|Our Recommended Age:||6+|
|Play Time:||30 minutes (may vary)|
|Awards:||2014 Kinderspiel des Jahres (Children’s Game of the Year)|
|Contents:||1 Game Board, 4 Treasure Hunter, 19 Cards, 24 Ghost Figures, 6 Haunting Markers, 1 Movement Die, 2 Fighting Dice and 8 Treasure Jewels|
Mattel is more known for toys and maybe some classic games but to us they will be known as the company that made the coolest ghost game ever. Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters is a cooperative game where the Treasure Hunters have to escape the haunted house with 8 jewels….but it is never that simple is it?
So this game is recommended for ages 8+, however, since it is a cooperative game I would say kids as young as 5 could play as long as you had the patience to help them learn. The Diva is 7 and the Gentleman is 9 so we didn’t have to adjust this game at all. There is a Basic and an Advanced option to play so if you are playing with younger kids I would just use the Basic version and then give them options on their turn to help them learn.
The lift top lid reveals a beautiful plastic insert that has a spot for every piece. It is glorious…to me and anyone who loves organization. The cards, of which there aren’t many, are thin and standard size but the artwork is great. Not too spooky for kids who scare easily but still spooky enough for kids who like scary things with a bit of humor thrown it. As my son would say “not babyish” I wish they had games like this when I was a kid.
The Hunters come in four colors, Blue, Red, Green and Yellow and only one of them is a girl. I feel there should have been half and half but that is just me. They are the soft movable plastic so don’t twist them or anything and I suppose if you want you could paint them. I love that the backpacks have space so you can put the jewels IN them. I love games that add that little bit more to a game.
The game board and the jewels are made out of pretty good chipboard and dice are a little bigger than standard size with the images of numbers and ghosts printed on them…I think. They aren’t stickers and they are not etched but they are on there pretty good. The ghosts are adorable and that soft plastic and green and the Haunts are slightly bigger, red, harder plastic and a perfect mix of scarier than ghosts but not too scary of course.
Over all the parts are made fairly well and the I still love the box organization…love it. Now we can get into the how to play parts, I know you were waiting for that.
All of the Treasure Hunters have to get all 8 of the jewels and be out of the house with them to win.
Everyone picks a Treasure Hunter. Remember there are only four so if you have younger kids and more players team up a younger kid with an older one or an adult to “help”. All Treasure Hunters start outside of the door on the board…because that makes sense. If you are playing a two player game then each of you controls two Hunters…just FYI.
For the Basic game, which is what I will explain, remove the “Draw 2 + Shuffle”, “Draw 3 + Shuffle”, the two blue and two green “Door Locked” cards. These are for the advanced version. Now shuffle the rest of the cards and put them face down on their space on the game board.
Look at each room and you will see a single letter, this is to help with setup. Put a ghost figure in the rooms, C, F, I and L. Put a treasure jewel in every room that has a Red letter background. Ignore the numbers on the Treasure Jewels for the Basic game. Don’t cover any of the room letters though. There are no instructions for who goes first so decide on this now…we roll a die.
On your turn you can do any of a set of actions but if you do them you have to do them in order…which is this:
1. Roll the movement die – This is how you begin your turn and your roll will show you how many spaces you can move and also if you have to put a new Ghost Figure in a room. More on this in a sec.
2. Reveal a ghost card if necessary – If your movement die shows the Ghost on it then you have to flip over the top Ghost Card and put it beside the board as a discard pile. If you draw the ghost shuffling cards then you don’t put a new Ghost down and instead collect all of the cards from the both the draw and discard piles and shuffle them together and then it becomes the new draw pile. However, if there is a Ghost on the card then you have to put a Ghost Figure on the board in the space that matches the letter on the card.
3. Move – You can choose to NOT move but would still have to roll the die though. Whatever number is shown on the die is the number of spaces you CAN move but you don’t have to use the whole number. You just can’t go over it. So, if you roll a 3 you can move 3 spaces but you can also just move 1 or 2 and be done but you don’t get to stock pile the extra movements.
While moving you can enter or exit the house through the front door, move through rooms using the doors with each room counting as one space and each square in the hallway counting as one space, oh and you cannot move diagonally. Treasure Hunters can share rooms but not spaces in hallways…cause science. You can pass them in a hallway though if you have the movements.
4. Pick up or drop off jewels – You have to end your turn in a room with a Jewel in order to pick it up. It is a choice so you can choose to NOT do this but why would you. There is even a space in your character’s backpack to put the actual jewel token but only one at a time…I LOVE those little additions to games It makes it so much more fun for everyone….but let’s continue.
If there is a Ghost in the room you do HAVE to fight it which I will explain in a minute. Yes you can fight while holding a Jewel and yes even a Haunt. If you make it out of the house with the Treasure Jewel then your moving is over and you put the Jewel in a pile outside the house. Ghosts don’t go outside to get them back…I guess.
5. Fight – To fight Ghosts you have to roll a Battle Die. This is the one with the symbols only. Roll a Ghost icon and you can remove 1 Ghost from the room. Roll a Haunting or a Blank and nothing happens. If there is more than one player in the room then the current player gets to roll 2 dice. When you do remove a Ghost they are not gone forever, just put back in the Ghost dugout waiting for their turn again.
So to recap on your turn you roll the die, choose to move or not and put Ghosts out or not, pick up or drop of Jewels if you can and finally fight Ghosts. Now you probably want to know about those Haunts…well when 3 Ghosts are in one room that room becomes Haunted. Take all 3 Ghosts out and put in one of the red Haunt figures in their place.
Haunted Rooms have special rules of course. If a Ghost is supposed to be added to a room that is haunted then instead you put the new ghost in the room with the next letter in the alphabet, so if you are supposed to put one in room G, put it in room H instead.
You cannot move through a Haunted room until you Un-Haunt it but to do that you have to work together with another Treasure Hunter. Once there are at least 2 players in that room the current player rolls the two dice and as long as ONE of those is a Haunt then the room is un-haunted and the Haunt Figure is removed. Again, not for good though.
In order to win all the Treasure Hunters (players) are out of the house and have all 8 Treasure Jewels outside too they win! You can lose the game if all Haunt figures are on the board at the same time OR if all Treasure Hunters are unable to move from their locations.
We win more often than not but have lost due to Haunts once. We haven’t tried the advanced game yet but are going to soon and I think it would work better for older kids.The replay value is pretty good since the game is sort of random based on player decisions and die rolls. Not very portable but great to take to family gatherings or holidays or for a family game night.
Our family certainly loves playing it and not just because it involves ghosts…or treasure. It is one we play at Family Game nights and a great game for kids are not used to playing board games…and amazing for parents who have kids who NEED a cooperative game hehe.
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