Incan Gold Review

3-8 Players
20-30 Minute Playing Time

Brief Overview:
Incan Gold is a 'push-your-luck' adventure game for a group of Indiana Jones like explorers on a quest to find lost Incan artifacts and treasures. The best place to find said treasures is in an ancient Incan temple of course, and the deeper into the temple you explore the more gold you'll be able to obtain.  However be warned the longer you stay and the further into the temple you go, the more trouble you'll also find.  Venture too far and you may get yourself into too much danger, causing you to leave all your wealth behind.

To start each player is given a tent and two cards representing the only choices in this adventure - venture deeper (Torch card), or cash in and get out of there (Camp card).  Five round cards are placed on the table with a random artifact under each round.  These artifacts are shuffled into the Quest pile at the start of each new round.  To start the round a quest card is turned over revealing either treasure or a hazard.  Treasure cards are split equally amongst the players exploring the temple and placed outside each players tent, with any excess not dividable placed on top of the quest card which can be taken later.  If a hazard card is revealed and is the first of its kind, nothing happens.  However, if you reveal two of the same type of hazard, all players who haven't secured their treasures into their tents are forced to flee and leave it all behind.

As each card is revealed, players will decide which of their two cards to secretly play.  Do I stay on to gather more wealth and risk the chance or getting ruined by hazards?  Or do I flee now, split the excess treasure with any other players who leave, put all found treasure safely inside my tent, but miss out on any further gold? Those who leave keep their gained treasure and those who stay flip another card and await the results. Play continues in this manner until either all adventures have left or two hazards of the same type have come up.  If an artifact card is revealed, the next player to return to camp on their own takes the artifact and is awarded bonus treasure.  After the five rounds are over, players count treasure that made it into their tents with the highest value of goods securing a win.

My Thoughts:
I enjoy simple games, ones easy to set up, quick to play and most importantly playable with anyone. Incan Gold is exactly that.  There is not a whole lot you can actually do in this game, you'll basically do the same thing every turn: stay, stay, stay, a few hazards but i'll push more, stay, stay, bust. Try again next round and be a little more cautious to get out with some gold. Players who really care can do some quick maths and work out the odds of the next card being a hazard vs a treasure, but in a light game like this it would be surprising for someone to care that much.  There can be the tiniest bit of mind games that happen while players are deciding whether to be greedy or play it safe - especially when an artifact is involved, but it really is just the two choices your making and those decisions aren't based on skill.

Incan Gold is a basic game of gambling and luck, but the components make things a bit more exciting. The jewels themselves are decently made and cashing in five greens for a black and two blacks for a gold makes you feel like your on your way to victory, and having a little tent is like a cherry on top.  It's fun putting your treasure away into your tent knowing its safe from the clutches of random hazards, and it also prevents other players from knowing exactly how much gold you've discovered. You'll have some idea of how well your doing, but keeping things hidden in the tent often keeps winners a mystery until the end. The artwork on the cards is nothing special but works for the most part.  The two main cards each player uses could have been a little simpler and the mummy's are some of the weirdest looking mummy/zombie things I've seen, but it's not real important as your mostly looking at the number of treasures or the fact it's a hazard.

For a push your luck game, Incan Gold is about as simple as you can get.  Having five rounds adds a little to think about that's not all luck, as you will have an idea of when you need to push hard or when you can comfortably head back to the camp at the first signs of trouble - but it's hardly noticeable.  Artifacts also mix things up a little bit from normal play, but aren't worth enough gold to really make a difference and mostly go by without much fanfare. I wouldn't organise a game night to play Incan Gold, but it's one that I'd be happy to play before or after the main event as a quick fun filler. When I'm playing with non-gamers this will make the table often as I know it will be a sure hit, and even though most regulars will enjoy a game or two, the lack of depth won't keep many captivated for too long.  

My Verdict:
Basic but good at what it does
Easy to play, easy to teach, fun for anyone