We’re big fans of Phil Walker-Hardings’ games, especially his straightforward designs like Sushi Go!, Bärenpark and Cacao are family favorites and always score very well when we play them.
So needless to say, we didn’t have to think twice when Ravensburger offered to send us his newest game Explorers to try out.
1-4 players, age 8+
Playing time: 20 minutes
Designer: Phil Walker-Harding
Artwork: Sabrina Miramon
In Explorers, players must create a path across different types of terrain to visit temples and collect items such as gems and provisions.
Over the course of the game, players reveal tiles depicting 2 different terrains and place X’s on their personal card in front of them. The active player may place 3 Xs on their chosen terrain, while the other players have the option of placing 3 Xs on the other terrain, or 2 Xs on the same terrain. When you place an X, you must always place it next to an existing X.
Some spaces give you bonuses, such as keys that you need to enter a temple, horses that give you a bonus X to place freely, and gems and provisions that give you points at the end of each round.
There is also a racing aspect, because in each of the 4 quadrants there is a temple, and the sooner you manage to enter it, the more points you get.
The game lasts 4 rounds, and whoever collected the most points is declared the greatest explorer of all time!
Explorers sure didn’t disappoint us: it’s easy to learn and plays very quick and therefore fully meets our expectations. It reminds us of a slightly more advanced version of Silver & Gold, another game designed by Phil Walker-Harding that we truly enjoy.
The replayability turns out to be very good: The game comes with different terrain tiles that can be placed differently each time you play, there are expert rules that change the way collected items earn points, and achievement tiles that give you extra goals to work toward.
Overall we really enjoy playing Explorers and we’re very pleased to give it a place in our collection!