Ender Wiggins
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb


Introducing Incan Gold

An excellent push-your-luck game that works well with families and non-gamers, has a high fun factor, is easy to teach and play, and handles up to 8 players with ease? If you're not yet familiar with Incan Gold, then now is a good time to get introduced to it, given that a new edition of the game is just being published by Gryphon Games!



Incan Gold first appeared in 2005 under the name Diamant. Diamant enjoyed a lot of success, and garnered an impressive array of awards, including a nomination for the 2005 International Gamers Award, a recommendation from the 2005 Spiel des Jahres, and winner of the 2006 BGG Golden Geek award as "Best Light/Party Game". It continues to be highly regarded as an excellent choice for non-gamers and larger groups, with a high fun factor.

In 2006, Diamant was published for the first time in English by Sunriver Games under the name Incan Gold. This edition had completely different components, and the addition of some "Artifact" cards that slightly modified game-play. Now in 2009, Incan Gold is making a reappearance with a new box, a slightly new look, and some improved components, as part of the Gryphon Games bookshelf series.



Some people are already wondering how the Gryphon Games edition differs from the Sunriver Games edition, so we'll try to answer that question, as well as give a quick overview of the game itself. If you're new to Diamant or Incan Gold, or if you're wondering what the Gryphon Games edition is like, then you've come to the right place: this guide is for you!



Components

The box cover introduces us to the game's theme: players are adventurers that explore Incan ruins in search of valuable Artifacts and treasure:



Entering these Incan temples comes with the reward of treasure, but also risks! The player who is willing to risk the most, might get the biggest rewards ... but might also end up with nothing!

The back of the box gives some important information about the game, including the fact that it caters for 3-8 players, and that games usually last 20 minutes or more:



Inside the box we find the following components:
● 5 Temple cards
● 30 Quest cards
● 16 Player cards
● 8 Tent cards
● 5 Artifact cards
● 110 Treasure pieces
● Rules



Rule-book

The rule-book is the standard format that most people are familiar with from other games in the Gryphon Games bookshelf series:



It's short and concise, which also says something about how easy this game is to learn!

Components: Temple cards

The five Temple cards are used to keep track of the five rounds of play. They begin the game in the center of the table, face down:



One card will be turned face up at the start of each round, and by the end of the game the Temple will be full colour!



Components: Player cards

There are two Player cards for each player. One has a burning torch and depicts an explorer entering a tunnel (Torch card). The other has a tent and depicts an explorer leaving a tunnel (Camp card):



These are used to indicate whether a player will continue exploring (Torch card), or stop exploring (Camp card). Since all players reveal these cards simultaneously, the artwork on the reverse side of both cards is identical:



This ensures that when players select a card, their choice remains secret until they turn their chosen card face up.

Components: Tent cards

The game comes with eight "tent" cards:



These are unfolded to make a small tent, in which each player will hide the treasures he has collected, so that the amount remains hidden until the end of the game. The quality of these is excellent, and is the biggest improvement from the Sunriver edition of Incan Gold!



Doesn't that look fantastic?! A tent like that is enough to make any explorer's heart miss a beat!

Components: Quest cards

There are 30 Quest cards, of which 15 are Treasure cards, and 15 are Hazard cards.

Treasure cards

The Treasure cards all feature a number from 1 to 17, and feature some lovely artwork:



The numbers indicate the amount of gems that will be shared out by all the players still exploring the Temple at that point.



Hazard cards

The Hazard cards all feature a danger that threatens your explorer:



There are five different Hazards (spiders, snakes, mummies, rockfall, fire), and there are three cards of each:



Components: Treasures

There are 110 treasures: 60 green, 30 black, and 20 gold.



The green gems are worth 1 point each, the black gems are worth 5 points each, and the gold gems are worth 10 points each. For example, you could make up 17 points of gems with a gold, a black, and two green gems:



The gems pictured above are identical to the ones from the Sunriver edition. I've been informed that the final production copies of the Gryphon Games edition will have gems that are the same shape and size, but the gold will be slightly translucent and the green slightly darker.

Components: Artifact cards

The Artifact cards were not part of the original Diamant, so they are arguably optional, especially when first learning the game. However, they do add an extra element of fun to the game. They represent precious Artifacts found in the Incan Temple, and are worth 5 or 10 points each. But unlike the treasures, an Artifact can't be shared out, so only one person can get it when it is uncovered!



There are five different Artifact cards, one for each round of play:



Game-play: Set-up

At the start of the game, each player gets their own Tent, and two Player cards (Torch and Camp). The Quest deck is shuffled to mix the Treasure and Hazard cards together. At the start of each round, one more of the five Artifacts is also shuffled along with the Quest cards. The five Temple cards are placed in the center of the table, and the first Temple card is put face up, to indicate that the first tunnel is about to be explored.



The aim is to get the most treasure possible over five rounds. Each round represents the players entering the Incan Temple in search of treasure. But it's one thing to find treasure, it's another to escape out of the Temple alive with it! Should you keep exploring and perhaps get more treasure? Or should you leave now while it's safe? If you leave too soon, you might hand a larger share of treasure to the players who continue exploring! If you stay too long, you might not make it out of the tunnel alive with the treasure you have found! In each round, you try to get as much treasure as you can.

Game-play: Flow of Play

The basic flow of play is as follows:

Choosing whether to stay or leave

The main part the game is simultaneous selection. Before one of the Quest cards is turned face up, all the players must decide whether they are going to continue exploring the current tunnel (Torch card), or leave back to their tent (Camp card). Simultaneously and secretly, they select the card corresponding to their choice, and these are then simultaneously revealed. When playing with my children, we chant in unison: "One, two, three, four ... let's explore!" (flipping the chosen card on the word "explore!")



First the players that have decided to leave the tunnel (Camp card) get to execute their action, then the players that have decided to stay in the tunnel (Torch card) get to find out what they have discovered in the next part of the tunnel!

Players that leave

Players who leave get to place treasures under their tent as follows:
a) whatever treasures they have found so far in the current tunnel
b) whatever treasures remain on the cards on the path to the exit of the current tunnel (these are shared between all the players that are leaving at this moment).
These treasures stay safely in your tent, and will count towards final scoring. Well done, you've made it out of the tunnel alive with some treasure! Sometimes it's better to play safe!
On occasion, the gems remaining on the path will accumulate, and be an incentive to leave in themselves - in which case you're hoping that you're the only player who leaves so that you don't have to share them out with others! This is all part of the fun of the simultaneous selection process!

Players that stay

Now let's find out what happens to the brave explorers who decided to risk continued adventures in the tunnel. The next card from the Quest deck is turned up and placed as part of a path from the Temple. There are two possibilities:

Is it a Treasure card? The treasures on that card are shared between all the players who are still exploring the tunnel - if the amount can't be shared evenly, the remainder stays on the card (it will be available to players leaving the tunnel in a future turn).



Note that you don't put these treasures in your tent just yet! They are placed outside your tent, and represent the fact that you've discovered treasure, but you're carrying it inside the treasure! You still need to make it outside the tunnel alive with the treasure to get it to your tent! Perhaps you will be frightened out of the Temple by further hazards, and not successfully bring the gems you've collected so far into your tent on the outside! That is the risk, and that is the reward, and the decision rests with you alone! What awaits around the next corner of the tunnel - is it more treasure, or is it a terrifying hazard?

Here's an example showing a game in play (ignore the wacky arrangement of Temple cards, and note that the tent cards are the inferior ones from the Sunriver edition), where several players are carrying 8 points of gems outside their tents, and are still exploring the tunnel!



Is it a Hazard card? Everyone starts trembling with fear... because if it is the second Hazard of the same type, the players have not made it out of the Temple with their treasure - they lose whatever treasure they have found in that tunnel, and the next round commences. For example, here a second Fire card has been revealed, thus ending the round:



How tragic! There goes 9 points of treasure to waste! One player will groan about the potential treasure he's lost, while the others who are safely out of the tunnel will rub their hands with glee at the misfortune of their more greedy and risky opponent!

It's not hard to see how the push-your-luck element works here: the longer you stay, the more treasure you can find! And as the game progresses and players explore a tunnel in search of more gems, slowly other players will abandon the search and retreat for the safety of their tent. Fewer players means more gems - but the longer they stay, the greater the risk! You'll often find the entire group on edge as a card is turned over, tensely awaiting to see whether it means more treasure or a perilous conclusion! Will the next card mean 17 gems to be shared between the two foolhardy explorers who are taking the risk of great riches? Or if there's already been four Hazard cards turned up, will this be the second Hazard card of the same type, thus making them lose the pile of treasure they've already found in this tunnel! It all depends on the next card...

Artifacts

The Artifacts are new to Incan Gold, and were not part of the original Diamant. To play with the Artifacts, you simply add one to the Quest deck each round. Unlike regular treasure, Artifacts aren't worth points when they are first discovered, but can only be taken when you leave the tunnel. But the catch is: you must be the only player who leaves, since you can't tear an Artifact in half and share it! The first three Artifacts to leave the Temple are worth 5 points, any further Artifacts that leave the Temple (a rare occurrence!) are worth 10 points.

Here we see an example where the brave adventurers are faced with Fire, and need to flee the tunnel without any treasure - in this case, the Artifact is removed and discarded - sadly, nobody managed to take it out of the tunnel with treasure in hand! Of course the other players who already made it out of the tunnel safely are inwardly rejoicing at this misfortune!



End of round

At the end of a round, the Hazard card that triggered the end of that round is removed from the game. This means that with each new round the probability of getting hit with Hazards lessens ever so slightly - giving players who are behind a chance to catch up ... if they're willing to make the necessary risks! An extra Artifact is added to the Quest pile, which is reshuffled, and the next round commences.

Scoring

The game ends after the fifth round. Players reveal how much treasure they have in their tents, and the player with the most is the winner.

Different editions

In short, here are the three main editions of the game thus far:

2005 - First edition of Diamant: Schmidt Spiele (German)

 


2006 - First edition of Incan Gold: Sunriver Games (English)



2009 - Second edition of Incan Gold: Gryphon Games (English)



Incan Gold vs Diamant?

The biggest differences between the German edition of Diamant and the English editions of Incan Gold are the different components:
● The Diamant edition has square shaped Quest cards with more cartoony artwork.
● The Diamant edition has shiny translucent gems instead of opaque green/black/gold gems.
● The Diamant edition has treasure chests instead of tents.
● The Diamant edition has an explorer meeple that you either reveal or keep hidden to illustrate your choice to stay or leave, instead of the two Player cards (Torch/Camp)
Note that some of the earlier editions of Diamant also came with a board.



Which components are better? This is largely a matter of personal taste. Certainly using an explorer meeple rather than Player cards is a slightly different method of simultaneous selection, but the end result is the same. There seems to be a lot of love for the Diamant gems and treasure chests, and I can see why. As for the cards, some prefer the cartoony artwork on the Diamant cards, others prefer the more Artistic artwork on the Incan Gold cards - make up your own mind which you prefer!



Another difference is the addition of Artifacts in the Incan Gold edition. They do add a small element of fun to the game, because they give an extra incentive for leaving a tunnel, plus there is the suspense of trying to be the only player leaving in order to get the Artifact! This works well, but I wouldn't make a choice between editions on this basis alone, since the basic game-play is not really affected.

You will find more discussion about Incan Gold vs Diamant here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/309968
But for most people, this whole discussion will be a moot point, since it's the Incan Gold edition that's more readily and easily available.

Sunriver vs Gryphon Games edition?

How does the new Gryphon Games edition of Incan Gold compare with the Sunriver edition?

Box

The first obvious difference is the boxes - the Gryphon Games edition (right) has a box that is identical in size to all the others in the Gryphon Bookshelf line.



Rules

The formatting of the rule books is quite different, the rule book of the Gryphon Games edition (right) being in line with the rest of the Gryphon Bookshelf series. The text is basically the same, but there are a few minor cosmetic changes to the wording here and there, but nothing that really changes the rules themselves.



Card quality

The cards of the Gryphon Game edition (top) have a linen finish. They're the same shape, size, and colour, but are clearly of a superior quality:



Tents

The tents of the Gryphon Games edition (left) are clearly superior as well:



The tents of the Sunriver edition are smaller, and the folding tends to make them tear in half over time, as can be seen here:



An extra benefit of the tents of the Gryphon Games edition is the fact that they allow the treasure to be better hidden, since only one side of the tent is open.

Player cards

The colour of the reverse side of the Player cards in the Gryphon Games edition (right) has also been changed:



This is not really a big deal, but it does enable the Player cards to be distinguished from the Quest cards a little more easily, since the artwork is the same, and in the Sunriver edition they were also the same colour. In the Gryphon Games edition, the Quest cards have a grey colour (left), while the Player cards have a brown colour (right).



We usually have the Player cards in card sleeves, to protect them and make them even more easily distinguishable, so this change has made no difference to us, but to some people it could be important.

The bottom line

Whether you prefer Diamant or Incan Gold is largely going to be a matter of personal preference: which components you prefer, and how keen you are to play with Artifacts. If you do decide to get Incan Gold, there seems to be little doubt that the Gryphon Games edition is a big improvement over the Sunriver games edition. The box is a more standard shape, the cards are much better quality, and the tents are a big improvement. Choosing between the two editions of Incan Gold is a no-brainer!



What do I think?

As a "go-to" game, for a quick and fun filler, Incan Gold hits the spot, and has a huge amount of a appeal. Here are some of the things that help make it a hit:

● Plays quickly
● Handles groups of up to 8 easily
● Press-your-luck gives a huge fun factor
● Appeals to people of all ages, both young children and older gamers can join in
● Great looking components
● Easy rules that are quick to teach

What makes this game work so well, is that it has a very accessible theme, and a very high fun factor as a result of the press-your-luck factor, combined with simultaneous selection. This cuts out down time, and keeps the game fun for everyone.

Are there any downs sides? Don't expect massively repeated play with the same group, especially if they're more serious gamers. Furthermore, counting out the gems during the game can be a bit fiddly. And the tents of the Sunriver edition of Incan Gold are poor quality - something remedied in the Gryphon Games edition. And it's not a cheap game - I remember agonizing for some time whether I should spend $30 on the Sunriver edition when it came out. Should I really be spending that kind of money for what is just a quick filler game? I wasn't sure at first. But I finally pulled the trigger on the purchase, and I've never regretted it, given the amount of fun and table time it's had!

This is the one game I've been able to pull out for people who say they never play games and even dislike games - and even they had a fun time! And how many other games can you think of that work quickly and so well for a group of up to 8 people? Children especially love this game, but you'll find that it appeals to people of all ages! I was fortunate enough to get a review copy of the Gryphon Games edition, but quite frankly, the amount of fun we've had with the Sunriver edition over the last couple of years made the steep price money well spent! Don't expect to be playing this over and over with your Agricola buddies, but if you're looking for something to play when grandma comes over, or Uncle Dave and his mischievous 7 year old son, or even when the colleagues from work pop in for some wine and cheese, then you can't go wrong with Incan Gold! Fun, fun, fun!



Want to know what my daughter thinks about the game? You'll find that out here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/358602

What do others think?

Even though it's just a light little game, there are lots of positive comments for Incan Gold. Here are just a few representative comments to give you an idea what others are saying about the game:

"A perfect game. Easy to explain, plays fast, and a game only takes 10 minutes. Yet you are constantly calculating and trying to predict what the other players are going to do. Every gamer should have a copy of this game." - Douwe Terluin
"Incan Gold is a superb filler: light, quick, and fun. It's push-your-luck at its purest, and perfectly implemented. The stones and tents are fun to fiddle with, the cards look good, and it's easy to explain. There's just no downside here." - Martin Ralya
"A quick game of chicken that has yet to not totally entertain anyone I've introduced it to." - Dapperdan
"This is one of my favorite games for a large group. It plays fast (frequently in about 30 minutes) and leaves everyone involved...even if it's just to root and cheer for the remainders of an expedition to meet with disaster." - Eryn Roston
"High accessible, very simple, and a lot of fun. There is a high level of tension, and everyone really has a great time waiting to see what comes next." - Jesse Hickle
"Wow, I was surprised. Wasn't expecting to be over-impressed with a light push-your-luck game but it is tense, short, fun and both the original and the Incan Gold version have lovely components. This is a great game for introducing people (and especially kids) to gaming. Sure, it isn't a gamers game but it is probably the best light gateway out." - Chris H
"What a game! My second 10 and truly worth every point of it. The amount of interaction you get in this game is unbelievable. Add to that the simple 2 choice decision-making process which can be so difficult at times and we have a gem here." - Tim Tan
"Great fun with all ages. A great press your luck game to fill in between games. The artifacts add a nice touch over Diamant." - Brian Sinclair


Many of the positive comments about the game play of Diamant apply equally to Incan Gold:

"A fun little push-your-luck game that plays up to 8. Non-gamers always LOVE it!" - Michelle Z
"After Can't Stop, this is probably my favorite push your luck game." - silvers211games
"I never thought I would be able to rank a game that can be taught in 5 seconds so highly. This game is incredibly fun with non-gamers and gamers alike. This is currently my favorte filler game." - Doug Saxon
"This is the best light filler I've played. It's fun and addictive, and downright agonizing at times!" - Ryan Smoker
"Light and very fun push your luck game that works well with a large group of players." - Joe Pike


Recommendation

A quick and light simultaneous-action press-your-luck game that's easy-to-learn and suitable for families and groups of up to eight players - why would you not add a game like this to your collection?



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The complete list of Ender's pictorial reviews: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/37596

  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Garnica
United States
Buena Park
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
This is a standout review! In fact, I've been bemoaning the issue that one has to FOLD cards for the Sunriver edition of the "tents". After reading this review, I've already decided that I must own this *just* purely for the better tent cards. If only I had waited a couple of months...soblue Oh well, nonetheless, a fabulous review. Thanks!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Lundström
Sweden
Täby
flag msg tools
Now who are these five?
badge
Come, come, all children who love fairy tales.
mbmbmbmbmb
Timer starts NOW for the countdown on senselessly splitting the Gryphon and Sunriver editions of Incan Gold.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Leigh Caple
United Kingdom
Nottingham
Notts.
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Another great review Ender! Fortunately I already own Diamant, otherwise your sterling effort would have resulted in yet another purchase for me!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Marcy Topham
United States
Mesa
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mb
Where do I buy the new version of Incan Gold. I tried several game stores and all they have is the old version.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steven Mayer
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for such a detailed review...this was great.

I had asked about this earlier and this helps me to make the decision to now purchase the gryphon edition.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Miller
Canada
Medicine Hat
Alberta
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
dtopham1 wrote:
Where do I buy the new version of Incan Gold. I tried several game stores and all they have is the old version.


The next 5 games in the Gryphon line should be coming in the next month or so. Great review Enders, I bet you're unintentionally breaking bandwidth rules on BGG almost daily now .
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Will
United States
Fresno
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Just a side note, its possible to roll the old version tent cards instead of folding. I reccomend this, then they dont crack like that. The game comes with instructions that say how, basically you find a round object and roll them in. The box insert will still hold the curved tent cards. I use rubber bands to keep their shape (yeah I know, rubber is bad for the cards, but its only the tent cards, and I suppose now that I have a roll of Hugo's Amazing Tape, I should use that instead )

Edit: Huh, no rolled tent pics, maybe I'll upload one
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I wouldn't say the Sunriver Incan Gold box is a non-standard size. It's the classic Kosmos 2-player box size. Doesn't everyone have dozens of these lying around?



B>
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Keith H
United States
Mesa
Arizona
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Fantastic review! Just made my decision on which version to get much easier. Thanks for the comparisons.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
"Keep Flying, Keep Flying, Keep Flying..."
United Kingdom
Scarborough
North Yorkshire
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Great review! You've just sold this for me! My girlfriend would love this too. Adding to wishlist now... goo
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Woodward
New Zealand
Hamilton
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Big review of a little game!

I have a complaint about the Player Cards (the ones showing a guy leaving or entering the pyramid) - and this seems as good a place as any to mentioned it - they simply look too similar. I often have players getting them mixed up. I think I am going to get a silver marker and write "IN" and "OUT" on them in big letters.
1 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
flag msg tools
There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
mbmbmbmbmb
manukajoe wrote:
Big review of a little game!

I have a complaint about the Player Cards (the ones showing a guy leaving or entering the pyramid) - and this seems as good a place as any to mentioned it - they simply look too similar. I often have players getting them mixed up. I think I am going to get a silver marker and write "IN" and "OUT" on them in big letters.


If you're going to all that trouble, look up how it's done in Diamant (the "meeple drop"), borrow some meeples from another game and try that. It's a lot more fun than revealing a card, and a lot easier to see who's in and who's out.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Benjamin Maggi
United States
Clifton Park
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
manukajoe wrote:
Big review of a little game!

I have a complaint about the Player Cards (the ones showing a guy leaving or entering the pyramid) - and this seems as good a place as any to mentioned it - they simply look too similar. I often have players getting them mixed up. I think I am going to get a silver marker and write "IN" and "OUT" on them in big letters.


I like the idea of using meeples. We have played this twice and both times people frequently confused the cards.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.