One of my favorite movie franchises is Indiana Jones. I’ve enjoyed most of them. The fourth movie is kind of like Highlander 2, it doesn’t exist. This, however, is an discussion better saved for later. Nonetheless these movies made me want to grow up & learn about archeology. Although I never went to school to learn archeology but I do study the articles & enjoy watching shows that are posted almost daily on the internet.

I love learning about our past & have always wanted to try it for myself. Just the other day I dug into my mailbox & pulled out an interesting box from designer Derek Duley & artist Fedor Sosnin. Okay, it’s more like Christmas than archeology but it is still fun.

Ancient Artifacts will contain everything you need to start digging, exploring, & doing your research. You will find: a dice bag, nine action dice, six result dice, an Atlas game board, a career pad & instructions.

Now Ancient Artifacts is one of my new favorite types of games. It is a roll & write or pencil & paper game. If you aren’t familiar with a roll & write then you just have to look to games like Yahtzee, Qwixx, 6 Steps, or Rolling America.

These games are typically fast & can be enjoyed by many.

Ancient Artifacts is for one to four players, ages eight years to adult, & may take around twenty to forty minutes to play.

In a game of Ancient Artifacts the main board will be placed in the center of play. This way everyone can reach the board. Each player will receive a career sheet from the career pad. And each player will need a pencil or erasable pen.

On the Atlas board there are three major zones; desert, jungle, & ocean. The jungle & ocean zones will have three spots to place dice while the desert zone has two. These zones will match up with the renown paths on the career sheets.

There really isn’t much difference in a solo game over a multi-player game other than some extra points. In a multi-player it is recommended that the very first career spot is marked out in each renown path. This will give each player three free points & two additional dollars to begin the game. Money will be very important.

At the start of the game a player will draw two dice from the dice bag & roll them. That player will choose one of those dice & place it onto a matching spot on the Atlas board. This will dictate what renown path to take & what action they strive to finish.

Each player will get a chance to follow the dice roller. This will cost one dollar for a player to follow. So whatever happens during that turn each player will mirror.

Once a player picks a renown path & a career they will roll the six result dice. The result dice will show the symbols of Raiders, a pickaxe & shovel, a research book, a knife, a diving helmet, & speaking . They will need these dice to match up with their career. Digs, exploring, & diving can be finished in multiple turns but research must be finished at one time.

The roller & any following will mark off any spot that is finished.

The rolling player will continue to roll the result dice until the either end up with the symbol they need or a Raider comes up. Players will want to beware of the Raiders. Each time a Raider is rolled, that die is locked & can no longer be rolled. When three Raiders are rolled the turn is over. One of the three Raiders spots on the renown track will be marked off. Once all three Raider spots are marked off then that track is no longer able to be used.

The roller may spend one dollar to unlock & reroll the locked dice. They can continue to do this until they either run out of money, give up, or bust on Raiders. One thing players have to be sure of is watching how much money they have.

Once is turn is over then the next player will get their chance at rolling the dice & the other players will get a chance to follow along.

Once a career is marked complete that player & any followers will receive points & sometimes money. When a full path is completed that player or players will reach a milestone. Milestones are worth big points & money.

The game ends when one player can no longer make progress on their career sheet. Each player will take one final turn. Players will then proceed to the scoring round.

During scoring players will count how much money they have left, how many points they received, & the player with the most follows will receive bonus points. If there is a tie for most follows, then each of those players will receive the bonus.

Following another player can make or break how long a game lasts. It could speed up how the careers are completed or how fast Raiders will attack.

I do like a roll & write game. There are so many wonderful ones out there. If you like roll & write games then Ancient Artifacts will scratch the itch you have. There is a lot of decision making that will keep you digging & exploring all game long.

You can find more information here on the BGG page: Ancient Artifacts.

Ancient Artifacts can be found here: Ancient Artifacts. It’ll run on Kickstarter until October 1st.  This will be one great game to back.

Get ready to do your research, beware of Raiders, hit those milestones & game on!

-Christopher Richter

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