Justin Sung
Australia
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You know, usually I try to have some sort of cool intro- but you know what? I'm just going to dive straight into it (because my title was pretty cool I reckon).

Little General Rules Overview
What you do is there are five paths to explore (each a different color). Every turn you play a card and you either start an 'expedition' on one of the paths with one of your little explorer tokens by playing a card the same color as the path (however the card you play has to be at least one higher than the last), or you discard a card in matching color discard piles. However when you draw a card at the end, you can draw from the face down deck of cards OR from one of the four color discard piles- so you have to make sure what you get rid of won't help other people. Every block on the path has a number, the bottom one is negative, the largest one is pretty big, and when the game ends (when any 5 explorers cross the bridges of any of the 5 paths) you tally the score at the end: highest wins. There's some other stuff like a special explorer which gets you double points if you used him, artifacts and stuff, but I did say 'little general rules overview'. Phew so that's over with- now to the feel of the game.

Feel of the game- does have Great Game Moments thumbsup
I have often stated that my favorite games are those that have them great, or epic game moments. This game doesn't really have memorable moments, I won't be quoting 'that time I played a 10 and I just managed to grab an artifact as the game ended' (Although maybe you will, everyone's different ). But the game makes sure that the rules are as clean and simple to allow people to quickly adapt and think up strategies- which leads into great moments. Like that alarm bell that goes off in your head when the third explorers crosses a bridge (game ends when any 5 explorers cross a bridge). Or that frustrating moment when you have a '1' and then a '2' white cards in front of you and you aren't drawing any low cards and the games ending so you play your white '10'- only to have some cheeky person (possibly a parent) discard a white '4'- followed by a discarded white '5' from the other person (also possibly a parent). There are moments when you play that one card that just pushes an explorer across the bridge, which manages to both seize an artifact and finish the game. As I said, these moments won't be quoted- but all in all, when you finish the game, you'll be able to say "That was pretty good".

A few 'negative' thoughts
They're not really- but I will say that it is a brain cruncher at times- and you'll have durations of people (like myself at times- depending on my mood) who will try and assess where everyone is at point wise. Despite attempts at hiding parts of players' points, the game doesn't prevent at least half the facts from being open. Brain crunching is further compounded through trying to decide whether to discard or not- for me that was one of the biggest brain crunchers.

But even if others are brain crunching, you can have a bit of planning. Having a hand of 10 cards allows you that- whether you feel you have the guts, and enough basis, to start a new expedition, what you yourself will possibly discard in the future. So it's not all bad when it comes to that issue.

Oh and player interaction- that's technically not high in terms of actual gameplay. But during the game, I found myself getting into the 'oh don't discard that' or 'hey are you sure? because if you do the game ends and that's a lot of face down points that person has there'. There is a bit of 'unofficial' interaction, whether it was the before mentioned warning commentary, or complimenting a good move (or threatening to throw the board up when they do something annoying )

The greatest concern of all lies in the conclusion- but even I think it's farfetched whistle

Conclusion
So what do I think ultimately? It is a neat game. I find myself wanting to play it again- not because 'I wanted to try some new strategy in the game', or 'That game was so epic, I just want to experience the epicness from that epic game again' like some games but because I think 'How could I have done [something] better'. Getting better at the game is satisfying. There's something satisfying in being able to have every card you discard- remain discarded. Or when you manage to snag up a card from the discard pile that puts a very disgruntled look on someone else.

For me? 7/10. It's not mindblowing, but it's a solid gem that has a decent amount of depth to its simplicity.
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Sky Zero
United States
Illinois
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This is still one of my wife's favorites that we break out time to time. Good Review!
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Gar Per
United States
Greenwood
Indiana
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skyzero wrote:
This is still one of my wife's favorites that we break out time to time. Good Review!


Mine too! We sometimes break it out when we have another couple over. It is a good light game with some probability based decisions an a bit of push your luck. It gets bagged on sometimes for being too light or luck-based, but that is simply the type of game it is. We always play with the variant rule that you can play cards in either ascending or descending order. This should have been the standard rule and not a variant, but at least they put it in the rulebook. It is nice to see a review of this game that judges it based upon what it is supposed to be and not as a rival to Agricola or TI3.
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Roger Howell
United States
Lenexa
Kansas
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I agree, it's a good game at about a 7. We like it and play it from time to time. I loved the title to the review!
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Ralph T
United States
Signal Hill
California
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I think you should only have a hand of 8 cards in your hand.

The game is definitely good. If the art were better it might be a seven for me. I think the long game has better scoring of the idols and better counteracts the luck of the cards than the one round game, but gets a little repetitive. Perhaps they should've changed the tiles for the three rounds.
 
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Ron Z
United States
California
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Septaron wrote:
There are moments when you play that one card that just pushes an explorer across the bridge, which manages to both seize an artifact and finish the game.

Nice review. However, the rules state that 'If one reaches a space which ends the expedition and it has an event tile, the action indicated by the tile is not executed!'. So, one less memorable moment.
 
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