Scavenger Hunt

Players 4
Length 30 mins
Equipment Required single standard piecepack
Designer Mark A. Biggar
Version 1.2
Version Date 2004-08
License Copyright 2003, 2004 Mark A. Biggar under GNU free doc license , dual-licensed CC BY-SA 4.0


Move around a ever changing board trying to collect your six coins before the other players. The game has strong memory element.


Design Notes

  1. the name comes from the idea that each player is trying to collect the same list of items.
  2. This game has the same problem that all piecepack sliding tile game designs have had, the tiles do not slide well past each other because of the sharp corners.
  3. Some people don't appear to like the memory elements in this game.

Reviews & Comments

This was an entry in the ChangingLandscapes Contest. -- Mark A. Biggar

Comments of the contest judge Michael Schoessow

Scavenger Hunt was the first game submitted to the competition. The rules were completely clear (not true for most of the others) and the game worked fine except for the mechanical aspects of sliding. Opinions were mixed about Scavenger Hunt, with fans of memory games liking it more than people who don't get excited about having to pit their memory against others. In spite of the memory aspect (and these always seem to generate a certain amount of table talk, including calculated exclamations of glee, scorn, frustration, etc. in my experience, in this case when the coins are peeked at) the game feels pretty dry, more so than GlobalWarming for example.

Although not a criticism of the game idea, there was frustration with the sliding aspect of the game because the tiles would catch on the corners of other tiles and spoil the board configuration unless the board was first spread apart a bit to allow the row or column in question to be slid unencumbered and then pushed back together. Ideally tiles with more gently radiused corners would work better.

As I said, the rules worked fine (definitely not broken, and there were several broken games among the sixteen), but there was one change suggestion (which I agree with). After a row or column is shifted you say that it may not be shifted back until some tile in that row or column has been shifted in a direction 90 degrees different from the other shift. This means that players must always remember when this condition has been fulfilled for each shift. A simpler possibility is to just say that a player may not reverse the move of the previous player. Admittedly, this has some effect on tactical play in some cases.

There was also a suggestion from one of the play-testers for a variant to add more strategy and end-game tension (we did not try the variant however): instead of requiring players to collect all six of their own coins, require them to collect *at least* five coins, total, including up to one coin of another suit, but also prohibit a player from having more than one coin of each rank. Players do not reveal the suits of the coins they have collected. Once a player has at least five coins total, he MAY elect to end the game in which case all players score the sum of the ranks of coins of their OWN SUIT that they have collected. The maximum number of coins a player would be allowed to collect is seven (his own six plus one of another suit).

Note that Mike's concerns about the difficulty of sliding the tiles and remembering which rows or columns of tiles had been previously slid were addressed in the post contest ruleset update -- Mark A. Biggar


BGG page:

CategoryGame RaceComplexCategory MechanicRectangularBoardCategory MechanicSlidingTilesCategory MechanicMemoryCategory MechanicSetCollectingCategory