Episode 298: Boom, Bang, Gold!
Release Date: June 4, 2018
Designer: Alexandre Emerit
2-4 pl | 20 min | ages 7+ | MSRP $30
Things have never been the same since they found gold in the old mine at the edge of this frontier town. Prospectors, hunters, even the undertaker and the cook at the hotel are trying to get in on the action by tossing sticks of dynamite down the hole and sifting through the rubble. Be careful, though, there are critters – bats, rats, snakes and ghosts – lurking around and looking to cause trouble. When the dust settles, can you avoid the sheriff and collect the most gold in a day?
Boom, Bang Gold! is a dexterity game for players with sharp eyes, quick hands and ears that are always on alert.
Written review continues after the break.
Things have never been the same since they found gold in the old mine at the edge of this frontier town. Prospectors, hunters, even the undertaker and the cook at the hotel are trying to get in on the action by tossing sticks of dynamite down the mine shaft and sifting through the rubble. Be careful, though, there are critters – bats, rats, snakes, and ghosts – lurking around and looking to cause trouble. When the dust settles, can you avoid the sheriff and collect the most gold in a day?
Boom, Bang, Gold! has some outstanding and unique components. The box bottom is the gold mine. Inside the bottom of the box is a cardstock floor insert to make it springy.
There are 160 round tokens. Some have gold, some have fool’s gold, a few have critters, a few have tools but MOST of the tokens are just rubble. Over half, in fact, (82) have rubble printed on both sides.
There are four characters in the game. Each character has a cool 3D treasure chest where you will bank your gold. Each character has a flat shelf where you will place the gold and tools you collect during the game.
Hank the Hat, a Prospector,
Alma Anderson, hotel cook,
Tombstone Tony, the undertaker,
and Rattlesnake Ruby, a hunter.
There’s a pocket watch you’ll use to keep track of turns. And last but not least are four wooden sticks of dynamite, complete with string fuses! Each stick measures 3.5” long. They are hefty, bright, and just plain fun to hold and throw.
Setting up the game is really simple. Place all the tokens in the mine face down and shake them up a bit. Each player grabs a character with treasure chest, a shelf, and a stick of dynamite. Now you’re ready to play!
Boom, Bang Gold! is a dexterity game for players with sharp eyes, quick hands, and ears that are always on alert.
There are 12 rounds in the game. Each round begins with the group (or one player) saying “Boom, Bang, Gold!”
Then, immediately and all at once, everyone tosses their dynamite into the mine. The goal is to throw your stick hard enough that it causes the spring loaded floor to bounce and flip over lots of tokens in the mine. You don’t need to be gentle but you don’t want to throw too hard either - no dents in the mine-box (or another player’s noggin!).
Once all the dynamite lands with a clatter and the tokens flip, it’s an all out race to collect gold from the mine. Only a face up gold token, fool’s gold or tool can be collected onto your shelf, BUT…. There are a few basic rules every prospector must pledge to obey before grabbing their first nugget
You can only use one hand to grab.
You can only grab one token at a time.
You have to place the token you grab onto your shelf before grabbing another one.
First player to touch a token, gets it.
You cannot turn over tokens in the mine.
Do NOT collect critter tokens!
(We’ll come back to the critters in a second)
When all face up gold and tool tokens have been collected, we check to see if anyone has collected a tool token. If there are no tool tokens in play, then everyone gets to stash their gold (EVEN the fool’s gold!) in their treasure chest. Each gold nugget in your chest will be worth 1 point at the end of the game.
The mad scramble for tokens as the dynamite bounces into the box is hilarious and frenetic fun. On its own without any other tweaks, this throw and grab routine provides a lot of enjoyment for all ages. But Boom, Bang, Gold! doesn’t stop there…
What Sets This Game Apart
Tools and critters make Boom, Bang, Gold! more than just another knuckle-busting speed game.
There are four types of tool tokens: a pickaxe, a stick of dynamite, a sheriff’s badge and a revolver.
After everyone has caught their breath from a round of grabbing gold, if anyone has a tool, he or she will get a bonus based on which tool was found. If you’re really lucky, you might have found more than one tool, in which case you’d get more than one bonus.
The bonuses are handed out in a particular order which is printed on each character’s treasure chest.
First is the pickaxe. The bonus for the pickaxe is you get to flip over 5 rubble tokens in the mine. If you find any gold, you get to keep it!
Second, is the dynamite. You get to pick up a stick of dynamite and throw it into the mine again but only you get to pick up gold tokens that flip face up.
Third is the Sheriff’s badge. Other players will groan if you get this one. The Sheriff can tell the difference between real gold and fool’s gold. All other players must put any fool’s gold tokens on their shelves back into the mine. The Sheriff is also a bit corrupt. The player who collected the badge gets to keep the fool’s gold he or she collected.
NOTE: any fool’s gold already in your chest is safe. Only the fool’s gold you just collected this round is at risk of being caught by the Sheriff!
Fourth is the Revolver. You get to challenge another player to a duel. That player selects two gold tokens from his or her shelf and hides either one in each hand or two in one hand and none in the other. Then the owner of the revolver chooses a hand and gets to keep any gold he or she finds.
Each tool adds a fun wrinkle and added level of excitement to the game. And after one round, you’ll have the bonuses memorized, most likely.
The critter tokens, though, really make the game shine.
When flipped over by the dynamite, critter tokens are not collected. Instead, you need to warn your fellow miners about the dangerous critter your character is good at spotting. Alma Anderson is good at finding rats. You’ll see she has rats on her character's treasure chest.
If you are playing Alma and you see a rat token face up in the mine, call out, “Watch out, a rat!”
All other players must immediately stop collecting tokens, place both hands on their head and shout, “Help!” Since you issued the warning, you may continue to collect tokens while the others are shouting for help.
This adds an extra level of silliness to the game that gets even better when you add the variations listed at the end of the rules.
Instead of a generic “Help!” when a warning is issued, there’s a specific gesture and phrase for each type of critter.
If I shout, “Watch out a bat!” You wave your hands around your head and say, “Go away!”
If I shout, “Watch out, a rat!” You put your hands behind your back and you say, “Squeak!”
If I shout, “Watch out, a snake!” You clap your hands together and you “hissssss!”
If I shout, “Watch out, a ghost!” You cover your eyes and say, “OoooOOOoooo!”
Suddenly you have to be on the lookout for your own critter, you have to be ready to gesture and say the right thing if someone warns you, AND you have to be focused on collecting gold each round.
It’s hard to overstate the laughs and level of silliness this game can climb to when you play with the critters and all their gestures.
Boom, Bang, Gold! is a game almost anyone can play and thoroughly enjoy. You can start with just throwing dynamite and grabbing gold, add in the tools, then the critters with “Help!” and then critters with gestures and sounds. You can adjust it according to the age or experience of the crowd.
The game feels complete and full of the most laughs and silliness when you throw all these elements together. By the end, you’ll have players waving and clapping and squeaking and Ooooing... sometimes when they’re supposed to and many times when they’re not.
And winning? Yes, someone will end up with a lot of gold and other’s won’t. But no one will care.
That’s what makes Boom, Bang, Gold! both special and Major Fun.