Rolling with Benny – Silver and Gold: Hunting for Treasure in Islands of PolyominosJuly 15, 2019
In this edition of Rolling with Benny, our very own Mr. Rogers of Board Games, Benny Sperling looks at the game Silver and Gold.
Welcome back, me hearties! Today we are exploring islands with treasure untold! The islands hold many wonders: palm trees, X’s, and coins. As we venture around our maps, we find a lot to like in a small package.
Silver and Gold is designed by Phil Harding-Walker of Bärenpark and Sushi Go! fame among many others. Bärenpark showed his love for polyominos nearly as much as Uwe Rosenberg. I admittedly was prepared to dismiss Silver and Gold as just another roll and write that uses polyominos (Bloxx, Brikks, Big Dig, Tag City, etc). I am so happy to admit that I was wrong on this initial thought.
When I set up Silver and Gold to play, I was taken in by how it becomes many roll and writes all at once. Each of the map cards is suitable for play with the included dry erase markers. Each round, the 7 polyomino cards are shuffled. Players play simultaneously as the cards are revealed, only 6 of the 7 cards are used each round.
After the card is revealed the player fills in X’s on either of their map cards in the shape of the polyomino. Alternatively, the player may make an X in a single space instead. While this is not very efficient, it does allow the player to have agency and not have a “dead” turn. This is by far the most critical piece, no game should have dead turns. Limited is fine, but do not take away a whole turn from a player.
As turns progress in Silver and Gold, players will mark X’s on their maps, each time they mark a coin, they also mark a coin on their player card. Completing the row of 4 coins earns the player the next highest value in the trophy section of the game card. Then that trophy is marked out. Player order only matters with this point scoring as players can complete coins at the same time.
I also really liked the scoring of each map card and earning bonuses for each of the color maps. The 4 colors also do a nice job of distinguishing difficulties of each of the map cards, the lower values are easier to complete but are not worth as many points. With 4 rounds, this game really hums along, playing in about 20 minutes with experienced players.
Playing Silver and Gold is an absolute delight! It plays quickly and has players racing to score points, finding Palm Trees at just the right moment, and X’s to create more X’s elsewhere on the same map or even the second map. So much fun! This one is one of our go-to couple games now along with Bukiet and Ganz Schon Clever.
Seek the treasure, friends! This is a good one to grab while you can!
Full disclosure: I purchased this copy of Silver and Gold from amazon.de as it is not yet available from any US publishers.
About the Reviewer: Benny is the game designer behind Yakitori and Bones of the Caribbean. Lover of roll and write games, husband, and father of three. When Benny isn’t playing or designing roll and writes, he can be found gardening in his fruit and vegetable garden. Benny Sperling can be found on Twitter at @benny275.