Okay, I’ll be honest, this game would be great for a group of friends to play when they are sitting around drinking. Honestly alcohol probably won’t inhibit your ability to win this game and might increase your tolerance of risk just enough to help you win. The whole concept of the game is judging how far to push your luck. There are some basic strategies as you move on to the last couple of caves in the game , but they are more common sense than anything else.
The game includes 30 cards. Fifteen of them have various amounts of treasure, and the other fifteen include hazzards. There are five different hazzards with 3 cards of each. As the game starts everyone enters the cave and a card is drawn. If it is a treasure card then everyone in the cave divides the treasure evenly and the remainder is left on the card to be claimed later. After each card is revealed everyone votes whether to stay in or leave the cave by voting with an object in their fist to leave or an open fist to stay. All the players reveal their votes at the same time so you don’t know what your remaining opponents will do when you decide on your vote.
If anyone decides to leave the cave, they can pick up the extra treasure (the remainders from early prizes) on the way out. If several people leave on the same turn they split the remainder treasure. The others continue through the cave. The first time any particular hazzard card comes up it won’t cause any problems, other than meaning there is no treasure to win that round. Yet, if the second time the same hazzard card comes up, anyone still in the cave loses all their gold for that cave. Once this happens you start the next round or cave. In reality it’s up to you how many rounds/caves you play but the rules suggest five and that seems like a good number.
Strategy starts coming in to play around rounds three and four. Are you in the cave with someone that has a similar point total as you in the game so far? Well how lucky do you feel, if you leave now and they lose all their treasure on the next card you will come out ahead. But, what if you decide to leave early and that opponent goes five or six more cards collecting treasure and then leaves safely? All of a sudden you have a significant deficit and the remaining caves might not be enough for you to catch up. Also keep in mind that there might be a lot of remainder treasure on the cards leading out of the mine. This might mean that several people will choose to leave and then it’s not all that much treasure when it’s split three or four ways. You almost have to gauge your friends tolerance for risk.
This is a great game for a fun simple night. It’s a fun game to play when you anticipate interruptions or are having conversations as you divide your interest between the conversation and the game. It retails for just under $20. That might be more than you want to spend for a basic game like this, but in the end I think it’s worth it. The ability to have eight players play is nice. Granted you could create this game with a regular deck of cards and some imagination if you want, but in the end the game is worth the $20 that you pay for it. This is a relatively new game so it might be hard to find bargains out there, but you might be able to save $5 or so if you find it on ebay or other used game sites.