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Subject: Mixed adults+children: How can such a simple game be so fun? rss

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W M Shubert
United States
Lexington
Massachusetts
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I've had Diamant for about 4 or 5 months now. After reading the rules, I was a bit disappointed, it just didn't seem to be much of a game. I gave it a try playing 2 player with my 4 year old daughter anyway, and we had a pretty good time, mostly with talking about the game, making stories out of what happened. We've played it pretty regularly since then. Her two favorite part seem to be filling her treasure chest with gems (of course), but a close second is cooking breakfast each morning before we enter the caves. I didn't think that the game would be much fun as a "real game," but recently I found out how wrong I was!

The rules are covered elsewhere, so I'll summarize them quickly here: You have a deck of cards showing cave exploration scenes. Some cards have a picture of gems on them, others have a picture of hazards (snakes, cave ins, etc.) You flip cards one by one. If you find gems, they are shared between all explorers still in the cave. If you find a hazard, that's OK, but if you find two identical hazards, then everybody still in the cave is killed, and loses any gems found in this cave so far (our story is always that a long lost relative comes and takes your place in later caves when this happens). Before each card flip, all players decide whether to keep going or turn back, and reveal their decisions at once. If you go back, you put your gems from this cave into your treasure chest, where they are yours forever. If you go forward, you may get more gems, but of course your are risking what you have so far. You do this in 5 caves, and that's the game.

Sounds too simple to be much fun, doesn't it? After all, your only decision ever is to stay in the cave, or turn back. But somehow, it is fun. If your group of players is in the right mood, it's a lot of fun. Here's the story:

A few days ago, my parents came for a visit. Early on my daughter wanted to play Diamant with them. I didn't know how much they would like they game, but like all grandparents they like doing almost anything with their granddaughter, so we got together (my parents, myself, and my daughter), and gave it a try.

First good thing about the game: It teaches incredibly easily. I didn't even bother to go over the rules, just started by telling my parents to imagine themselves as Indiana Jones-style adverturers, and to go on from there. After each card flip, I'd explain the consequences, and it took about 3 card flips until they knew all the rules.

Second good thing about the game: The theme. As I said above, my daughter and I like telling a story about what happens. Even with more adults, this is fun! "Uh oh, we better not find another scorpion in here...", "Wow, this is great! Look at all this treasure!", it's just plain fun. The trash talk, "You coward, you're turning back just because of a lousy snake? Watch how rich we all get!" is part of this also of course!

Third good thing: The reversals of fortune. When one player turns back and everybody else blows up in a cave explosion on the next card, everybody laughs. It's just plain funny, especially if the player who turned back was ridiculed for their choice!

Fourth good thing: It's impossible to take this game too seriously. My father hates games with too much luck, but he likes this one. I think it's because this game is so clearly all luck. It's just meant to be silly fun, and that is exactly what it delivers! When you lose because a snake bites you, or because you turn back only to see 50 gems appear on the next three cards, that's just part of the game. You laugh about it and get on with your life.

Fifth good thing: It's exactly the right length. With only one decision to make over and over, the game could get boring pretty quickly, despite the fun and excitement. But the game ends even faster than it would get boring! Five caves, each taking about 2 or 3 minutes to go through, then you count your gems and cheer for the winner.

We've played the game every day now, and every time it has been 15 minutes of pure fun. I've heard complaints that the game is overpriced for what it is, and at first I agreed, but now I have to say it isn't. Yes, you're paying a lot for basically a deck of cards that you flip one by one, but when I work out the fun we're having from this game, it'd be worth it even if it was the price of a "big box" game.

If you have a gaming group that would like 15 minutes of silly, strongly themed gambling, then this is definitely the game for you.
 
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Tom Johnson
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Quote:
but if you find two identical hazards, then everybody still in the cave is killed


Actually the translation I got was that on a second "sighting" of a particular hazard, all the adventurers, taken with fear, run from the cave to return to the camp empty-handed.

So maybe less gruesome of an ending, but who really cares since this really is so much fun.
 
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bruno faidutti
France
PARIS
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teejay wrote:
Actually the translation I got was that on a second "sighting" of a particular hazard, all the adventurers, taken with fear, run from the cave to return to the camp empty-handed.

So maybe less gruesome of an ending, but who really cares since this really is so much fun.


The reason is that they have to be alive to enter the next cave !!
 
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W M Shubert
United States
Lexington
Massachusetts
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Re: Mixed adults+children: How can such a simple game be so
faidutti wrote:
teejay wrote:
Actually the translation I got was that on a second "sighting" of a particular hazard, all the adventurers, taken with fear, run from the cave to return to the camp empty-handed.

So maybe less gruesome of an ending, but who really cares since this really is so much fun.


The reason is that they have to be alive to enter the next cave !!
Yes, it was hard to explain how adverturers got into the next cave, which is why we invented brothers, cousins, etc. who come and finish our exploring work.

We like to keep the caves deadly, because it's fun sometimes to act out the deaths! Is this setting a bad example for a four year old?...Maybe, but we really enjoy it.
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A favourite for my kids too - age 4 and 6. A big attraction I think is the 'proper' jewels. While these could have easily been cardboard tokens or wooden blocks the 'real' jewels in Diamant make all the difference to the fun they have. Well worth the price.
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