Game Name: Gold Ahoy
Publisher: Mayfair Games/Lookout Games
Playing time: 15 Minutes
- 36 Tiles
- Cloth Bag
From Mayfair Games:
The Treasure Hunt is on!
Today is the day: Pirate Golden Hook’s legendary gold treasure has appeared. Only when the tide occurs at exactly the time of death of the pirate, the fabled treasures can be found. Get the majority of paths to the sandbanks and water channels to claim the most treasure chests!
Open up the box and what do you see? Some tiles, a bag, and a rulebook in four languages. It’s Mayfair Games, so the good news is that the tiles and bag are of excellent quality. In fact it is probably one of the best cloth bags I’ve seen in a board game. I could fill this up with chocolate gold coins and hang it from my belt for any medieval festival.
Each tile has artwork depicting different land and water configurations, and some have treasure chests on them. These can be on either land or water, and it is your task to build paths from your side of the table to as many of these chests as you can. The player with the most chests under their control at the end of the game is the winner.
This is a two player game. To begin, whoever is going first selects a tile and places it on the table. Player two then selects a tile and places it adjacent to the first so that at least one edge is touching the other tile. Players continue placing tiles and forming a 6 x 6 tile grid. The only rules are that each tile must be placed adjacent to another tile, you must stay within a 6 x 6 grid, and you cannot start a new row on your opponent’s side of the table.
Once you play the game you will see how simple it actually is. All of the tile artwork matches up so that you can’t place one incorrectly. Once every tile
has been placed you count up the number of chests that you can reach from a path on your side of the board on either land or water. The player who can get to the most chests wins.
It is possible to have more than one path leading to some chests, so the player with the most connecting paths to the chests in question gets the points. If there is a tie, then no points are awarded.
Really, figuring out the points is the most complicated part of the game. I keep pen and paper handy to make the counting easier, though in fact there is sometimes this moment of clarity that you get where you can see every path on the board and know instantly where and how many points you have. It’s funny, you’ll have to play it in order to see what I mean.
My feelings on the game are mixed, or really more indifferent than anything else. It is a game, there is a winner and loser, but there isn’t much in the way of strategy in it. You select a tile and place it. Some of the tiles can be arranged so that they give you better or more paths to some chests, but it is far easier to screw up your opponent than it is to try to benefit yourself.
It is an ok game, easy to learn and play in just a few minutes. My daughter picked it up easily. It was more just an exercise in placing tiles rather than trying to actually win. The theme could have really been anything, but it works well with the nautical bent. I can’t help but thinking that it might have been cool to make it so that your goal was to build a path from one side of the board to the other in order to sail your ship across, and then include a few little ship mini’s, but that is neither here nor there.
There are a lot of tile laying games, and there is nothing to distinguish this one from any other. If you like the theme and enjoy tile games then you should enjoy Gold Ahoy! It’s good to play with kids, or for two kids to play together as there is little conflict and it is so simple to learn. Other than that I found it a bit boring. Nothing wrong with it, just not really up my alley.