English language edition of Diamant
Your Price: $18.99
(Worth 1,899 Funagain Points!)
from 16 customer reviews
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Incan Gold is a game in which players push their luck as they head into a ruined temple, attempting to find the most jewels. Each turn, a card is turned over that increases the gold found in a temple or shows a hazard. Players can attempt to escape, keeping the loot that they've acquired, or stay in the temple, hoping for increased profits. As players escape, those in the temple will acquire bigger shares of each pile of gold found, but also run the risk of dying if the same hazard card is drawn twice. Up to eight people can play this game, and it works very well at parties and other gatherings, as players decide whether or not to stay or leave the temples. With quality components and a compelling theme, Incan Gold will be the first choice of large groups looking for a fun filled game.
I managed to jump into a game of Diamant a couple years ago at Origins, led none other than one of the designers himself – Alan Moon. The game was quick, simple – and I remember thinking how much fun I had in such a small amount of time. I wanted to pick up a copy, but was amazed at how much the game cost, so let it go for a while. When I heard that an American reprint was being done, I was exceptionally eager to get my hands on a copy and, after several delays, finally got to play Incan Gold (Sunriver and Funagain Games, 2007 – Alan Moon and Bruno Faidutti).
And I still can’t believe what an amazing gem of a game this is. It’s a short, simple game that handles up to eight players, and I can see it getting literally scores of plays over the year. Everyone I played the game with enjoyed it tremendously, and it’s a wonderful game to fit in at the beginning or end of a gaming session. The game is perhaps a little under-produced, but it’s sold for a reasonable price and is highly portable.
Each player in Incan Gold is an adventurer (Indiana Jones style) who is searching an Incan temple for gold and trials. The game takes place over five rounds with five temple cards that form a “game board” of sorts, although it’s completely unnecessary. Each player receives a tent card, folded in half to form an actual small tent, and two player cards – one with a torch on it, the other with a picture of the players’ camp. A pile of treasures in three denominations (1, 5, and 10) is placed near the board, and one player takes a deck of thirty cards (fifteen hazard cards – three each of fire, spiders, rockslide, monster, and snakes; and fifteen treasure cards, with various values from “1” to “17”). The first round is ready to begin.
Each round, one artifact card is added to the deck, and the player turns over one of the temple cards to mark the round. The player with the deck then turns over the top card from the deck. If the card is a treasure card, the players all equally divide it amongst themselves (if possible), with the remainder placed on the card. Players set these treasures beside their tent. If the card is a Hazard, nothing happens, UNLESS the Hazard card is the same type as one that has already been turned over. If this occurs, then all players still in the temple lose all treasures next to their tent, and the Hazard card is removed from the game. If an artifact card is turned over, it is simply left on the table.
After this, players all must decide whether or not they wish to stay in the temple. Each player places one of their cards face down, using the Camp card if they wish to leave, or the Torch card if they wish to continue exploring. Cards are revealed simultaneously, and players who used the Camp card are “safe”. The players split all the gems that are still on cards on the path, leaving the remainder of them. They then place all of the gems next to their tent underneath it and are finished with the round. Additionally, if there are one or more Artifacts on the table, and only ONE player leaves the temple, they receive the artifacts. The first three artifacts are worth five treasures, the last two ten treasures.
The rest of the adventurers continue on, with another card being flipped over; until either everyone is crushed in the Temple, or everyone has escaped. Once this occurs, the deck is reshuffled, another artifact added, and the next round begins. After five rounds, players reveal the treasures under their tents and add them to the value of their artifacts for their final score. The player with the highest total is the winner!
Some comments on the game…
1.) Components: The game comes in a small, flat box – equivalent to those used in the Kosmos two-player series, and easily holds all the cards and the generous amount of treasures. The treasures are plastic polyhedral and are fun to move around and create a nice visual effect. I do think that there are too many “5” valued ones, but there is certainly enough to play the game. All of the cards have excellent artwork on them and certainly help emit a treasure-hunting theme. The one component that I’m not overly fond of is the tent cards. You can fold them in half or gently curve them (there is a sheet included in the game dedicated to just explaining the various methods), but it just is a little “cheaper” than I would like. However, no one that I played with had a problem with it – so it could just be me, and I will admit that the tents were functional. The game is very easy to tote around and can be set up quite quickly.
2.) Rules: The rules are on in a small four-page booklet that easily and quickly explains how to play the game with several color illustrations. As for teaching the game, I’ve now taught it to dozens of people and never had anyone not immediately understand the game. It has a “push your luck” element to it that is simply intuitive to most people; and since the game has a high-speed element, many people learn simply by watching others play.
3.) Artifacts: Artifacts were not included in the original Diamant rules, and the rulebook for Incan Gold even mentions that you can take them out – but I can’t fathom doing so. I certainly enjoyed Diamant, but the artifacts add another level to the game –as players are rewarded if they are the only one who runs, and another player can take the big prize from them. They are a welcome edition, and I highly recommend leaving them in, since they add that much more fun to the game.
4.) Fun Factor: Normally, I talk about game mechanics for a while before getting to this point, but I really have a hard time talking about Incan Gold without mentioning just how stinkin’ fun the game is! Really, it’s just a blast to play, and you’ll hear the entire group laughing the entire time. There are yells when everyone runs at the same time, giving small amounts of treasure to all, and there are cries of dismay when a player pushes their luck too far. I’m the type of player who likes to stay in the temple as long as possible, and often I’m the only one left, gingerly turning over cards, hoping that I find a mother load of jewels. Unfortunately, it seems as if the cards conspire against me, and I lose everything to the squeals of delight from other player. And really, that’s all Incan Gold is – a game in which players attempt to push their luck and warily study the other players, wondering when they are going to dash from the temple. Game play is simple, the time is short even with the full complement of eight players, and invariably people will want to play again. Just today, I introduced the game to a bunch of teenagers, and they didn’t want to stop playing. Games like this are a “must have” for my collection.
I’ve only added a few points to this review, but I think that I can’t say much more – other than that the game is pure fun. It reminds me quite a bit of Cloud 9, and the fact that it plays quickly in large groups – even groups that aren’t used to playing games. Good for youth groups, school classes, get-togethers, and openers for game groups – Incan Gold has the potential to become extremely popular – and it should, a clever, simple little game.
“Real men play board games”
This game has one of the best qualities that I love in a game. Easy for the whole family to pick up. The mechanics are very simple, but they work beautifully. If you are looking for a bluffing game that has a very distinct flavor to it this is it. So grab a bag of chips and get your friends because this game is an intense riot!
I like bidding games, and this one is perfect for a quick play without complicated rules. The theme, vaguely reminiscent of "Indiana Jones," makes it a game people will want to play right away when they see it.
The rules are easy to learn, and while the strategy is thin, you do have to decide when to opt out of the bidding, much like the dice game Can't Stop.
Players choose an explorer that's used only for a fist-bid when they want to claim their jewels.
The player collecting the most jewels in five rounds of play wins. What's interesting about the game is the decision on when to claim your jewels.
A card is played with either a number (1-17) representing jewels discovered or a hazard (poison gas, explosion, snake, scorpion, rock slide). Players bid simultaneously on staying in for another card turn or opt out and claim the jewels. Example: When a 12 card is played and there are 4 players, each player receives 3 jewels. In situations where there are excess jewels after equal disbursement -- a common occurrence -- the remainder go on the card.
After several rounds of play, the remaining jewels sitting on cards can add up to quite a stash, further enticement to stay in the bidding as the harzard cards pile up. When a second similar hazard card is drawn, people still bidding lose everything.
Fairly often you have situations where the hazard cards come out to start play and it's obvious that you will continue bidding, so you have to go through the motion of making a fist bid anyway.
The playing pieces are nicely done.