We slowly go deeper into the legendary temple of Luxor and I am to go ahead and explore the way to the burial chamber. It is really incredible how many undiscovered treasures await us here! No wonder that the other explore teams are already close on our heels. There, a vase with beautiful decorations. Man, it’s heavy! I’ll never get it out of here alone. I’ll have to wait for reinforcements from my team. Hopefully the researchers from Team Redwood are not faster.
This or something similar, you feel Luxor when playing the new board game by Rüdiger Dorn from Queen Games. Luxor is a classic racing game in which you want to reach the burial chamber at the end of the tile-filled path faster than your fellow players. A few tricks of the game mechanics await you as well. The whole treasure hunt lasts about 45 minutes and is suitable for two to four players aged 8 and up. The beautiful illustrations are from the pen of Dennis Lohausen.
Walk like an Egyptian – into the inside of the temple of Luxor
Your main task as a explore team is to collect as many treasures as possible on the way to the burial chamber with the sarcophagi. Fortunately, your path will lead you over a whole lot of treasure tiles. At the beginning you will have two explorers with whom you will make your way to the inside of the temple. How far you can go depends on the hand cards you play. In each round you play exactly one of your five cards. There is a special trick to using these cards, however: you may not change the order of your hand cards and may only use one of the two outer cards. You can now move one of your two explorers as far as the card you have played indicates. Count the number of tokens that are in your path. At the end of your turn, draw one card and place it between the other two cards in your hand, so that you have five cards.
Together you are strong
Each treasure tile also features between one and three explorers. The same number of explorers from your team must be on the tile for you to take it. Some of the vases and statues in the temple are quite heavy, so you will need reinforcements. You will need to be able to move your explorers towards the burial chamber and collect treasures. Since two explorers aren’t enough, you’ll need a few more along the way until you have five meeples to complete your team.
Which way to the dig, please?
But the new explorers also have to enter the temple at the very beginning and catch up first. But since some of the treasure tiles have been collected in the meantime, the way for the latecomers is somewhat shorter. Some of the treasure tiles will also be replaced with special tiles that will allow you to access more powerful special movement cards. For example, you can have the last explorer catch up with the last but one, or move all the explorers two tiles forward instead of moving one. In addition to these cards, you can also collect valuable scarabs, which will also earn you victory points at the end of the game.
You can also use the special tiles to access wild card treasures. You should know that the treasures from the temple are worth Victory Points in themselves, but who wants to look at vases? This is why you will receive special points for the number of sets of three made up of different treasures. The wild card treasures help you to complete the sets. It can be very difficult to plan exactly which treasure you want to collect. The other explorers are sometimes just faster.
Life as a treasure hunter is not easy, and to make things even more complicated, you cannot enter the burial chamber without a key. You can also find them on the special tiles. Always walking ahead is not necessarily the best strategy. However, you would like to be the first explorer to enter the burial chamber and take the 5-point sarcophagus with you as a reward. The game ends when the second explorer-meeple enters the burial chamber, and that person may then also claim the 3-point sarcophagus for his collection. Now the round is played to the end and the other players have the opportunity to bring another explorer into the burial chamber or to move other explorers further forward.
The way is the goal
Why is it important to be particularly far ahead? Well, for one thing, you don’t want to be accused of not having thoroughly explored the temple. On the other hand, at the end of the game each explorer-meeple gets victory points for the tile he stands on. And towards the burial chamber these fields become more and more valuable. The burial chamber itself brings 13 points. But you have to be careful, because on the way there are also tiles that are not worth points.
At the very end of the game you have to do math. Add up all the victory points you have collected and find out which of you is the most renowned Egypt explorer with the most valuable collection of treasures.
Luxor is a treasure hunt for the whole family
We admit it: our children are already quite spoiled when it comes to board games. In a board game household, however, this is to be expected. At Luxor, our big daughter was on fire from the very beginning. She read through the easy to understand rules all by herself and also built up the game by herself. With dad as a player, the first game had to be played immediately. It didn’t stay with the first game either.
Alone optically and with the beautifully designed components and the large game board Luxor makes a good impression on the table. Interesting we found the card mechanism, which replaces the simple dice. One can tactically move very nicely here and must consider well, which piece you move forward with which card, so that then perhaps other meeple land at the right moment together on one card and one has for the desired move also the suitable card left or right.
However, when playing the game with four players it gets very tight on the board and the frustration factor is also higher, as it happens very often that a treasure tile is snatched from you. However, the waiting time between your own moves is also relatively short, so that a nice flow of play is created. But we like Luxor best with three players. That way there is enough interaction without being blocked too much.
As a family game Luxor is very well received by us. Our daughter is looking forward to every new game and so far we have always had fun with it. The age recommendation from 8 years is well chosen and adults also have fun playing with children. All of them have a real chance to get the throne of the best temple explorer of Luxor. And so we are already looking forward to the next treasure hunt.