"Love one another."
I bought this game hoping to play with my young sons, currently 6 (Tiger Boy), 4 (Teddy Bear), and 2 (Copper). Played it twice with adults and now that Copper was out of the house with Momma, it was time to try it with the big boys.
As the oldest, I went first and decided to study the Wall Room glyphs before crossing the Lava Room. The boys had already indicated that they wanted to move fast and avoid unnecessary risks. Hearing that the walls would start closing, their feet hardly touched the ground and they were through the Wall Room into the Boulder Corridor. I picked up two treasures while examining the glyphs and my slow progress concerned my young competitors. "Daddy! You need to hurry up and get out of there before the walls get you!" Easy, there Tiger. I'm a professional.
The boulder started picking up speed, eliciting another wave of concern for my well being."Oh, no! Daddy!" Touching, but unnecessary. Teddy Bear paused to pick up a couple of Niche Treasures (I let him roll until he succeeded). Upon seeing me enter the much-fear Lava Room and point out the traps, Tiger Boy decided to join me. Then tragedy struck. Overconfident, I stepped on one of the very stones I warned them about - sending my first adventurer to an extra crispy doom. Undaunted, Tiger Boy picked his way through the fiery room, acquiring 4 Lava Treasures on the way. Teddy Bear turned the corner with his stash and headed for what he’d had his eye on from the beginning: the Rickety Bridge. The Boulder was really moving now and opened the way for another daring adventurer to drop into the Lava Room. I had to hot foot it through the Lava Room and dive into the River to avoid becoming a Daddy-cake.
Copper return and watched the end-game unfold from my lap. Both boys ended up on the Wooden Bridge on the same turn, causing 3 of the 5 planks to fall into the abyss. Each boy had his adventurer balanced precariously on a single plank. I swam through the river, dredging up 3 River Treasures to go with the one Lava Treasure I’d manage to snatch. But the ominous roar of the falls was getting closer. The Boulder was really moving now - 4-5 spaces every turn. Tiger Boy wasn’t taking any chances - he headed for daylight at the earliest opportunity. Teddy Bear headed from the bridge to the big "6" Treasure. Sure enough, his remarkable lock-picking skills proved successful once again. But the delay could prove costly - the Boulder was now only 4 spaces away!
Tiger Boy burst through the cobwebs into the murky jungle daylight a two full minutes before anyone else. He lay panting, listing to the pounding thunder of the boulder pursue frantic footsteps to the very threshold of the Temple. A deafening crash and shower of dust and debris startled the jungle setting birds a-flight for miles. As the dust cleared only two figure rose.
"Woah, what happened?
I don’t know, but I saw something - or someone - go over the falls.
Too bad. How much did you get?
Thirteen, nice job!
Thanks, you too. Now let‘s get outta here before the natives get restless
Right. Hey, we beat daddy!"
This was a fantastic game session for Daddy and his two boys! The threat of the Walls and Boulder really got them into the game. Tiger Boy [my thinker] had an endless array of questions (Why did they go in there? Why do they want treasures? Why did the rock move? Who set the traps? Why, why, why?!). Teddy Bear [my adventurer] considered running through the Lava and jumping over the falls for fun and kept moving his adventure away from the stone when he felt threatened.
I loved their sheer joy of simply playing the game. They were literally jumping up and down at times. I loved that Teddy Bear wanted to go over the bridge on the way to the 6 treasure instead of minimizing his risk and maximizing his actions. Tiger Boy’s relentless questions. Their concern for Daddy and joy in one another’s success. Their pride in themselves for beating me. And then those magical words "Can we play again?" What a sweet time with the dusty bottom boys.
We've played this once with other adults. It was a fun game, even though we took the more conservative approach and skipped out on the glyphs. The other couple owned the game and showed us the fun of the glyphs and the lava, so next time we'll have to go that route.
There's a lot of good action, although the walls don't close in very quickly (even with the three blank cards removed). It's a game that I'd enjoy having in our collection at some point but as long as there are other copies floating around in the gaming group then it's not a super high priority for me. I'd definitely recommend playing it
I hope they come out with an expansion. Perhaps with the added threats the game would be more challenging and...deadly.