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Silver and Gold

From Sushi Go and Imhotep designer Phil Walker-Harding comes a brand new flip-and-write game of seeking buried treasure.

Draw cards, mark off boxes on your treasure maps, and discover Silver and Gold in this casual game from Pandasaurus Games.

Gameplay

There are forty-seven treasure cards which come in four different colors. Each treasure card shows a grid of boxes, forming different shapes — players will be drawing directly on these cards to cross off boxes. There are also eight expedition cards, each of which shows a collection of two to four boxes in different patterns. The expedition cards are reshuffled at the start of each round.

During set up, each player is dealt four treasure cards and chooses two, placing the other two back into the treasure card deck. which is then shuffled and placed face-down on the table. Four cards are then drawn from the deck and placed face-up on the table to form a display.

The game is played over four rounds, with seven turns in each round. Each turn has three steps. During the first step, you draw an expedition card. During the second step, each player crosses off boxes on one of their two treasure cards. They may either cross off boxes according to the pattern on the expedition card (the pattern can be rotated or mirrored, but otherwise must remain unchanged) or they may choose to cross off a single box. Each box on your treasure card may only be crossed off once.

If you cross off a box on your treasure card that shows a red X symbol, you immediately cross off another empty box on either of your two cards. If you cross off a palm tree symbol, you earn one point for the tree and an additional point for each palm tree that appears on the four cards in the treasure card display. If you cross off a coin on your treasure card, you mark off a coin symbol on your score card.

There are three rows of four coins each on your score card and you start in the top left and work your way along each row. The first player to fill a row earns six points for it. Only the first six rows to be marked off will score points and they are worth gradually fewer points as you go. During the third and final step of the round, if you have filled in all the boxes of one of your cards, you set it in your score pile, and choose a new one from the display (a card is then drawn from the deck to replace it).

Each treasure card is worth a certain number of points when completed. Some cards also have a seal symbol on them with a number. If this card is completed, that seal will score points for each completed treasure card you have whose color matches the seal’s color.

Silver & Gold

 

Review

Silver and Gold is a solid addition to the pen and paper game genre, especially for those who are not a huge fan of the ‘roll’ aspect of roll and write games. The dice are replaced with cards in Silver and Gold, and while you don’t know exactly which cards will be drawn, and during each round only seven of the eight expedition cards are revealed, the score card shows each possible shape that can be drawn. This allows you to strategize, and as the round progresses, to make steadily more informed decisions. The control you have over which treasure cards you choose also helps to mitigate any ‘luck of the draw’ elements to the game.

There is a puzzle element to Silver and Gold as you choose how to fill in each pattern of boxes, and consider which expedition cards can still be drawn. However, we appreciated the fact that a round is never wasted. We liked the rule that allows you to always fill in at least one box, each round, even if you can’t fill in all the boxes from the expedition. These moves can even be ones that earn you a solid amount of points given the various symbols you can mark off for bonuses.

Players have very minimal downtime, as filling in the boxes happens simultaneously. You only have to wait if someone is slow to decide or if players have to take turns resolving completed treasure cards or rows of coins at the end of the round. However, other than racing against your opponents to earn the most points for the coins, there is little to no player interaction, which some players will not enjoy; though this does mean it scales well across player counts.

Silver and Gold is a lovely blend of light puzzles and strategy, and the result is an experience that a wide audience can enjoy. Its simplicity is well-designed, and its gameplay smooth and enjoyable.

Pros: Nice blend of strategy and luck, players always check off a box each round, simultaneous play

Cons: Little player interaction

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.