use tricks to misdirect the other. What's more, as in the comic, Fujiko Mine can betray the group to try to escape with the treasure on her own!
Spoilers below! Don't read below if you don't want to know how this caper turns out!
This game provides examples of:
- Action Initiative: Subverted. Although there is a list of who goes first to settle any arguments, it is expected for turns to consist of "Zenigata's turn" (He and his buddies move and act in any order) and "Lupin's turn" (He and his buddies move and act in any order). About half the time, the game will see three initiatives develop as Fujiko inevitably betrays the party.
- And the Adventure Continues: The game explicitly states that the players are recreating a heist by Lupin; one of the many he has attempted.
- Area of Effect: None noticed yet.
- Diagonal Speed Boost: Averted. While it does play out on a grid, diagonal movement is illegal.
- Flash Step: Even if a thief character moves into the range of vision for a policeman, the thief remains invisible until they stop moving.
- Fog of War: The Zenigata player isn't supposed to know where the Thief players are, assuming they use the stealth rules correctly.
- Geo Effects: Understanding where the printed terrain grants concealment is integral to success for the thieves.
- Ignore the Fanservice: Fujiko has a card that allows her to seduce the policemen to avoid getting attacked. It doesn't work on Zenigata.
- Mooks: The Policemen and Guards.
- Protection Mission: Inspector Zenigata's goal in the game. The criminals only have 13 turns to win.
- Optional Stealth: The thieves don't have to take advantage of the stealth rules, and they can certainly load up on the amount of weaponry they're given... but the odds are definitely in Zenigata's favour if they try it.
- Redshirt Army: Well, the police are technically the good guys while Lupin the Third & Co. are villains, but they're also the protagonists, which means dozens of police get defeated throughout the game.
- Replacement Mooks: Inspector Zenigata can call for back-up later in the game.
- Variable Player Goals: Highly variable win conditions; The main feature of the game, used two different ways.
- Imperfect cooperative: One player is attempting to stop the thief characters, while they attempt to steal the treasure. Fujiko may betray them.
- Competitive: One player is attempting to stop the thief characters, while the thief characters are fulfilling objectives to get the most mission points.