Archaeology: The Card Game by Felicitas Ivey

Gaming Central10


This month’s game is Archeology: The Card Game. The game is produced by Z-Man Games, for 2 to 5 players. The age range is 10 plus with a playing time of 20 minutes. It’s a card game with variations in play built in from the game play. This game is updated from the earlier version which I never played. The artwork is nice and the card stock is a good weight. The box is compact and easily carried in a bag and quick enough to to be played at lunchtime. It’s a game that can be played several times in a row without getting bored.

The players are archeologists digging for treasures in the Egyptian desert. You ‘dig’ by drawing drawing from the deck. The game is over when the deck has been exhausted. A player will dig up things like parchment, potsherds, cup sherds, jewelry, Pharaoh’s mask and things like that. The player gains points by making sets of what they dig up. There are different values for these items, potsherds and parchment being the less valuable and more numerous cards, while more valuable ones, like the Pharaoh’s mask, have a higher value, but there are less of them.

The higher value cards also take a smaller number cards to make sets of a higher value. You make a set, by gathering any number from two, for cup sherds up to six for parchment. The bigger groups are supposed to represent the archeologist finding more of the same object to make it more valuable to a museum. For example, parchment and potsherds are all worth one point and can be grouped together in groups of five or six to make more points. Pharaoh’s Mask is worth 4 points and only need two or more to make sets worth more then parchment or potsherds sets. The player with the most points in the end is the winner.

Players can ‘go to the market’ by exchanging the cards in their hands with cards in the marketplace to build their sets up with more cards. The player must exchange the same number of point cards to ‘buy’ other cards. Cards are only worth their face value when using them to buy other cards. You would need a four potsherd or parchment cards to buy a Pharaoh’s mask card because they are not worth the value of a set of four potsherds or parchment cards, which is fifteen  points. The strategy is figuring out which would be more valuable to you.

But all is not that easy! There are dangers for your archeologist making his discoveries. Some of the cards are hostile for players and a played as soon as they are drawn. There are thief cards, which allow the player who draws them to steal a card from one of the other players. There are also sandstorms scattered in the deck. A player is issue a tent card to protect themselves from one sandstorm out of the six. Another piece of strategy is when to play your tent card, since a player will lose half their cards, rounded down, in the sandstorm. Those ‘lost’ cards are chosen by the player to be deposited in the marketplace. The person who had drawn the sandstorm cards will get to chose a second card to play.

The variations in the game come with the different monuments included with the game. There are six different moments, like the Pyramids or the Sphinx. These monuments have have cards ‘hidden’ in them, which can be accessed by a map card. Some monuments only need one map to access the cards, others like the Pyramids, need more than one. The need for additional map cards to access treasures make the thief and sandstorm cards more dangerous.

I’ve only played the two person version. The difference is the amount of cards in play. The higher value cards of five or more points are not in play. You still have the same number or thief and sandstorm cards in play. I’ve gone through the all the different monuments and like the Pyramid one the most.

Archeology: The Card Game is a fun, simple game depending on both luck and strategy for the win. The main issue is when you want to play your tent, as well as hoping another player doesn’t steal the card want before you play it. Once you know all the rules and are comfortable with the game, you probably with two people play faster than 20 minutes.


Author Bio:

Felicitas is a frazzled help-desk tech at a university in Boston who wishes people wouldn’t argue with her when she’s troubleshooting what’s wrong with their computer. She lives with three cats who wish she would pay more attention to them, and not sit at a computer pounding on the keyboard. They get back at her by hogging most of the bed at night and demanding her attention during the rare times she watches TV or movies. She’s protected by her guardian stuffed Minotaur, Angenor, who was given to her by her husband, Mark. Angenor travels everywhere with her, because Felicitas’s family doesn’t think she should travel by her lonesome. They worry she gets distracted and lost too easily. Felicitas doesn’t think of it a getting lost, more like having an adventure with a frustrated GPS.
Felicitas knits and hoards yarn, firmly believing the one with the most yarn wins. She also is sitting on hordes of books, which still threaten to take over her house, even with e-books. Between writing and knitting, she brews beer, wine, mead, and flavored liqueurs. Felicitas also bakes, making cakes whenever she needs to work out an issue in her novels. Sometimes this leads to a lot of cakes. Her coworkers appreciate them, though, with the student workers buzzing about on a sugar high most of the time.
Felicitas writes urban fantasy, steampunk, and horror of a Lovecraftian nature, with monsters beyond space and time that think that humans are the tastiest things in the multiverse. Occasionally there’s a romance or two involved in her writing, with a happily-ever-after.
Facebook: Felicitas Ivey
Twitter: @felicitasivey


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