Sunday, 12 January 2014

Quicksand: A Fun and Simple Race Game!

A really fun, simple boardgame from Flying Fantasy; I bought Quicksand some years ago at a whim when seeing it at a sale for only DKK 50.00.

I hadn't played it until yesterday, when I finally decided that my kids are both old enough for introduction to the World of Boardgaming (actually, I've played a couple of games of Risk with open cards with them last summer, so I could guide them a bit, but Quicksand requires total autonomy by all players).

The pencil is not needed for the game, it just happened to be on the coffee table.

The set-up is a follows: Six explorers race through the jungle to be the first to claim the discovery of an ancient temple. The theme is fairly unimportant, though,, it could just as easily have been six prospectors racing to get to a goldmine, or anything you could think of.

 During the game, Explorers may be delayed by quicksand, either by landing on a circle containing the quicksand symbol, or by having a quicksand card played on them.

The game is fairly simple, but one element in particular can make even seasoned gamers scratch their neckbeard in frustration: You only know which 'pawn' (explorer) is yours - the other 5 can be either controlled by the other players or be duds (if you play with less than 6 participants).

Movement is controlled by a hand of 6 cards (replenished after each turn), drawn at random from the deck, so you won't always have the cards you need to move your own Explorer (which is just as good, as everybody else would be playing quicksand cards on it, or avoid playing movement cards on it, should they figure out it was yours).

You can only play movement cards on one explorer per turn (or one quicksand Card), though you may play any number of cards the same colour and/or wildcards (masks) on the corresponding Explorer.

If you make an Explorer land on a circle corresponding to him/her, you may also discard 1 card in addition to the ones played in order to move the Explorer, before you replenish your hand of Cards up to 6.

It's a game of deception, and cunningly playing your Cards so you can collect the Cards you need for the final leap for Victory.

It's probably not for dedicated boardgame afficionados, but it's a nice little game you can break out at social occations, as it takes no time to set up and explain, and you'll have up to six people playing within 5 minutes, or before bedtime if the kids require pacification ;o)

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