Days of Wonder produces some of the most gorgeous board games in the industry. The artwork and components are stunning, and the game play is fun. Relic Runners is no exception. It's a new game from Days of Wonder featuring a strategic Indiana Jones-style run through the jungle in search of treasure.
The game board shows a large jungle with several three-tiered temples scattered about. The temples are connected by myriad trails. Each player selects an adventurer with a unique ability, gathers starting equipment and begins at base camp. To win the game, a player needs the most victory points. Points are acquired by gathering relics and searching temples.
To get to the temples, players must navigate a series of trails. This is one of the main strategic points of the game because players can extend their movement along a trail by building a network of pathways in their own player color. With a good network, a player can reach multiple locations in a single turn.
Each temple has three levels, and a player searching them can gain victory points, special powers or specific bonuses. Once all three levels are explored, the coveted relics appear. Relics can only be acquired by ending a move on a relic. Relics provide the most victory points, and after a certain number of relics are discovered, the game ends.
Another thing players have to manage are their rations. When rations run out, players must scrap their plans and immediately return to base camp at the center of the board to resupply. There is a lot of strategy in planning turns to accomplish exactly what needs to be done.
If that wasn't enough, each player has a toolkit consisting of a compass, shovel and machete. Each tool has three power levels that allow a player to break the rules. The machete helps with exploration and resupply. The compass helps find a way through the jungle, and the shovel gives additional actions or bonuses.
Relic Runners is a fantastic game. I highly recommend it. It has great strategy, visual bling and fun. The game is easy to learn, lasts about an hour and is never the same game twice.
Ryan Morgenegg is a multimedia specialist for the Deseret News.
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