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Antiquity Quest

Collect treasures and ancient antiquities. Assemble matching groups and rare sets to score the most points!

Grandpa Beck’s Games is excellent at designing family-friendly, accessible card games — a category that Antiquity Quest fits into nicely.

Gameplay

Each player is dealt ten cards for their hand, and ten cards which they set aside and do not look at, which forms their cache. The deck is then placed in the center of the table. There are six suits of antiquity cards (each represents a different ancient civilization) and in each suit cards are numbered one through five with additional wild cards in each suit that can stand in for any number. There is also the treasure suit which is rarer, and there are five different types of treasures. Finally, there are Nigel Remington and Tess Wynter cards.

On your turn you start by drawing two cards from the draw deck. Alternatively, you can instead take all the cards from the discard pile if you have two-to-four cards of the same suit as the card on top of the discard pile — you then take this top card along with your matching cards and start a collection with them and take the remaining cards into your hand.

After drawing, you may play as many cards from your hand as you wish or none at all. One option is to start a collection (this requires at least three cards). There are three types of collections. Perfect collections consist of five different types of treasure cards (worth 1500 hundred points) or a set of antiquity cards, all of the same suit numbered one through five (worth 1000 points). Next there are standard collections, either all treasure cards but there can be repeats of type, or all antiquity cards of the same suit but duplicates in numbers. Finally, there are mixed collections, in which there are treasure and antiquity cards in the collection (however all antiquity cards must still be of the same suit).

Another option is to add one or more cards to a collection. Mixed collections are the only type you can add cards to once the collection is complete, however (a collection is complete when it has five cards in it). Antiquity cards cannot be added to an incomplete collection that only includes treasure cards. You can also add cards to another player’s collection, either to get rid of cards from your hand or to sabotage their collection and turn it into one of lower value.

When you play a Nigel Remington card, it allows you to draw three cards. Also once played, you set the Remington card in your score pile and it is worth 100 points at the end of the round.

Finally on your turn, you must discard a card. If you discard a Tess Wynter card, all the cards in the discard pile are considered stolen and are removed for the rest of the round.

When you run out of cards in your hand, you pick up your cache, which is now your new hand. If this happens during the play phase of your turn, you may continue to play cards from it.

The first player to create five collections and play the last card from their cache, earns five hundred bonus points. Each other player gets one more turn, and the round ends.

Players then score points based on the type and number of collections they’ve completed, points for each card in their collections (completed and incomplete) and lose points for the cards still in their hands and caches. At the start of the game players choose to either play one round or three. The player with the highest score at the end of their chosen number of rounds wins the game.

Antiquity Quest

 

Review

Antiquity Quest is an accessible, casual card game that’s quite family friendly, made even more so by its generous player count of two to eight. The gameplay is based on a familiar classic card game, Hand and Foot — although the added theme, artwork, and rule enhancements make this a game that easily stands on its own. There are also some rule variants to tweak the game’s complexity, which also means you can adapt the game based on the age of your players.

There’s an interesting combination of drawing cards, holding back at playing your collections so as not to have them interfered with by other players, while also having to keep an eye on where other players are and how close they are to going out. Since everyone still gets one turn after a player ends the round, you’re unlikely to be left with such a huge handful of cards that you’ve automatically lost the round, but to get the most out of your hand, especially enough to combat the going out bonus, you need to keep an eye on where other players are.

In the advanced rules this is even more of a tense balance as, once a player has gone out, the remaining players may play cards to their own collection areas but do not get a full turn, can’t add cards to other player’s collections, nor can they pick up their caches. So you are even more likely end up with an unfortunate hand if you watch your opponents and make some compromises regarding your collections.

Antiquity Quest has some elements of ‘take-that’ with the ability to sabotage your opponents' collections, but it’s lightly woven into the game and you can protect your more valuable collections by not playing them at all until they’re already complete in your hand. Therefore there is some light player interaction sprinkled throughout the game, but it never gets too mean.

The game does have a fairly large range in playtime. While the box says 30-45 minutes, the rulebook states it can last up to ninety minutes when playing the full three rounds. Player number is going to play a role in this and in the amount of downtime.

Antiquity Quest looks nice, has solid artwork and good components, and is a really nicely put together set collector, that feels like a pleasant blend of classic card game and something a bit more modern. A good addition to a family collection, Antiquity Quest is a solid and enjoyable card game.

Pros: Ability to adapt difficulty, large range of players supported, good component quality, good set collection mechanics

Cons: Game and downtime can run long based on player count and game mode

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