Years ago I joined a games group that met up at the Kookaburra Cafe in Paddington. It was there that I met Alpal and discovered her love and weakness for push-your-luck games. The game we played but I could never track down a copy was Incan Gold. Many may know Incan Gold as Diamant – it is the same game.
The basics of Incan Gold are simple, and the gameplay time is pretty short. Lots of people would come over and look as well, even though it looked like a card game. That’s because the score tracker was acrylic gems – still a novelty at the time. And lots of us enjoyed playing as we could talk around the game with no real impact on the play.
The game length is short for a very simple reason – everyone plays at the same time. As a group, you decide if you will explore deeper, or return to camp. If you explore, you share any gems evenly amongst those in the temple. If you return to camp, you pack up the gems you have collected so far and wait for the next round.
And why wouldn’t you keep exploring? Because the temple deck of 30 cards is 15 treasures and 15 dangers. There are five dangers in total (3 cards each). If you flip two matching dangers those exploring must return to camp empty-handed.
There is only one real rule variant and that is treasures. If you are the only one returning to camp, you can claim the treasures shown. These are worth five points at the end of the game. The catch is if anyone else returns at the same time, the treasures stay where they are.
Do this for five rounds, and the person with the most treasure wins. That’s it – you know how to play Incan Gold!
And like many simple games, that’s why I love this game. You can talk about anything during a turn, as no gameplay can be missed. The goading and prodding while people try and work out if they should continue or play it safe can be hilarious.
Incan Gold is a great casual game, especially good with new people. Easy to teach and learn, and allows free conversation so everyone can get acquainted.
We were very happy to see Incan Gold on Board Game Arena, and I can see many more games in the weeks to come.