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Zeke’s Gold Grab

Published by Stephrock, Zeke's Gold Grab is a light, quick-playing trick-taking card game. Family friendly and highly accessible, it also has an interesting scoring system to keep things a little fresh.

Gameplay

The deck is shuffled and each player is dealt five cards. Cards come in four different colors and are numbered one through twelve, with additional special cards included. The player to the left of the dealer goes first, laying down a card. Standard trick-taking rules are followed. Each player must follow with a card whose color matches the leading card if they are able. Highest card in the starting color wins the trick. The player who won the trick then leads with a new card. However, each card also has a gold value. Players score points at the end of the round equal to the number of gold they win through tricks.

There are a few exceptions, however. The mother lode card is the highest value card in the deck. Its card color is red and must be played according to regular rules, however it will win the hand regardless of whether it matches the lead card or not. The three gold rush cards, which come in the three other card colors, are the second highest value cards in the deck and also act similarly to the mother lode card.

Burro cards count as wilds in regards to their card color; they have a card value and gold value of zero. If you do not have a card in your hand that matches the lead card’s color, you may also play a fool’s gold card or an earthquake card if you have them. Fool’s gold is worth negative ten gold to the player who wins it, and earthquakes are worth zero gold and also cause each player to draw two cards from the hand of the player on their left or right (the direction depends on the choice of the person who played the card).

After each player has played a card into a trick, they immediately draw a new card from the deck. The round ends once all cards have been played. You count up the gold values of all the cards you’ve won and add them to your total score. You then shuffle the deck to begin a new round. The game ends once a player reaches a certain number of points (the number varies based on player count) and the player with the highest score wins.

Zeke's Gold Grab Components

Review

Zeke’s Gold Grab is a fairly simple game from its mechanics to its artwork, but that is part of its charm. It feels like a classic family-friendly card game that players can get into regardless of their board game experience while having a few additional elements to make it a little more interesting.

When leading a trick you have to be a little more cautious as you need to consider the gold value of your cards, especially when the mother lode and gold rush cards still haven’t been played. The specialty cards also mix up gameplay, with the fool’s gold particularly adding some interesting moments as you choose when to pass them off onto other players, and who to target with them.

There could be more artwork on the number cards, but we did enjoy the artwork on the special cards. The cards themselves are a fine quality and we really liked the portability of the game, as this is the kind of game you’re going to want to easily be able to take with you.

Zeke’s Gold Grab doesn’t bring anything really new to the trick-taking genre, but if you’re looking for something to play with kids or people who don’t typically play a lot of games, this is a nicely put together card game that is fun and light and has an interesting scoring system.

Pros: Scoring system, portable, super easy to learn and very accessible

Cons: More artwork would have been nice, may be too simple for some players

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