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I'm a huge Sid Sackson fan! Little did I know how fun this game was until recently. I had never heard of "nim style" games, but then discovered this gem. I like how at first you think there is not much depth to this game, but then the strategic alternatives grow as you get deeper into the game. The retention of color cards from previous rounds adds to the strategic planning required. Often games are very close in scoring.
Sackson was known for his simple rules, but deep levels of strategy and tactics in his games, and it shows in this little game. The game is portable; I have taken it on plane trips, to the restaurant table, and, of course, played a quick game on the kitchen table, too.
Sometimes I think the last person to review a game should be a gamer. We can't call a game great unless it has mind busting stategy, a German designer and a rulebook that needs a bookmark. This is an excellent family game. It requires some thought, but it's not chess. You are stabbing others in the back and they are stealing from you. It's well designed and is very replayable. I have played it often, while I can only get a group together for Modern Art or Tigris & Euphrates a couple times a year.
A simple but cunningly tactical cardgame. The rules are simple, one can start almost right away. From which row shall I choose a card: a sort of Take 5 in reverse.
The graphical design, however, is less attractive: simple drawings on the playing cards.
I bought this game for a budget price of 3 euro, but I must say, it was well worth the investment !
It can be difficult to find games to fill the 20 - 45 minute gaps that gaming groups have while waiting for games to end or people to show up. I find Buried Treasure and Frank's Zoo to be two of the better ones.
Buried Treasure has a very nice 'screw-your-neighbor' twist due to the large amount of card stealing. It is easy to identify who is winning so players can pick on the leader. This often results in nice, close finishes. In some games, the ability to gang up on the leader can be frustrating. In Buried Treasure, it results in nasty fun which gives the game it high ratings.
The major drawback of this game is that it is overpackaged and overpriced. The box gives the feeling that you will get a nice set of game components. In reality, you get a small deck of cards. Thankfully, the game play makes up for what the packaging lacks.
My appreciation of Sid Sackson games is growing the more I play them. This filler is worth a space on your game shelf.
This is an unpretentious little game based on a fascinating problem. You and your opponents take turns 'taking away cards' from four piles. Some of the cards give you the option of taking another card of the same color, whereas others allow you to claim cards that are already in your opponents' possession.
The rules are simple but there is a lot of thinking to be done, of the 'if I do this then she can do that' variety. The tree of possible variations of different moves becomes complex very fast, so it's in your interest to figure out some basic decision principles to simplify it. For example, the number of cards remaining marked 'extra,' and how they are played, is usually what determines who will get to move last, which is often important.
We usually play with just 2 people, which brings to mind a couple of observations.
A simple, yet strategic game which the whole family could play.
One of the nice qualities of this game is you are never out of contention. Did you manage to collect a lot of the cards that aren't worth a lot in the first round? That's okay, becuase they might be worth the most possible points in the next two rounds!
I highly recommend this as a filler game for a regular gaming group, or a quick social game for friends and family. This is one game I plan on showing my non-gamer family during our Christmas get-together.
Buried Treasure is a wonderful little game that's perfect for a family night. It combines a very simple system with enough choices to make it replayable. However, I would advise you to play the basic game once, then skip immediately to the advanced game. That's where the options come to play. I've given the game a standard '4' rating, if only because I feel that all introductory games fall short of the perfect '5', if for lack of advanced strategy and options. But this is not ment to detract from what Buried Treasure is designed to do.
Overall, my group has had a good time 'plundering' each other with this delightful game. I hope your group can enjoy it too.
This is an odd little card game with a nice degree of pirate themeing added for chrome. It really has nothing to do with piracy, but it does make for some very pretty cards.
The mechanics that make it interesting are threefold. First, the variable scoring of the four suits from one round to the next is quite interesting. A set of cards that was worth a whopping ten points in round one might be worth a paltry four points in the second round. Priorities change constantly.
Secondly, the Extra and Pirate Flag cards make it imperative that the players plan out what cards to take and when. An advantageous card may be unattractive if taking it will allow another player to take an even more advantageous card.
Thirdly, the cards added into the mix with the advanced version of the game makes for a much more tense tactical game. Since players who tie for the number of cards of a given suit are out of the running for scoring that suit, a third party can force a tie and surge into the lead by intentionally by tieing the number of cards of the leading players.
All in all, good clean, nasty fun.
A thinking filler? Yep.
In fact, playing two-players is too tense as you try and over-calculate how the cards could fall. For this reason I say stick with 3 to 4 players. Because then you can use the advanced rules which throws a perfect curve into this game to make it tense and fun. This game, though a bit of a thinker, is still filler. But it is a good game that I do think I wil be playing for a long time yet. It isn't flashy, but I think it'll be durable over the long haul.
I do have two complaints:
Be forewarned, despite the cute pirate graphics this is not a kids game. In fact, I would say this is more an adults game than anything else. I am not even sure that young teens would like it.
So, a thinking game that qualifies as filler. Not a bad game tho, and like I said, I think I'll still be playing this one year from now. It's neat!
The game has nice play mechanics, which are interesting for the first round. What I found, when I advanced into the later rounds is it became too hard to track things, and I got a near headache trying to figure out the optimal move. I know there is a good game in here somewhere; I just found it too much work.
Last year's Best Family Card Game, this gem in the crown of a great designer remains among our favorites. The suits' values change each round, and the highest score after three rounds wins. On a turn, simply pick the top card in any of four columns of overlapping cards and add it to your scoring area. Some cards allow an extra pick, or stealing--so watch what you uncover for opponents! If all options are unappealing, finding the least detrimental one is hard work. When all cards are taken, only the players with most and second most in a suit score; it's possible for players to tie and cancel each other out, leaving someone with a lower total to collect the bounty! The Advanced version features nasty pirate cards that can be used to invade opponents' scoring areas.
At last, this Sid Sackson treasure, which I would want to take to a desert island, is available in English! Four scoring tables illustrate different values for all suits; one is randomly chosen at the start of each of three rounds. Eighteen cards are dealt faceup in four unequal columns of overlapping cards. On a turn, add the top card of any column to your collection. Some cards allow an extra pick, or let you steal from others, so watch what you uncover for the next player. Often, all choices are unappealing and calculating the least detrimental is quite difficult. Scoring, which is the really tricky part, occurs when the last card is taken. Only those with the most and second-most cards in a suit score, but tied players cancel and the players with the next two highest totals get the points for that suit! Play continues with a new scoring table, but you retain your tableau cards. At the end, the highest cumulative total wins. Even more roguish is the advanced version, with pirate cards dealt to players before the start to give another choice on a turn-placing a card from one's hand on any collection. Hidden treasures or hidden weapons?