Games Gazette Logo

Gold Ahoy!

The Treasure Hunt is on!

Today is the day: Pirate Golden Hook's legendary gold treasure has appeared. Only when the tide occurs at exactly the time of death of the pirate,
the fabled treasures can be found. Get the majority of paths to the sandbanks and water channels to claim the most treasure chests!

Copyright © 2014 Lookout GmbH. Gold Ahoy! Is a trademark properties of Lookout GmbH. All rights reserved.


GOLD AHOY! is a 2-player game designed by Stephan Herminghaus. It comes from the LOOKOUT GAMES catalogue recently added to the Mayfair
family and is surprisingly released under the Mayfair rather than the Funfair brand as it is an easy to play family/anyone strategy game. 

I have played it with my wife who is an excellent boardgames player and each game has been very close, just a point either way and even a couple of
dead-heat ties. Then I played it with my 9 year old grand-daughter and she won two of three games which shows how good a strategist I am but also
shows just how easy it is to learn and to play.

When you open the box and find that there is literally just 36 one-side-printed tiles and a bag in which to put them and draw them from, even though the
box tells you this, it seems that there isn't going to be much to the game, but it is another of those challenges where the players themselves determine
the degree of difficulty.

The rules are written in four languages but I am not personally keen on how they are displayed. There is a paragraph of German, followed by a paragraph
of English/American, then Italian then Japanese, this sequence repeats over five of the six pages - the other page being an illustration - and is a bit of an
unnecessary pain to be honest, but thankfully there is really only one rule to learn. Play a tile (you start with one) then draw a tile. That's it.

The game scores a little like Carcassonne but with a minor difference that alters your strategy so get the HiG game out of your head or else you will suffer.
Each tile has areas of water and land, there are no solid land or just water tiles. One person starts by laying their tile and drawing another and then the second
player has to adjoin their tile to the previous one. As the tiles are laid they have to a) match water to water, land to land, and b) eventually form a 6x6 square,
no other formation is acceptable. Tiles have to be laid next to any other previously laid tile but may not be laid directly on the opposing players side if it would
start a new row or line.

Each tile also has a treasure chest, open or closed, in either the water or on the sand. The open/closed is just artistic license and has nothing to do with the
play or scoring, but it is more pleasing on the eye.

The idea is to trace more entrances to the treasure chests from your side of the square. Both players can trace to the sand based and/or water based chests 
from their sides but the only player to score the chests is the one that can trace the most entrances. This generally means that one player will score for the
water chests and the other player for the sand chests; it is the playing of the central tiles to block connections that is the crucial part of the game.

Overall this is a good 10-15 minute 2-player filler game. It isn't what one would expect from Mayfair games given their track record but it does have the quality
one would expect from Mayfair. The tiles are heavy duty and quite large making it playable on any flat surface where you have enough room to lay out the grid.



© Chris Baylis 2011-2015