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Buried Treasure
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Buried Treasure

English language edition

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Product Awards:  
Games Magazine Awards
Best Family Card Game, 2000

Ages Play Time Players
10+ 20-30 minutes 2-4

Designer(s): Sid Sackson

Manufacturer(s): FX Schmid USA

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Product Description

Ahoy, Captain!

On yonder island there are hidden treasures just waiting for you to dig them up. So scrape together some pirates, ships, maps, cannons and shovels and set said in this family free-for-all. Shiver me timbers, it's fun!

It's time to deal the cards and divvy up the loot!

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Best Family Card Game, 2000

Product Information

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Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4 in 9 reviews

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by Tom Hansen
One of Sid Sackson's Greatest Treasures!
June 22, 2010

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.

Good Fun, Moderate Depth, Simple Rules... Great Game
January 24, 2001

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.

One of my favourite fillers
August 20, 2001

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.

A splendid little game
February 13, 2001

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.

  1. The wild cards for the advanced game don't really add much to the 2-player game, though I understand from other reviews that they are what adds life to the multiplayer games. With 2, though, you may as well play the basic game.
  2. We find that moving first is generally an advantage. Hence, we allow the person who lost the last game to go first, and then the person who is trailing in points to go first in subsequent rounds. This has led to good competitive games.

Have fun.

Fun for everyone!
November 23, 2000

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.

by Ken Mc
Thar be plunderin' afoot!
April 09, 2000

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.

Plundering and looting for fun and profit
February 06, 2000

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.

"Thinking-man's" filler
February 18, 2001

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:

  1. It looks like it should be a family game, and isn't. But gamers should love it.
  2. It is overpriced. All this is is a deck of cards, and there is no way it should be this price. It should be priced the same as Money! because it is similar components and same sort of game. (Note to FX Schmid: this is filler, you guys! =)

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!

It gave me a headache...
November 24, 2000

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.

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