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In Quicksand, each player controls one of six explorers racing to discover the hidden temple. Play cards to move your explorer closer to the temple, move your opponents' explorers onto quicksand, or discover secret treasures to help you win the game.
Quicksand is a quite simple game. But that shouldn't scare anyone. There is a lot of fun involved in the game.
In Quicksand each player controls one of the 6 exploerers who are trying to reach the hidden temple first.
The identity of which explorer you control is kept as a secret. So you win if you get your character first to the temple. The explorers are moved by the players with cards. You can only play one color of cards per turn. And if you play more cards of the same clor the explorer moves that number of spaces forward. You only have a limited amount of cards in your hand and the only way of getting new ones is by playing them or exchanging them when you move onto special places on the board. So you might be playing cards which in theory is helping you opponents.
The game involves alot of bluffing and players are constantly trying to figure out who is who.
If you only play cards in you own color the other players will quickly learn which explorer is yours and not play any cards in your color.
So it's very important to look what cards the others play and which they exchange.
I have played Quicksand more than 10 times now and still can't get enough.
The components are nice and the art really cool.
And I can play this with other gamers or my younger sister.
If you enjoy German style games this is a must have.
I totally agree with a previous reviewer that this is basically a higher level Candyland with some bluffing thrown in. That being said, it is an excellent vehicle, like Carcassone, TransAmerica, and Galloping Pigs, to introduce young players to a next level of strategy in game play.
If FantasyFlight were to maybe change the theme a little to something kid friendlier and revise the ages to 7 and up (12+ is way off the mark), they would have a flawless family game. As is, though, it's a very fun diversion for mixed ages, which is exactly the kind of game our family is always in search of.
Big bonus points for wonderfully written/edited rules that will have you up and going in minutes. Also, excellent value here as I've found with nearly all of this company's games that I own. If you're looking for a 'gamer's game' for geek strategy night, this isn't it. If, however, your family enjoys game night and wants to move away from the Hasbro-type offerings, buy it now.
I came to a conclusion a while ago. When Fantasy Flight comes out with one of their small boxed games buy it! Ive enjoyed every one that Ive played, with the possible exception of Delta V (and even that one wasnt that bad), and some of them are pure classics! (Kingdoms, Citadels, Cave Troll). So Quicksand wasnt a very difficult game for me to snag.
So how did Quicksand (Fantasy Flight Games, 2003 Stefano Cavene) fare in this line up of incredibly good, short, fun games? The answer is that while it may not appeal to the adult crowd, I think it is an excellent short game, becoming a good vehicle to teach children about the wonderful world of board games. To tell you more would require a description of how the game is played
Two jigsaw pieces are placed together to form a small board in the center of the table. On the board are forty rounded spaces, each with one to three arrows pointing from them to other circles on the board. Six of the spaces have the picture of an explorer on them. Six explorer pawns are placed on these spaces (each matching the picture and color of the space). The explorer pawns have a picture of the explorer on one side and a picture of quicksand on the other. Each player is randomly given an identity token, which they should keep secret from the other players. This token lets them know which explorer they are. A deck of eighty-three cards is shuffled and six cards are dealt to each player. One player takes the first turn, and then the other players follow in clockwise order.
On a turn, a player does two things. First, they may play cards from their hand, movement cards, or quicksand cards. Each explorer has matching cards in the deck, which are played to move that explorer. A player may play as many movement cards as they please, as long as they are in the same color (or shield cards which act as wild cards). For example, Bob can play three blue cards (zoologist) and one shield card to move the zoologist four spaces. The moving explorer must follow the arrows, but can be moved at the whim of the player whose turn it is. When moving the explorers, players want to be discrete, so that nobody knows which explorer they are.
If the explorer ends in quicksand, the explorer token is flipped over to its quicksand side. To rescue the explorer (flip it back to its regular side), one extra movement card of their color (or wild card) must be played. For example, if the green botanist is flipped over, and I wanted to move her two spaces, I would have to play three cards.
If the explorer ends on a space that is their same color, the player who moved the explorer may discard a card from their hand, allowing that player to get rid of cards they dont need. If an explorer ends on a space with a shield on it, the same thing occurs.
If a player plays quicksand cards, instead of movement cards, they can flip over any token of their choice to the quicksand time. More than one quicksand card may be played by a player on their turn, on different explorers.
When the first explorer reaches the temple (final space), the player that controls that explorer is the winner! If no one controls that explorer, it goes back to its starting position, and the game continues until one player is the champion!
Some comments on the game:
1.) Components: As always, Fantasy Flight does a top notch card. The board is very pretty, with bright colors and very easy to distinguish spaces. I rather like FFG boards, as they fit together nicely in their jigsaw style, and always with beautiful artwork on both sides of the board. The cards are of good quality, and have nice artwork on them. Because of the different pictures of explorers, even a color-blind person wouldnt have problems with this game, although most players will find themselves referring to the explorers by colors, rather than their names. The player pawns for the players are nice, large wooden discs with stickers on both sides. The identity tokens are octagonal cardboard tiles, but will only be looked at twice a game, so they arent very important anyway. The whole game exudes a very cheerful air (kind of odd with the deadly theme), but looks very well, and fits well inside FFGs typical quality box with plastic inset.
2.) Rules: Fantasy Flight games usually have very easy rules, translated into six languages. Quicksand is no exception, except the rules are so easy, that it feels like they are stretching to even get to two pages. Many strategy tips are included, along with pictures of components, to help pad out the rules. The game can be taught in a minute, and is easily picked up and learned.
3.) One problem: I found that the end game can get clogged up. Since explorers cannot occupy the same space, the last six spaces can get filled up near the end, with the first player to get cards in their color winning. This isnt really a problem per se, but it does cut down on the strategy.
4.) Strategy: The strategies of this game are simple. Try to move your pawn without everyone figuring out which explorer you are, while moving other pawns strategically. Try to maneuver your hand until you get the cards you want. However, the luck of the draw negates quite a bit of strategy in this game. But the mini-bluffing aspect, plus the limited tactics, still makes the game an excellent tool in teaching bluffing and tactics to younger players.
5.) Fun Factor: I found the game to be a lot of fun, as I tried to guess which person was which explorer. The others in my group were much less impressed, and one person even compared the game to Candy Land, saying that their options were extremely limited, and that the game depended on luck of the draw. I disagree, and think that strategic play can help you out quite a bit. I did quite well, playing strategically, and think that good tactical play does make a difference.
So, in closing, I will recommend the game, but only as either a very light filler (its fairly short), or one to be played with kids. And a game that interests children, of course, is a huge plus in my book, so Im a fan of this game. The theme is lightly tacked on, but for kids, it could easily be imagined. If you have children that you want to introduce to the world of board games, this is an excellent one to try!
Six Explorers race to reach the temple, including one whose color is randomly and secretly allocated to you. Each turn, play any number of same-colored movement cards to move the Explorer of that color one space per card. Quicksand cards mire (flip over) an Explorer on its space, until it's released by someone playing an extra card in the Explorer's color. Landing an Explorer on a space of its color, or on a Mask space, lets you discard a useless card. End by replenishing your hand. Watch out for sneaky players who let Explorers pile up, only to make a furious dash when they near the finish.