I’ve had my eye on this one for a while now, and yesterday I was alerted by the ever-vigilant gamers on BGG to the fact that Zoch have now posted more details on their website, including full rules in English, German and French. Before that all I had seen were a few shots of the board, which had been enough to pique my interest.
The game is, it turns out, a rather clever treasure hunt set on a jungle-bound island. The modular board looks amazing, as do all the 3D elements — the huts, statues, palm trees and player vehicles.
I am, it must be said, something of a sucker for such richly illustrated games, but a thorough reading of the rules reveals that the game offers a thoroughly new twist on the notion of treasure hunting.
The game has two core mechanisms, both of which appear innovative to me. First there is a collaborative deduction engine that means that the players together progressively narrow down the possible treasure locations. And second there’s a neat little push-your-luck procedure for deciding who gets the loot when the mysterious — and possibly cursed! — treasure is finally dug up.
The only slightly jarring part of the rules was the bit that described how the statues, from time to time, miraculously scatter the coastline with magical amulets, which of course have a variety of possible power-plays associated with them. However, this mechanism does give the players other targets to aim at on the island, other than the treasures themselves that is, and doubtless helps to add variety to the game, as well as speed things up.
Overall though the game looks and feels like a very solid, family-friendly strategy game that has a lot to offer. If I ever get a chance to try it out I’ll let you know!