Review: Treasure Hunter by Richard Garfield

Treasure Hunter

It has been a fun weekend.

Received a game from Kickstarter, Treasure Hunter by Richard Garfield and published by Queen Games. It is a very simple game using a simple drafting mechanism. It is designed for 2-6 players and playing time is about 30 minutes… and it is fun.

The objective is to go in with your adventures and loot three different areas. The problem is that all the commotion have attracted a band of goblins, and they steal and plunder your campsite while you are gone – unless you have guard dogs to scare them off.

You win by scoring the most valuable treasures, and most coins.

Drafting is a simple mechanism where, in this case, each player receives nine cards. They pick one and send the remaining eight to the player on the left, at the same time they get eight cards from the player on their left, pick one and send the seven on. So you end up with nine cards and have to gather the best band of adventures, the strongest defense against the stealing Goblins, and the best magic items to boost your team.

Played it three times already (4 players), and I have finished last each an every time. The winner, each and every time, my 14 year old daughter. She just out-thinks us all. She is not normally a board gamer, so it is easy to learn. Whether or not the win streak is to blame, she has really fallen in love with this game. Even my wife, who thinks I am the biggest nerd, likes this game.

So the game is for everyone. What board gaming geeks call a gateway game, easy to learn for “non-gamers” (and I hate that term as there is no such thing, would prefer inexperienced gamers).

It is a game you can play without interacting with the other participants, but it is hard. You will curse when someone beats you to the treasure, or when someone has drafted all the dogs so your loot is stolen by greedy goblins. It is a game that allows for people to speak with each other. And you will laugh a lot, even when losing 🙂

Would it be playable for a group of only inexperienced gamers? Very much so. The rules are three pages long with pictures. You can learn this game in 10 minutes.

The game is designed by Richard Garfield. He also designed Magic the Gathering. In my opinion the game that really brought board gaming back on the main scene. Today it is a card game where people compete for huge sums of money and renown at international competitions.

Will I be playing this game again? Yes.

Will I recommend this game to others? Yes.

Component quality? Excellent quality, but I would expect nothing else from Queen Games.

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