Review: Treasure Hunter

  • October 7, 2016
  • James Skemp
  • review

The following is a review of the Treasure Hunter board game, received as part of the Amazon Vine program.

Not as complicated as it first seems

The last Richard Garfield board game I purchased was King of Tokyo (and the CCGs Magic and Netrunner a long time before that), so I’m a little familiar with his games. When I saw that Treasure Hunter one plays two to six players in 40 minutes, I figured this would be a perfect game to play during our weekly game lunches at work.

However, after I opened the game and started looking at the components and instructions, I wasn’t sure how easy this was going to be for the group to play. I can now say that it actually went over quite well, after the initial, semi-steep, learning curve.

In Treasure Hunter each player is a treasure hunter, trying to get good treasures, and make sure that the goblins don’t steal from them. Each round starts with a card drafting phase, followed by the playing of your cards (playing adventurer cards, and optionally action cards) to determine what treasures are won by who. Next players will try to keep goblins from stealing their coins by playing action or watchdog cards, with the chance for one player to collect the coins stolen. Finally players play any coin cards they may have and then prepare for the next round.

The hardest part of the game is definitely keeping track of the phases, so a set of six ‘order of play’ cards would have been a great addition. Otherwise, once our group picked up on how to play, and the strategy behind the drafting of cards, things picked up in speed. But your first game will definitely take more than 40 minutes.

The components of the game are fairly well made. The board actually consists of two pieces that are ‘locked’ together, with the reverse having the score board (since scoring can be done after all rounds are over). The cards are of a nice stock, and the rest of the pieces are made of a relatively think cardboard, including the treasure cards (which was a little surprising at first). You will have to supply your own bags, however, as the inside of the box is open so pieces will move around willy-nilly if not secured in bags.

Beginners to non-traditional board games might need a little assistance, due to the card drafting and strategy of the game, however I think the game is easy enough to pick up. I’m also not sure how the game would play with only two players; I’d say three or four would be a better minimum, at least for enjoyability.

Overall, I give Treasure Hunter a full five stars. I’ll be bringing this to game lunches off-and-on, and will be playing it with other groups as well. I would have liked to have been supplied bags, or for the inner box to have slots for the various components, especially given the premium price.