Gold Mine : “The Van Dyk Family Players” take a look.
Before we even sat down to play the game, my daughter, Mathilde, dug into the box and spread out all the cave tile pieces on the table and began sticking them together like a puzzle. My son, Pablo, quickly followed. I knew then that we had discovered the first layer of enjoyment for the kids: creating and building things.
Gold Mine offers many of the mechanics we see in other more advanced games, adds a few twists of its own, and makes these aspects accessible to children and parents alike. In this respect it is a great primer for future games like Tikal, Incan Gold, Carcassonne, and any number of dungeon themed exploration games. It is family friendly in the sense that it expands up to six players and is relatively easy to explain and begin playing quickly.
The game begins with players laying out tunnel and cave tiles to form the initial mine which the players will then explore with their miners. The object of the game is to discover a set number of gold nuggets before anyone else and then exit the mine. This is easier said than done. Movement can be tricky. Laying out new tiles can be strategic and hindering to you or your opponents. Then, add in the fact that each player possesses “attack” tokens that are engineered to thwart other players and even steal their gold, and you have a new dimension and flavor to the tile laying scenario.
Often times in tile placement games I find myself complaining that there is not enough player interaction. Gold Mine does a nice job of adding this dimension by adding “challenges” to the game. Players may attempt to steal each other’s gold, or they may ruffle the hair of a few bats and send these bats flying toward another player with the intent of pushing that player backward. The attacker must be careful, though. If the dice don’t go the attacker’s way, he’s likely to send the bats flapping and fluttering back at himself! I like this dynamic, as it takes into account the unpredictability of bats while at the same time adding an element of chaotic fun.
Players may also challenge each other for gold, thus taking gold away and replacing it back on the board. I like the fact that such “steals” are not automatic, but rather the steal returns the gold to some place on the board. This adds a bit of depth and strategy as to where the gold will be placed in relation to the other players.
Secret tunnels, which allow for moving far over the cave if successful, add further depth to the game. Combine this with all the decision making that occurs in tile placement, where to move, and when and where to challenge other players, and you have a fun game that shows surprising depth and opportunities for thought, interaction, and even a bit of tension as other players try to stop the player with the most gold!
Pablo’s estimation of the game: It was pretty good.
Mathilde’s estimation: It was awesome! You should really play it. Gold Mine is one of the best games I have ever played!
|Reviewers||Fun for families(5*possible)||Easy to play||Challenging||Overall|
Mark van Dyk
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