Bitter Sting of Tears.
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Quicksand is an interesting game with some fairly simple mechanics. The crux of the game is really bluffing so like most games that children and adults can play, it is a very different game played with a group of adults than with children.
The game comes with a two piece game board that snaps together, an 83 card deck, 6 player tokens, 6 explorer discs and stickers for them. The production is typical of FFG, top-notch all around. The cards feel good in your hand and the board is nice with a great bit of artwork on the back. The graphics are crisp and clear and the production overall is excellent.
The object of the game is to be the first player to get your explorer to the temple. The tricky part is that no one knows which explorer anyone else is playing.
The game starts with all 6 explorer in a starting track. Players have a hand of six cards which can be movement cards, mask cards, or quicksand cards. The movement cards are in the same color as one of the six explorers. The mask cards function as wild cards, and the quicksand cards allow you to slow down one of the disks.
On his turn, a player may play any number of matching movement cards. The number of cards played is the number of spaces that explorer moves. The mask cards can be used either in combination with move cards or on their own by declaring a color. The quicksand cards can also be played in multiples if desired, allowing you to mire more than one explorer in quicksand at a time. Explorers who are stuck in quicksand have their disks flipped.
On the board, many spaces are blank, but there are also mask, quicksand, and explorer spaces.
If the explorer lands on a matching space, the player who moved him there can discard an extra card. If the explorer lands on a mask, he can discard a card. Landing on quicksand flips the players token.
Explorers escape quicksand by paying one movement card, they can then move normally, so if you play 3 Green cards while the Green token is stuck in quicksand, he uses one to flip and then moves two spaces.
Explorers can move over each other but cannot end their turn on the same space.
Once an explorer reaches the temple, whichever player controls him reveals his identity and is declared the winner. If it turns out none of the players controls him, he goes back to his starting space and the game continues..
This review is part of a series of reviews I’m doing as I evaluate games my wife may use in her classroom or that I’m using with my Boy Scouts. Apart from the normal review, I try to identify the kinds of intelligence that the game will use. For an explanation of multiple intelligences, see: my blog post at: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/786097
The game requires some counting skills (no higher than 6)
The board is not complex, but there is some need to figure out where you will land when you move more than one space and what your best move might be.
This is a game of bluffing, so being able to demonstrate a poker face while reading yoru opponents is a critical skill.
There is a lot of matching here.
This game is rated for ages 8 and up but I believe younger children could play it too. There is no reading required so there is no language barrier. The game can be balanced for different skill levels by adjusting hand size.
This is a great game. Simple enough to be played by kids but with enough suspense to be used as light filler by adults. The game makes clever use of only a couple of actions. It also neatly reduces the number of things to remember by using the same icons on the cards and the board.
If you don’t have it yet, you should really consider getting a copy soon.