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There are interesting discovery sites on every continent, for example, the famous temple of Bayon in Cambodia. Explorers, adventurers and soldiers of fortune are constantly drawn to these areas and they all want to be the first to find the most valuable treasures and become rich and famous.
The players are the leaders of an expedition and try to hire good explorers who have the necessary skills to explore discovery sites and remove the treasures. The most successful expedition leader wins!
Players: 2 - 4
Time: 30 - 45 minutes
Ages: 10 and up
Weight: 112 grams
Language Requirements: Game components are language-independent. Manufacturer's rules are printed in multiple languages (including English).
- 17 explorers
- 1 customs sign
- 30 discovery sites distributed over 5 continents
- 18 gold cards
Average Rating: 1 in 1 review
The concept sounded interesting but there is little of interest for any gamer.
You Pay 5 for each explorer who has a rating spread over 3 abilities. Turn over an excavation site which details the minimum rating required to successfully explore the site. Receive the site value. You end up using have valued sites to pay for very cheap exploration costs and explorers. No change given here.
I was left totally unimpressed and feel ripped off for the few quid I paid for it.
Deal everyone a faceup Explorer card, showing three tools (each valued from 0 to 3). Shuffle each continent's Treasures (worth 20 to 120 gold) into separate facedown stacks. Each turn, either take five gold or buy one Explorer. Explorers from supply cost five gold. Pay 10 gold to a competitor to steal his Explorer.
Each buyer's Explorer may perform one Action per turn. You may place the Stop sign on any stack, which forbids peeking or excavation there. Alternatively, you can peek at a stack's top Treasure, or you may excavate. Pay a continent's fee (in gold or acquired Treasures). Reveal its top Treasure, and win it by discarding Explorers whose tool values meet the Treasure's requirements. Win by amassing the target amount of gold, including Treasure values. Perceptive explorers will discover a golden gaming opportunity!
This is a simple little cardgame with an Indiana Jones type theme. The players imagine themselves to be leaders of an expedition and as such will hire various explorers whose combined talents will enable them to explore sites across five continents. Successful explorations bring you gold and the game ends when one player has reached the target amount.
The cards split into three mini-decks, with one special card left over. This is a so-called "customs sign" and its purpose is to get in the way and prevent the players from having too easy a time. The three mini-decks are a set of money cards, a set of explorers and a set of discovery sites. The money cards come in two denominations, 5 and 10, and spend the game either in the hands of players or face-up in the bank. The explorers will be either face up in front of their employer, face-up in the centre of the table and available for hire, or face-down in a draw pile. The discovery sites begin in five face-down piles, one each for Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia. Players will gain these cards by mounting successful explorations. Each of them has a monetary value and collecting them is the way you will home in on your target.
Each explorer has ability ratings in three categories. The same category symbols appear on each of the site cards and if an expedition is to succeed, the combined ratings of your team in each category have to at least match the corresponding numbers on the site card. If they do, you gain the card; if you fail in any of them, the expedition is a failure.
You begin with 15 gold and on each turn may do one of the following two things: (1) draw another 5 gold; (2) hire another explorer and/or carry out actions. The second of these is obviously the more interesting, but since hiring explorers and setting up expeditions costs money, you will often find yourself doing the first.
You may have up to 4 explorers in your employ at any one time and if you wish to hire a new one you may either take one of what will be two face-up cards from the centre of the table or lure an explorer away from another player. The first of these costs 5 gold, which is paid to the bank. The second costs 10, which is paid as compensation to the other player. That done, you may give each of your explorers exactly one task from the following list:
- Gather information about a particular continent. What this means in practice is that you look at the top card of that particular stack and thereby find out the requirements for a successful expedition.
- Carry out an expedition. You may combine several of your explorers into a team in order to do this. The procedure is then that you pay the required cost, which ranges from 5 for Europe up to 25 for Australia, turn over the top card from the stack and compare its numbers with those of your team.
- Move the Customs Sign. This card will always be on top of one of the continental stacks and you can't do either of a) or b) in a continent while it is there.
If you have carried out an expedition and it has been successful, you get the card. Its value counts towards your victory target, but you can also use it as a means of paying the expenses of future expeditions. This is useful on occasions, but requires some prudence as the bank never gives change. If your expedition has failed, the card is placed at the bottom of its stack. Regardless of the success or failure, two things now happen. The customs card is moved to the continent in question and one of the participating explorers is discarded.
Card values range from 20-40 in Europe to 100-120 in Australia and, as you would imagine, the requirements for success are higher for the more valuable cards.
Strategy is pretty straightforward: start with the cheaper, easier sites in Europe and work up to the bigger cards. And don't take too long about it, since you're in a race and the victory target is only 200-250 (dependent on the number of players). Early on, information gathering is quite a good idea, but later, as the victory post nears for several of you, it is often a matter of assembling a balanced team and going in sight unseen. You will, after all, be annoyed with yourself if you find that you could have met the targets by combining all four of your explorers but can't now that you only have three of them still available. Looking at the card this turn and hoping that it will still be sitting at the top of its stack when your next turn comes round is likely to prove over-optimistic.
The game is amusing, worth the money, but not an essential purchase, and I am surprised that it rated as highly as it did with the Fairplay scouts in Essen.