A to Z Gaming: Silver & Gold

We searched remote islands for treasure in Silver and Gold, the next game in our A-Z game shelf play-through.

Silver & Gold game box

Silver & Gold
Players: 2-4
Time: 20 Minutes
Designers: Phil Walker-Harding
Artists: Oliver Freudenreich
Publisher: Pandasaurus Games

Silver & Gold is a flip-and-write game where players are filling in polyomino shapes on treasure maps as fast as they can. Whoever can complete the most valuable cards and collect the best trophies will win.

Game play

The game is set up by shuffling the deck of treasure map cards and dealing out four to each player. Players choose two, and the rest are shuffled back into the deck. Then a market of four cards is laid out. Each player gets a pen and a score card. The shape cards are shuffled, the round card placed nearby, and then play can begin.

The game is played over four rounds with seven turns each. Each round, the players will go through seven of the eight shape cards — the distribution of the shape deck is shown on the round card. On a turn, the players will flip over one of the shape cards, and then x-out that shape on one of their treasure maps. If they can’t make the whole shape, or don’t want to, they can instead cross out a single square.

If a player crosses out a coin, they mark one on their score card, and if that completes one of the rows of gold on their card they claim the highest-value trophy left on the round card. That trophy is crossed out, and can’t be claimed by any other players. If they cross out a palm tree, they’ll mark points on their score card equal to one plus the number of palm trees visible in the market row. And if they mark a space with a red x, they’ll get to mark off a single square anywhere on their treasure maps.

When a player finishes one of their cards, they’ll choose another from the market so they always have two that they’re working on.

After seven turns, the round ends — so one of the shape cards won’t be played. All of the shape cards are shuffled, and the next round begins.

At the end of the fourth round, players will tally up their points. They’ll have points from trophies, palm trees, treasure cards and seals (which appear on some cards and give bonuses for certain color treasure cards).

My Thoughts

I think we picked this one up in a math trade a couple of years ago because we love Phil Walker-Harding games and polyomino games.

We haven’t pulled this out with more that two players, so everything I say is based on just a 2-player game. I suspect the trophies would be harder fought for with more players. There’s also the problem that’s common to 2-player games where the card market can get a little stale.

That said, we do enjoy this as a quick, fun filler. I like planning out how I’m going to draw my shapes so I can trigger some of the bonuses, but also leaving the right shapes behind. Of course, each round one of the cards isn’t drawn, so that builds some anticipation. Maybe I’ve left space on one card for a specific shape, but if it doesn’t turn up, do I give up? Or hold out for the next round, filling in my other card instead?

Three Quick Questions

How is it as a 2-player game? Silver & Gold plays well with two players. I bet the trophies become even more valuable at higher player counts, but it doesn’t detract from the 2-player game.

How about the art and component quality? The cards are pretty good — you write right on them, and they’ve been sturdy enough to hold up. And they wipe off pretty well. So far, the pens that came with the game have worked well, and that’s about it for components!

Will this stay in my collection? Yes. Silver & Gold is a quick, fun small game that is great as a filler.

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