Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters is a great game that is finally making its way to the English-speaking world. In 2013 it was released by Mattel Germany as Geister, Geister, Schatzsuchemeister to critical acclaim. It was a well deserved Kinderspiel des Jahres winner in 2014.
The players take on the role of Treasure Hunters, trying to explore a haunted house to find the 8 Jewel Tokens before the house is over run by the ghosts. At the start of the game, the house is set up with a few ghosts and the treasure tokens are placed in the various rooms.
(Set Up Video)
Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters is a pretty simple to learn. *Note this is for the BASIC rules of the game*
- Roll the die – There is a d6 which is numbered from 1-6. Each face, EXCEPT for the 6, also shows a ghost token on it. The number rolled here tells you the maximum number of spaces that your player token can move.
- Reveal a ghost card – If there was a ghost token on the die (Die roll 1-5), you then reveal the top card from the ghost deck. The deck is comprised of 12 room cards, one for each room in the house, as well as a “Shuffle” card. If you reveal a room card, you place a ghost figure in the stated room. If you have placed the third ghost in a room, you replace the three ghost tokens with a red Haunting token. Check to make sure that there aren’t six Haunting tokens on the board – if so, you lose the game! If you reveal the Shuffle card, you take all the cards and shuffle them to form a new deck for the next draw. No ghost figure is placed.
- Move – Now you move you player token a number of spaces up to the number on the die (you don’t have to move though, if you don’t want to move). The hallways are each 1 space. You can also enter any room in the house, and moving through a room counts as a single space. You can move through other players, but you cannot end your movement on the same hallway space as another player. Any number of players can, however, share a room.
- Pick up or Drop off a Jewel – If you are in a room with a jewel, you are allowed to pick it up. Each player can only hold one jewel at a time in their backpack. Once you have a jewel, you keep it until you are able to drop it off outside the house. Your other option in this phase is that drop-off, if your mover is outside the house, you can then drop off the jewel token and get ready for some more ghost fightin as you enter the house once again.
- Fight! If you end your movement in a room which has a ghost or a Haunting, you must now fight it. The player rolls one battle die if you are the only player in the room or he rolls two battle dice if there is more than one player figure in the room. For each ghost icon that is rolled, a ghost figure is removed from the room. If the room is haunted, you MUST have two players in the room in order to roll the dice (You will roll two dice), and you must have a red Haunted symbol show on one of the dice to remove the Haunting figure.
(Game Play Video)
Advance Game Play
The Advanced rules adds a bit to the game play. Six additional cards are added to the deck. There is a “Draw 2 and then shuffle” as well as a “Draw 3 and then shuffle”. As the titles suggest, if these cards are revealed, you draw two or three more cards, and if any room cards are shown, a ghost is added to each of those rooms. There are also two “Blue door locked” and 2 “green door locked” cards. If you look at the board, half of the doors are blue and half are green. At the start of the game (and with every re-shuffle), all the doors are open, and all players can freely pass through them. However, once a Door Locked card is revealed, it is placed next to the board, and all doors of that color are locked until the other color locked door card comes up or when all the cards are picked up for a shuffle.
The big change is that you use the numbered sides of the treasure jewels in the Advanced game. All the jewels are shuffled and placed face down on the board (so that you can’t see the numbers). Now, once a player moves into a room with a jewel, it can be flipped over so that everyone knows which number is on it. The player still has the choice to pick it up or not. The numbers are important because the players must drop them off in order. So, that means the #1 jewel must be the first one removed from the house, and so on in order, until the #8 jewel is dropped off.
My Final Thoughts
This is one of those games that is easy to learn, but has a challenge to it, as your at the mercy of the cards and dice rolls. Which is not a bad thing at all. it can make for some tense situation if you have 4 or 5 haunting on the boards and only a few treasures to get out of the house.
This is a game that can be enjoyed by the kids and adults alike. It’s a very fun game, and would make a great addition to your game library. This is one that you can pull out and play fairly fast as your gaming group is gathering, or you can just add this into the rotation to play. And a great game to play with the family as you gather for holiday gatherings, as I said, kids will love this and so will the adults!
The artwork is beautifully done. The cover art and card art is wonderful and not scary at all, in fact there is nothing “scary” about the game. So you don’t have to worry about that with some younger children.
You can pick up a copy of Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters via Amazon
More information can be found over at the Official Web Site
A BIG THANK YOU to Mattel Games for sending us over a copy for this review!