Best Moment (for the other players!)
Treasure cards are rare. Creating a perfect treasure collection is even more rare. I had a four-card, perfect treasure set ready to complete for a good portion of the end of the game. I finally made the decision right at the end to duplicate a card resulting in half the points for that collection. Guess what I drew the next turn! The blasted gold coin pile I needed that entire time. Too late! To make matters worse, those points would have jumped me from 2nd to 1st place. Ugh…
Play as an up-and-coming archaeologist with a critical assignment from the esteemed Nigel Remington: to round up as many treasures and antiquities as you can before the bounty hunter, Tess Wynter, gets her hands on them. You’ll take turns playing cards to make as many perfect sets as you can. Need to mess up a collection? That’s okay, your points will just be cut in half!
I don’t normally start a review by commending the artwork, but I absolutely love the artistic depictions of valuable antiquities from six different ancient civilizations. While the ancient Eqyptian artifacts are my favorite, the Mesopotamian collections are impressive, as are the ancient Greece and China sets. The rules nor the cards indicate which civilizations are represented, so it was fun trying to identify each group while teaching our kids a bit about ancient history!
We have been longtime fans of the set collection game Hand & Foot, and my family was super excited to try this spin-off of a classic. We were not disappointed in the least. While many classic game spin-offs can have a second-rate, counterfeit feel, Antiquity Quest hits the mark with a solid, independently fun game that sticks to its roots. Honestly, I don’t know that I would ever choose to play Hand & Foot over Antiquity Quest anymore. That’s kind of sad since we’ve been playing Hand & Foot since I was very young, but it’s true! =-)
The two character cards present a really fun twist. While playing a Professor Remington card is a nice means to accumulate more cards and automatic points, playing a Tess Wynter (the bounty hunter!) card instigates many groans of disappointment as she trashes the current discard pile thus preventing other players from completing valuable sets. I always love a good stick-it-to-other-players moment, and Antiquity Quest provides plenty of those!
I love the ability to work towards and complete five different types of collections between two types of cards (perfect, standard, and mixed with antiquities, treasures, or both). This makes for a very fun push-your-luck-against-time element to see just how far you can go with the cards you have in your hand (or anticipated future cards). This dynamic is especially fun when playing with partners in a larger group because you can’t discuss strategy with each other and don’t know what your partner has in his/her hand!
Tips & Tricks
- Be very cautious and selective when you decide to “dirty” a perfect collection by making it standard. There’s nothing worse than making that tough decision then drawing the exact card you needed shortly afterwards (see above!). Find that risk-reward balance!
- Don’t discount the chance to mess up other players’ collections! While doing so too often will decrease your points significantly, you’ll want to pounce on those high point value sets you can cut in half.
Scoring & Wrap-up
- Quick, simple learning and gameplay
- Detailed and colorful artwork
- Fun push-your-luck-against-time element
- Dynamic partner play with a large group
- Depending on who you play against, sometimes (especially against vindictive younger players!) the game gets a bit too “attacky” where the focus is almost solely on ruining each other’s collections and not on building up your own. The remedy? Don’t play with those types of players. =-)
Similar to all of Grandpa Beck’s games, Antiquity Quest is one of those that you can throw in the car or diaper bag on your way out to your friend’s or family’s house, gather a small or large group, teach the game in just a few minutes, and start playing immediately. It moves along quickly and grows into a fun-filled afternoon!
Disclaimer: I received this game for free in exchange for my review, but believe me, I post authentic reviews every time and will be brazenly blunt if needs be.