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Wadjet


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Product Awards:  
Mensa Best Mind Game Award
Best Mind Game, 1998

Ages Players
10+ 2-4

Designer(s): Dee Pomerleau

Manufacturer(s): Timbuk II

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Product Description

Wadjet was the cobra goddess of Buto. She was the guardian of the pharaohs and their tombs for over 3000 years. This adventure takes four "world famous rival archaeologists" into the Valley of the Kings to search for the stolen treasures of the pharaoh.

The year is 1923... You have just arrived in Cairo, Egypt. You are one of four world famous rival archaeologists who are about to embark upon the expedition of a lifetime... Your destination is the Valley of the Kings where you will experience a world of burning desert heat and blinding sandstorms... You will know the intrigue, the secrets, and the dangers that lie in every step through the dark corridors of the ancient tombs, as you search for the stolen treasures of the pharaoh... but beware... The cobra goddess Wadjet has guarded the royal kings and their treasures for over 3000 years... She awaits your intrusion!

The beautiful museum-quality playing board is a large 29" x 29" format featuring the the signs, colors, and symbols from ancient Egypt. Wadjet features over 15,000 words describing the people, places, and customs of ancient Egypt. A full color glossary defines authentic signs, symbols, and treasures.

The four character playing pieces are 2-1/2" high and are cast in an ivory stone-like resin. Expedition Records, signed by each archaeologist and dated 1923 help explorers keep track of the expedition and an "Old World Map" map shows the locations of the cities and temples along the Nile.

Wadjet is a game of strategy and memory, and is a fun-filled educational adventure for the whole family!

Product Awards

Mensa Best Mind Game Award
Best Mind Game, 1998

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Dee Pomerleau

  • Manufacturer(s): Timbuk II

  • Year: 1996

  • Players: 2 - 4

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 2,730 grams

Contents:

  • 1 29 x 29 in. gameboard
  • 4 playing pieces
  • 4 expedition records
  • 4 decks of Wadjet cards
  • 3 decks of scarab, Set, and ankh cards
  • 25 treasure cards
  • 1 Eye of Horus card
  • 1 Rings of Infinity treasure holder
  • 1 illustrated glossary
  • 1 story/instruction card
  • 4 denominations of play money and I.O.U.s
  • 2 wooden dice
  • 1 pad of expedition log sheets

Product Reviews

 
 
 
 
 

Average Rating: 3 in 9 reviews

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Excellent fun!
November 28, 2001

I had such a wonderful evening playing this game with my husband and another couple! It was sort of a cross between Monopoly and Clue. It's a game not won by the throw of the die or the fall of the cards. I highly recommend this game! The games seem to last about 2 hours or so--long enough to keep you entertained, but not so long (like Monopoly) that you beg for the end. It was a game that encouraged good natured banter between players and even teaming up against another player.

 
 
 
 
 
by Scott
Beautiful game. Fun to play. Poorly written instructions.
August 19, 2001

Very beautiful and artistically designed game. We paid $49.95 via the internet. Game concept is interesting. It's [page scan/se=0038/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Clue for smart people. We've played it 15 times now, and the average game takes about 90 minutes. Some situations that you can get into during gameplay are not explained in the directions. We made up our own rules to handle these occasions and everything has worked out fine. (I emailed Timbuk II for clarification but they have yet to respond.)

Our rules:

#1 When your 'alabaster squares' are full and you get a card that tells you to buy a treasure, you have to do it and bury one to make space. We allow the player to bury the newly obtained card if they want to. We also make the player bury all treasure in their own site only. This makes sense anyway because then if any other player wants to look at the card then YOU get the money he spends to excavate YOUR site.

#2 When you are ready to go for the fifth treasure, move to the 'Eye Of Horus' square and stop (doesn't have to be an exact roll of the dice this time). Declare your intention to excavate the fifth treasure, expose all six of your personal treasures to prove you have $40,000 worth. Then on your next turn start moving towards the fifth site, making an exact roll using one die (like the original directions tell you). This makes the game much more exciting. We've had players who were not ready to declare suddenly figure out the 25th treasure (due to the newly exposed treasures of the first declarant), come from the far side of the board, declare, and WIN, due to lucky dice and die rolls. WHEW!

#3 We ignore the whole treasure auction concept. It's never worked. The original directions say that to make space for new treasure or make money you can auction off exposed treasure. The real value of the treasure is right on your Expedition Log. It just never worked. Nobody wants EXPOSED treasure anyway. It wouldn't further your quest for the mystery treasure.

We have other minor tweaks that make the game play smoother as well.

Tips:

#1 If you run out of money, land on Scarab spaces.

#2 If you need to know what the other players have on their 'Alabaster Squares', land on Anhk spaces.

#3 Always avoid Set and Wadjet cards.

#4 Always bury cards on your own treasure site. That way YOU get the money if somebody needs to look.

I love this game. We're going to play it again tonight.

 
 
 
 
 
A combination of luck, destiny, and deductive reasoning!
December 19, 1999

Wadjet combines all of the features that I like to see in a game - it combines chance in the roll of the dice, a little bit of kismet in the cards that are drawn, and a whole lot of percetive reasoning to discover the hidden treasure in the fifth tomb! Those who take good notes will have a better chance of winning - but be forewarned, keeping track of the movements of treasure is not as easy as it sounds! The quality of the pieces and accessories in the game are exquisite - these are not cheap products; the cards are pre-cut on heavy card stock, and the board is a fantastic work of art - even the money is substantial, not the flimsy see-through stuff you get with some games. This a beautiful game, full of something for everyone, and if you are a history buff, or an Egyptologist especially, you will love this game. A must have for game collectors!

 
 
 
 
 
Flawed but fun
November 25, 2002

I bought this game before reading any reviews--it was on sale for half price and I couldn't resist--and was a little nervous about my purchase after reading some of the negative comments here. I finally got a chance to play it (U*Con 2002, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Yes!) and am happy to report that it's not nearly as bad as some make it out to be. Yes, you will want to keep track of where each card is at all times if you want to win, but the Adventurer's Logs included with the game make that a snap. The game does have its flaws--Why aren't the values of the treasures printed directly on the cards? And the board is beautiful to look at, but the rococo design makes some of the numbers and text printed on it difficult to read.--but the card-tracking mechanic is, IMHO, not one of them.

 
 
 
 
 
by Scala
Some say good; some say bad...
August 07, 2004

I noticed really mixed reviews about Wadjet. Noone in between - you either like it or dont. I dont.

Agreed with all - game looks/components 1st rate! Agreed with those who rated it low - its boring, mechanical, lengthy, requires tremendous amount of paperwork, repetitive and extremely difficult to teach a new player.

Agreed also - if you actually like keeping track of the nth degree of details then you would probably enjoy this game.

Funny thing, with other games that play bad (mostly TV/movie merchandize games), I just pass them on. Trouble is, this one is sooooo beautiful, I am trying to rewrite the entire rules to make it more interesting sp that I would actually play it!

DO NOT BUY BECAUSE IT LOOKS SUPER!!! Play it first and then if you like it, buy!

 
 
 
 
 
I don't play games to take pages of notes!
June 02, 2002

With a huge slew of awards pasted on the front of the game, I found Wadjet hard not to purchase, although I usually do a bit of homework on the games I buy.

I was sad that I didn't, because this 60$ pretty box game is not worth it.

The game has an incredible amount of art work and story depth, but that's it. It rips you off in gameplay and fun.

The game rules are a lot like clue. You must find the last missing treasure as well as attain 40,000 dollars worth of treasure to win. To find the other treasures, you have to go around the board digging them up.

Unfortunetly, finding the last treasure loses its excitement in the second turn. In order to figure out what the last treasure is, you literally have to keep pages of notes that tell you what your opponents are during, where they are keeping their treasures, where they move them, how many there are in a certain spot, how many you have, how much money you have in treasure.... And if you FAIL to do any of that, you have an very slim chance of winning. You take pages of notes in school, not in a game.

The random cards fail to provide excitement either. Even though there are three sets of cards that you land on when you move, they basically boil down to bad, good, and finding treasure cards. And between those, the bad cards make you basically lose money, the good cards have you gain money, and the treasure cards, although a bit more random, usually help you look for the last treasure.

The game also can take a horrendous amount of time. If you lose track of any treasure, well, you're screwed. And usually your opponents or you will switch treasures in random and weird places, making it impossible to keep track of everything. THen you have to go back, retrace all of your steps, and double the game time.

The nice card art, impressive board art, and sculptured playing pieces to little to lift up my score of 2. The gameplay is arduos, insanely repetitive, and incredibly un original. Its like egyptian clue with cards and a board where you go around in circles.

I would not recommend this to anyone unless you love memory games or are a clue fanatic.

 
 
 
 
 
by Tom J
Great looking game but not worth the price.
April 02, 2001

I was told by the store owner that this game was a good one, and well worth the price I paid for it ($60.00). It was not. The quality of the parts is good, except the game play itself isn't. The rules were not easy to follow, and I'm still not sure if I'm playing it correctly. We played one game of it, and one of our players was so far in the hole for money, that he decided he would just see how broke he could get. Now if a game doesn't give players a snowball's chance in hell of catching up with the other players, it's not balanced well.

 
 
 
 
 
Beautiful set; BORING game
February 21, 2001

The Wadjet set is absolutely beautiful--everything about it says 'Buy Me'. So I did. An impulse buy for certain, but it just looked like a lot of fun. The rules work a bit like Clue and a bit like Monopoly with a few other elements thrown in for good measure.

The only problem with the game is that it's EXTREMELY BORING. I host a weekly game night where we try out various games, and after 3 hours of playing this game, everyone was begging for it to end. Finally, as the game can apparently run forever, we called an early ending.

I'm very disappointed in this game. So disappointed, in fact, that despite its beautiful looks, I'm going to sell it off and call it a loss.

 
 
 
 
 
The artwork is great, but the game is not...
June 10, 2000

Although Wadjet has one of the most beautiful game boards and some of the nicest pieces that I have ever seen in a game, the game itself seems to be a rather strange and unsuccessful combination of elements from Monopoly, Clue, and Sorry. It's essentially a collecting game with a deduction element grafted on, all controlled by a simple die roll moving mechanism.

The goal is to travel several times around a square track trying to collect treasures with a combined value of at least $40,000 and gather information to determine which treasure is buried in the center tomb. Play essentially consists of each player rolling the dice and moving their piece accordingly. After the first time around you cannot pass other players, which adds a pretty uninteresting blocking mechanism. Most of the spaces on the track tell you to draw a card which usually forces to you give up, reveal, or take a peek at a treasure or lose or collect money. There are three different decks of cards, but within each deck the cards are very repetitive.

In the beginning, players have the opportunity to collect/buy treasures from burial sites. As in Monopoly, it is important to buy a lot early on, since there is no way to guess which treasure is buried in the middle until you have seen every other one of the 25 treasures. Again like Monopoly, the die roll controls your movement--so someone who can't get to the tomb sites quickly can fall impossibly behind in the beginning. The money also doesn't seem to be very well utitilized. During the course of the game, players can borrow infinite sums to pay for collecting and even sometimes for having to get rid of treasures, but they must be in the black again to be able to move to the center and take a guess at the last treasure. The only way to acquire money, however, is by getting the right card ten times or by auctioning your collected treasures to the other players, who are probably not interested in anything you're willing to get rid of.

Eventually all the treasures have been collected and then the game becomes even less interesting as all players try with the help of cards to look at or take away the treasures of other players. Since the only way to really effectively gain information is to keep a totally accurate record of every exchange anyone makes, this part of the game becomes really tediously slow. Even if someone is ready to guess, having seen all the other treasures, they must make it to the center still in possession of $40,000 worth of treasures and in the black. This is very difficult since no real planning or control is possible through die rolling and practically random card taking.

It just seems to me that the beauty of the board and pieces deserves a much better game. I can imagine that non-gamers with an interest in Egypt or archaeology may enjoy Wadjet. The archaeological theme is very well researched, but in the end it just doesn't have much real connection to the game mechanics, which in my opinion are not terribly original and not very well integrated.

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