COIN QUEST is a family boardgame of bidding and Pouchging where the players compete to collect the most Prestige points. These are shown on the coins themselves with Bonuses from collecting coins from the King's Mint and also from the Queen's Mint, two 7-card collections with either the King's Crown or the Queen's Sceptre on them.
Designed by Ken Gruhl with graphics and illustrations by Greg Preslicka, Jenn Vargas and Hal Mangold COIN QUEST is for 2-5 players aged 12 upwards and is published by RnR Games and costs around $25.00 (about £20.00)
The components range from regular card pieces including coin counters coloured in Bronze, Silver and Gold, valued 1 to 4 - if you obtained your copy at Essen you will have six coins with a "special Essen Mint Mark" and they give you an additional opportunity to gain Prestige Points - two wooden meeples, an Auction/Score board and six personal velvetine player drawstring pouches in bright happy colours.
COIN QUEST is a game about skilfully manipulating your coins into being worth more Prestige Points than your opponents via the Auction house. Players begin with a set of 10 coins, a personal player board, a Pouch in their chosen colour where they keep their coins and a shield/screen behind which they hide their bids each round.The coins to be bid for a placed in the Black drawstring Pouch and drawn out as required, 7 on the row of circular spaces of the board which are known as Market coins and then load the Auction spaces as required. Players then randomly draws 5 coins from their own Pouchs and place them behind their screens onto the spaces of their personal player boards to represent their bids for the round. They can bid on one or more spaces but All coins must be used and then when all players are ready the screens are renmoved and the Bids compared, highest bid winning the coin(s) on each corresponding space.Sounds too simple doesn't it ? Well that's because it does, sound simple that is!
When you bid for coins you are not bidding like in other games; there is no 2 Silver equals one Gold or other monetary balance. Gold coins are the most valuable and so if there is, for example, only one Gold coin bid for a Lot then the other coins are not considered. If two Gold coins are bid, from different players, they are discounted and the player who bid the highest value in Silver coin(s) wins, the same happens if there are no Gold coins, and if there are no Silver coins then the highest value in Bronze coins wins. In other words Gold always beats Silver and Bronze and Silver beats Bronze, Bronze only beats Bronze if they amount to a higher value. Coins bid and coins won are always discarded to player's personal discard stack and returned to their personal Pouch when you cannot draw 5 coins from it. Before discarding them they are left on the Bid space to determine the order for Market purchasing.
Apart from the special Essen coins many of the coins in the game have icons on them that trigger special actions either during play or at the game's end. You have some control over when you receive these special coins because you bid for them but you need to get them into your pouch before they can be drawn and brought into play, sort of like the deck-building style of games like Dominion.
After the bidding players may purchase one of the coins in the Market row for 3 Prestige points (score markers are moved backwards); Market purchases are offered, they are not compulsory, in order of the Bidding space won, top left (first space) goes first followed by the player who won the second Bid space etc. Market coins are not replaced when bought, the spaces remain empty throughout the game.
COIN QUEST has a modicum of skill, a pinch of luck, and a handful of bluff which makes it a cool family game. Our opinion is that the 12+ age for players is set a little too high for the actual complexity of the game. We have found that 8 year olds can quickly understand the Gold, Silver, Bronze situation and there aren't that many special action symbols to cause younger than twelve year old players any difficulty; and anyway there is a good detailed description of them in the rules booklet that can be referred to when necessary.
Overall COIN QUEST is a fun, 20-30 minute game that is ideal for family play.