Boom, Bang, Gold! Review


Boom Bang Gold Cover Art
Released 2017
Designer Alexandre Emerit
Publisher HABA Games (Website)
Players 2-4 (More players are better)
Playing Time 20-25 minutes including setup
Learning game – 25-35 minutes
Category Dexterity
Western
Variable Player Powers
BoardGameGeek View on BGG

Yes, it’s a kids dexterity game. That doesn’t mean it’s not a bit of quick fun!

My mental capacity is flagging lately. I tried playing Doom Eternal last night after a couple of weeks, and it took me far too long to work out a platform puzzle. It wasn’t the controls – I literally didn’t think to look up for about 5 minutes. Fun times! :p

We all get into this kind of mode at times. Especially now with us all locked in. When this kind of mood hits, simple games that can be played on automatic are a great fallback. You get entertained, without having to run a mental decathlon.

HABA games are great for these moods. Primarily made for kids, I have yet to find a HABA game that my games group hasn’t enjoyed as well.

Today, I thought I would share a simple dexterity game with a western theme – Boom, Bang, Gold!

The title describes the gameplay entirely.

The overall idea of the game is simple. Players pick different miners, each able to do different things (player powers). The box is filled with the counters of the game face down.

Each round, players take their wooden sticks of dynamite (yes, they are fun to hold), and throws them into the box. This causes the tokens to mix and flip. Everyone then uses one hand only to quickly grab as many tokens as possible, grabbing the gold.

Boom, Bang, Gold! – see how it works?

Boom Bang Gold Components
It's not often I can show the box of as an actual game component

How does that work? It doesn’t sound fun.

The box has a raised section in the bottom, giving a mini-trampoline effect when the large wooden blocks hit it. It’s hard to describe how satisfying it instantly feels watching the counters go flying!

It’s that instant tactile feedback that hooks you into playing. Everyone wants to throw the dynamite back into the box straight away, but you have to wait for the next round.

Boom Bang Gold Impact
Still don't do justice to the fun of throwing down dynamite 🙂

There are also more tokens than just gold. There are even two forms of gold – yellow gold and orange ‘illegal’ gold. Various critters are exposed when the dynamite goes off as well. Snakes, Bats, Rats and even Ghosts can be revealed.

Each character is immune to one type of critter. For example, Hank isn’t worried by bats at all. During the round, players can call out whatever they aren’t scared of.

So if a bat is revealed, Hank can call out “Look out – BATS!”, causing other players to stop momentarily.

Boom Bang Gold Miners
A little hard to see here, but when the miner is in front of you storage doubles as your summary card

While Hank continues collecting, the other players must put both hands on top of their heads and call “HELP!”. This gives a player a moment to collect unimpaired. 

So this game just went from overly simple to confusing.

A little – especially if you are playing with younger kids. Getting your head around the player delay mechanic can be a bit confusing, but it usually only takes a round or two to get the hang of.

If you are playing with younger players, maybe take out the critter that I could call out. So if I was playing Hank, I would remove the bats. Then you can teach people to look for their token, and show them the penalty action. That way, they only have part of the process to concentrate on and learn by seeing the penalty in action.

Once all the gold is collected, the round isn’t over.

You don’t instantly score the gold you collect. Other little twists can affect scoring.

There is also a Sherrif badge and Revolver to potentially collect as well. The Sherrif badge lets you force all other players to put back their ‘illegal’ gold.

The Revolver forces a bluffing duel. One player takes two bits of gold from their shelf and hides them in closed fists. Really you will either have one piece in each hand or more commonly hide both nuggets in one fist.

The Pick lets a player turn over and collect 5 tokens after a round, but before scoring. Finally the Dynamite (not pictured) lets you throw one more stick of Dynamite. Always fun!

Boom Bang Gold Tokens
Not too many symbols to keep track of

The player that started the duel then picks a hand. If they find any gold, they keep it. The penalty isn’t too bad, but the mechanic adds another wrinkle to the scoring.

For both of these tokens, if it’s too much for the players, just remove the symbols. They are fun additions, but if it’s too confusing, keep the gameplay simple.

So why would I want to play Boom, Bang, Gold!?

The gameplay is quick, taking about 20-25 minutes. It’s a great little filler game, and because of the Boom also a fun game to attract people to your table.

It’s also a fun game to play with younger players, and rules can be altered to suit. At about AUD$50, it might look expensive for a filler/simple kids game, but the quality of the components justifies this price for me.

Would you design a games night around Boom, Bang, Gold!? No. But for a game to have on the shelf for a quick bit of fun, Boom, Bang, Gold! is an excellent choice for any library.

Overall Thoughts

Sometimes, you just want a quick bit of mindless fun. Boom, Bang, Gold! delivers on this for players of all ages.

If you were looking for a first game to start building your game collection, I have a hard time suggesting Boom, Bang, Gold!. While it’s a lot of fun, it’s not a game you can play over and over again. You need other games in between sessions to keep the joy of playing alive.

If you were looking for a game to pad your existing library though, Boom, Bang, Gold! is high on this list. The quick setup, general appeal and quality components make this a good choice for many libraries.

Overall
7.5/10
7.5/10

Pros

  • Quick and fun gameplay
  • Quality compents
  • Can be tailored to newer players

Cons

  • Can be confusing if teaching younger players everything at once
  • Best purchased to extend your library rather than start it

Until next time,

JohnHQLD