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Goldland


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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
10+ 60-80 minutes 2-5

Designer(s): Wolfgang Kramer

Manufacturer(s): Goldsieber

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Product Description

In the depths of the unexplored wilds is hidden undreamt-of wealth! But before the riches can be uncovered, treasure seekers must face the challenge of travel through these uncharted lands, and must overcome the treacherous perils of the wild countryside. Coming prepared with the right equipment is even more important than luck on this expedition, and those who plan their journey well will be rewarded handsomely!

Product Awards

Deutscher Spiele Preis
7th place, 2002

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Wolfgang Kramer

  • Manufacturer(s): Goldsieber

  • Year: 2002

  • Players: 2 - 5

  • Time: 60 - 80 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 1,644 grams

  • Language Requirements: Game components are language-independent. An English translation of the rules is provided.

Contents:

  • 7 adventure markers
  • 36 discovery tokens
  • 8 treasure tokens
  • 112 articles of equipment
  • 1 temple
  • 49 terrain tiles
  • 5 adventurers
  • 50 camps
  • 5 backpacks

Product Reviews

 
 
 
 
 

Average Rating: 4.2 in 4 reviews


 
 
 
 
 
'we are family, I got all my sisters w/ me...'
May 24, 2003

If Wolfgang Kramer's exploration trilogy of Tikal, Java, Mexica are sister games, then Goldland is their Great Uncle. This is an exploration game that most closely resembles Tikal in the series. 2 - 5 players explore and cross a desolate area of unexplored riches filled with deserts, natives, banditos, pumas, craggy peaks, lakes and cavernous canyons. A simple backpack is filled with provisions for your trek. The more you pack, the slower you move, but the more to trade and use to survive with. There are only three things you can do on your turn; move, acquire provisions, explore. You can do these in ANY ORDER YOU WANT (important to remember!), but only once during your turn. When a player survives an 'adventure' tile (by giving up the required goods from your backpack) you place a matching color tent on that tile. As long as you have the majority of tents on tiles that match that 'adventure' you keep the majority marker which is worth gold at the end of the game. Some tiles enable you to acquire treasures as well worth gold at the end of the game. Finally, reaching the temple gains you the amulet and gold pieces. When all the gold pieces are gone or all players have acquired an amulet, the game ends. Player with the most gold wins.

There are a lot of things going on in this great game. What really struck BGoR is how truly simple this game is. Move, Acquire provisions, Explore. Players need to juggle all of the above in order to win. Goldland is not just a race to the temple. Players can win even if not the first to make it to the temple. One of the key elements are how you use your discovery tiles. Every time you 'explore' (turn over a orthogonal square) you receive one. They take up no room in your backpack, and can be exchanged any ANY time for provisions. Stockpiling them early on, gives you a huge advantage towards the end game. BGoR also recommend a house rule about positioning a new tile. The rules allows you to position it in any way you see fit. This can create lots of dead ends and really slow down the game. While a dead end IS traversable (execute an ORDEAL: give up 4 provisions) it really can bring the pace of the game down. As there is little interplay between explorers (taking a majority marker from another player is about it), a quicker pace is always welcome and gives that sense of urgency an exploration game should have. We play a tile should at least have two trails that connect (when possible) to limit the number of dead ends. It just depends on how much time the group wants to commit to the game. BGoR likes to play several games in an evening, so pace is always important.

The map tiles, backpacks, provisions are all nice heavy construction and well illustrated. The wooden men and tents are strong solid colors and easy to distinguish. BGoR has played Goldland three times in a row, and we really enjoy it. With the simplicity of play, it is quite easily taught and can be enjoyed be non-gamers and seasoned veterans alike. BGoR rate it 5 stars and a 'strong' buy.

 
 
 
 
 
'Indiana Jones & the Land of Gold'
June 01, 2003

Goldland is an ingenious game of exploring (tile-laying), planning (resource management), problem-solving (overcoming obstacles), and treasure hunting (grabbing the gold). Each game is like trying to solve a puzzle, and with each game, a player usually sees new tactics and strategies to accomplish the goal. The greater a player's efficiency, the greater his/her success.

The game really does have an adventurous flavor to it, as the players race to get to the opposite corner of the board to grab the treasure and return. I might rate it as '5-stars' if there were more player interaction, but it is still a very entertaining and challenging game regardless.

I highly recommend Goldland for both serious strategy gamers, and families.

 
 
 
 
 
The Spirit of Adventure
September 29, 2002

Much is made about how superficial theme is in many 'German' games. For those looking for rich atmosphere, look no further than Goldland. As a gamer new to designer games, I had never felt real awe from game components until I got this game. Big and beautiful, the game is full of sumptuous detail. From the weight of the wooden gold coins in your palm to the evocative tiles, the entire production just draws you in.

To my delight, Goldland is not just 'nice bits'. The way the amount of items you collect in your backpack limits movement is the definition of elegant design in my opinion. Let's not forget the items themselves. While some may be turned off by the equipment for experience puzzle that Goldland puts forth, I like it. It gives the game a touch of Jack London-like survivialism.

I believe from the handful of times I have played Goldland, I can see that players have to bring their own sense of competition to it. If you merely rush to the temple, you are missing the point. The game quietly hinges on trials and tile based encounters. Though I have yet to crack it, it seems that acts of darring-do (called ordeals in the game)reward in the long run. The game is about taking risks not thumping combatants.

With a game as subtle as this, it takes a few times for it all to sink in. Whether or not you will give it the time to work its magic, will depend on how much you like logic puzzles with a just a touch of luck. Admittedly the rules translation I dug up online may also be a deterrent for the impatient.

Personally, every time I play it, I get a new idea for how I could play differently next time. To me, this is the sign of a good game. I expect fully for Goldland to gain that fifth star sometime in the near future.

Also note that the game requires lots of table space and does take some time to set up. We are not talking A&A long set up time but definitely more than dealing a hand of cards.

If you are looking for a game where the journey is as important as getting there, Goldland is the very spirit of adventure.


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