There have been a few times in our lives that we’ve had the opportunity to pan for gold. Most of these have been in a controlled setting where we purchased a bag or bucket of dirt that may (or may not) have anything in them. We’ve gone into it with the expectation of a fun experience and nothing beyond that. However, when we went to the diamond mine in Arkansas, we actually witnessed someone finding a diamond in their sifting screen! That gave us some hope. Unfortunately, these activities are mostly an investment of time where few people walk away with a bag full of riches. We were among that group that didn’t strike it big.
So what happens when you take that concept and make it into a push your luck game? You end up with Gold Fever from Stronghold Games. Drawing from the bag isn’t life-changing, but it is game-changing. If you draw well, chances are you’ll become the target of everyone else. Ready to hear more about the game? Great!
Gold Fever can play up to 5 people and only lasts about 15 minutes. It uses very simple concepts so kids as young as 6 or 7 are capable of playing this family game. Each player begins the game with a drawstring bag filled with 5 gold pieces, 4 each of grey, black and white gravel pieces, one ruby and one emerald. While you currently have five gold, you don’t own it until you’ve managed to fish it out of your bag. The goal is to be the first player to score all five of their gold nuggets. While that sounds like the luckiest person will be the winner, that’s not the case at all. Read on…
On your turn, you’ll draw one piece out of the bag. Odds are pretty good that it won’t be gold. If you DO draw gold, awesome. Unfortunately, it isn’t yours until your turn is over so don’t start dancing yet. You have the option of ending your turn now or pushing your luck to see if you can get more. If you close out your turn then you can claim the piece of gold. Otherwise, you’ll draw another stone. In order to understand that gravity of the situation, maybe we should take a step back and look at the different stones in your bag and discuss what happens when you draw each one.
The first time you draw a white, grey or black piece of gravel, you can opt to draw again or stop. If you end your turn, then you get to score any gold you’ve drawn so far as well as give your piece(s) of gravel to one other player. If you continue to draw different colors of gravel, you are find. However, as soon as you draw a second white or second gray piece of gravel, your turn is involuntarily ended and all the stones, including any gold you may have drawn, are returned to your bag.
If you draw a second black stone, not only is your turn over, but there are additional ramifications. You return everything to your bag AND other players draw a stone out of THEIR bags to potentially go into yours. If they draw a piece of gravel, you inherit it. If it’s gold, ruby or emerald then your opponent keeps it.
Things get even more interesting if you draw a ruby or emerald. As soon as a ruby is exposed, a lightning round begins. Every player ignores the standard rules relating to each type of stone and simply races to be the first to draw a piece of gold. When that happens, your turn is over immediately, and the person who first drew gold gets to score it. If you draw an emerald, you are required to press your luck and draw two more stones out of your bag. You’ll draw them one at a time and follow the normal rules. It could mean gold, could mean gravel, could mean a speed round. All the normal rules apply, you just don’t have the option to quit until after the second is drawn.
As I said before, Gold Fever ends when one player secures their 5th piece of Gold. There is a great deal of luck involved, but it’s also impacted by how well players are able to transfer gravel to their opponents. If you want to see what other games that Stronghold Games is striking gold with, visit their website or read their social channels. If Gold Fever sounds like it would hit the jackpot with your game group or family, pick up a copy on Amazon.
Have you ever gone panning for gold?