Board GamesReviews

Silver & Gold Review

Silver & Gold
Pandasaurus Games, White Goblin Games
Phil Walker-Harding
Oliver Freudenreich
Geriatric pirates, retired from a lifetime of sailing the seven seas, sitting at card tables playing bingo was never an image that crossed my mind before playing Silver & Gold , but now it’s in my head. And now it’s in your head! Let us share this vision together as I explain why Silver & Gold is like the best pirate bingo I’ve ever played.

Phil Walker Harding’s Silver & Gold is very similar to a traditional roll & write, but you use cards instead of dice. At the beginning of the game each player will receive 2 treasure cards and a scoresheet. Four more treasure cards will be displayed on the table as a pool to draw from.

Yes, you’ll be writing directly on the cards, but have no fear! They wipe off really easily.

Treasure cards have grids in a variety of shapes and may contain palm trees, coins, and/or X’s. Filling these cards up will be how you score points and though you don’t have to yell “Bingo mateys!” when scoring, I cannot be stopped.

You fill your treasure cards up through Expedition cards. Each turn a new Expedition card will be flipped and it will show a shape that all players must mark on one of their 2 cards.

The pattern of the shape can be rotated or flipped, but must fit neatly within the boundaries of the treasure card. If you cannot fit the shape (or if you don’t want to), you may mark off a single box on 1 card. This can be really handy to complete cards with only 1 or two boxes left.

Once you fill up a card, add it to your score pile and grab a new one from the four on display.

If you cross off a box that contains an X, you may immediately cross off another box on any of your cards. You can chain these if the next box you mark also has an X; satisfying and efficient.

Mark off a coin and you can cross off a coin symbol on your score card. If you manage to cross off all the coins in 1 row, you’ll gain a trophy which is worth points.

Here the player gets 3 points. One for the palm tree they crossed off and two for the ones in the display.

Palm trees are immediate points. When you cross off a palm tree, you will gain points equal to the one you crossed off plus all palm trees showing on the four displayed treasure cards. Sometimes it is worth waiting to cross off a palm tree until the cards have cycled so there will be more trees on display. It’s a gamble, but pirates do love gambling.

So, keep pulling expedition cards, marking off shapes, scoring cards until all but 1 expedition card is revealed (there are 8 in total). That marks a round and the game ends after 4 rounds. You’ll add up all the points for trophies, trees, Treasure cards, and bonus point seals. Whoever has the most points dons the tricorn hat and sales off to Florida for a life of leisure as the winningest pirate there ever was!

I really enjoyed Silver & Gold. Finding a good spot to place a shape is easy at first, but as your card begins to fill, it can become more challenging to cram pieces in there. The nice thing is, there are set shapes and every turn you know 7 of those 8 shapes will be put into play. If you keep track you can predict which shapes might be coming out soon; giving you a sense of strategy for marking your treasure cards and which expedition cards you might want in the future.  It’s a game that’s easy to get into and quick to play, and feels satisfying throughout.  Definitely recommended!

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