Gold Mine Board Game Review

Did someone say gold? Gold Mine is a game that promises a ton of family fun. You have to use your wits to create tunnels for your miner to get gold. Once the miner has enough of the pretty yellow rocks, it’s time to stake a claim! Oh, and you have to make sure they don’t get robbed on their way out – by the way.

Brief Overview of Gold Mine

Gold Mine Board Game Box and Board

The aim of the game is in the name – literally. Gold Mine is a game for 26 players aged 8+ who will need to maneuver their miner through tunnels to get to the gold nuggets and collect the required amount for staking a claim. But there are challenges that will arise, so beware! Whether it’s due to other players or the game itself, getting the gold might prove a difficult challenge.

The game is based on dice and tunnel tiles that will determine how far a miner pawn can move. The dice are also used in the two challenge elements. These elements determine how players can steal or prevent other players from getting the gold – Scrooge McDuck style. What more could you ask for in a board game about gold?

Unboxing Gold Mine

The box doesn’t boast anything special with regard to the artwork or shape. There’s a huge pick-ax on the cover, but besides that, not much. The back of the box does showcase the game pieces quite nicely. It’s got a bit of an old-fashioned board game look to it. Once you open the box, you’ll find:

  • Gold nuggets (we’d really hope so!)
  • Different color meeple miners – these are really cool
  • Two types of challenge tokens
  • Rulebook
  • Two dice
  • Assorted tunnel tiles

How to Play Gold Mine

Gold Mine Board Game Box and Board

Setup

The game setup isn’t difficult at all. One great feature of the game is that the number of players doesn’t affect the game. It makes it much easier to play as there are no additional and complex rules to keep gameplay consistent. 

Each player gets a miner pawn, 3 gold challenge tokens, and 3 bat challenge tokens. The mine entrance and exit are then placed in the middle of the table. The miners will have to use those to start and finish the game.

Next, it’s time to set up the mine tiles, of which there are several types. You have the basic mine tunnel tiles, which players will use in the first phase to create the board layout. 

Players must just be sure to place the tunnels in a logical manner. I mean it doesn’t make sense to have a straight tunnel piece leading to a wall of another tunnel. Place yourself in the tunnel and you’ll never go wrong placing the tiles down. 

Tile Types

The other tiles consist of gold chambers, caverns (which go in all 4 directions – a unique tile feature), and the secret passage tiles. The secret passage tiles allow for players to move about quickly. These are indicated by little water streams coming out of them. To use these, players will have to roll two dice. If a player gets a 7 or doubles, they can then use the secret passages. Otherwise, they’re a no-go.

These mine tiles are randomly shuffled by the players and set face down. Then 20 tiles are drawn at random and placed on the table. These tiles should connect from the mine entrance to the mine exit. If any gold chambers are drawn, the players must then put gold nuggets down on them. Now, you’re ready to play!

Gameplay

Players must decide who will start first. There are two phases to a player’s turn – movement and action. The movement phase is started by a player drawing a mine tile and placing it anywhere they wish. They must also move their miner 1 space in any direction they desire. Then, the player must roll 1 die to determine their final movement.

Once the movement phase is complete, the action phase can commence. These are when players can use their challenge tokens if they wish to. The 2 types of challenge tokens are used to either steal gold from another player and move it to an empty chamber or to use bats to move another player. The rules and requirements for each type of token are super simple to use and are found in the rulebook. Just be sure to consult it before playing.

The first player to get the required number of gold nuggets out of the mine exit wins! It may sound simple, but, in general, proves a challenge. The number of gold nuggets needed to win is dependent on the number of people playing.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • A lot of fun with large groups
  • Great fun for any level of gaming group
  • One of the best games for families

Some games become less fun the more people play, it’s weird, but happens more often than you’d think. Not here! It really peaks as a game with 6 players. It allows for the game’s dynamics to really kick in. Another appealing factor is that this game is suitable for ANY group of people – literally. Not to mention, it’s one of the best family games out there, you just can’t go wrong.

Cons:

  • The game can run long
  • The challenge tokens can be a pain

The game can be between 45-60 minutes long and sometimes when players only draw tunnel tiles, it feels like a really long game. It is especially then that the game’s momentum dies down a bit. 

The challenge tokens can be a bit too much at times, especially if everyone saves theirs and keep on using them. This does depend on the people you’re playing with, but even among good friends, it really does get a bit much.

Conclusion: Verdict?

This is a fun game. Period. The gold mining theme appeals to so many people, whether they know it or not. It allows for a great social exchange among friends. Yes, this game might not appeal to board game fanatics because of how easy it is, but it can still be a good quick game to play between heavier gaming sessions.

This is a game perfect for spending an hour or two in great company! This is a game worth having for those times when you don’t quite know what you’d like to do, but you know you want to enjoy doing it – start a game of gold mine.

More Mining Games to Discover

Find the motherlode! For other fun mining games, be sure to check out Caverna: The Cave Farmers, Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure, and Saboteur!

We hope you enjoyed our Gold Mine review! Have you tried playing Gold Mine or any other tile placement type of games? Drop a comment below, we’d love to hear from you!

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Stats at a glance

Players: 2-6

Ages: 8 +

Easy

45 Mins

Publisher: Stratus Games

Published: 2010