The following is a guest review by Chris B. It is posted with his permission.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
— George Santaya
In Unearth, your ancestors built beautiful cities across the globe, and then all was forgotten. It’s now up to you and your tribe of Delvers to find and remember these lost cities. Claim the ruins, use stones to build wonders, and remember a bygone era.
Unearth is a dice placement game for 2-4 players from Brotherwise Games, creators of Boss Monster. Designed by Matthew Ransom and Jason Harner, Unearth is a lightweight game to learn and play, but nuanced in its overall strategy.
Unearth comes with the following inside the box:
- Rule Book
- 4 sets of five dice in four player colors (each set has 3 six-sided, 1 four-sided die and 1 eight-sided die)
- 25 tarot-sized Ruin cards
- 5 tarot-sized end game cards
- 38 mini-sized Delver cards
- 15 Named Wonder cards
- 60 hexagonal Stone tokens
- 16 Lesser and Greater Wonders tokens
- Cloth bag for Stone tokens
- 4 Player Reference Cards
How to Play
In Unearth, the goal is to collect Ruin cards and build Wonders using stones. Ruin cards are grouped by similar color, and the more of any color you have, the more points you receive.
Each turn consists of choosing a specific Ruin and then rolling one of your available dice. If you roll a 1, 2, or 3 you are able to take one of the possible stones that are located on a ruin card. These stones can be strategically used to construct a six-sided Greater Wonder. These Greater Wonders have specific powers or points. If you roll any other number, you place that die on the Ruin card. Once the value of the card has been reached, the die with the highest number gets to claim that ruin. Any other player’s dice on a claimed Ruin card will be turned into Delver cards that can aid in future turns.
The game is over after all Ruins have been collected. A unique aspect of Unearth is the End of Age card. This end-game card is always placed at the bottom of the deck in the beginning, and can change value of dice, or lower an over all player’s score should they reluctantly get the card at the end of the game.
Reclaim. Rebuild. Remember.
Ever since I saw the artwork to this game a few months ago I knew I wanted to have it sitting on my shelf. Brotherwise had pre-orders available for sometime, but the game was released to the public at Gen Con this year.
On day one I made a beeline right to Brotherwise’s booth, and it was the first thing I picked up. In addition to the game, Brotherwise also gave me the pre-order promo pack that had two exclusive Wonders cards, and two additional End of Age cards. I also was able to meet with the designers, and they both signed my copy of the game.
It wasn’t until later in the day that I was able to sit down and demo the game with three other people. Needless to say, I did not regret my purchase.
Later that evening I was able to play a few games with a friend of mine who was also at Gen Con. The two player experiences are probably my only fault with this game. The strategy of trying to snipe ruins and stones from other players starts to fall apart a little bit when it’s 1-on-1. That’s not to say it isn’t fun – it’s just better when you have 3 or 4 people.
This game grabbed me from the moment I saw the box art. I am a sucker for presentation, and Unearth has that in spades. This is going to be a game that I’ll bring to family functions and hangouts with friends for years to come. I’d consider it a fantastic filler, and the very definition of a gateway game.