EGWs6uuBZ3pp-zGuVVdmeLgkJG4 Across the Avenue: Family Game Night: Gem Rush #VictoryPointGames #JeremyLennert

Family Game Night: Gem Rush #VictoryPointGames #JeremyLennert

We've been looking for board games to fill the weekly "no screens" night. Specifically, games that are fun for the whole family, aren't overly complex (being fun for the whole family includes the kids!), and reinforce a useful skill: math, strategy, art, cooperation, etc. We are ecstatic to find Gem Rush from Victory Point Games meets all our conditions! It's playable for up to 7 people, aimed at those 14 years and older, and takes between 30 and 60 minutes to complete.

This is the second edition of Gem Rush and the team at Victory Point Games really stepped it up a notch. The graphics are amazing! It's beautifully designed and decorated. They also updated the character stands and added in a lot of options to supplement game play.

For those of you not in the know, this game does NOT use dice. To decide on actions, each player has a hand of four cards with different gems on each card. When it's your turn, you look over the playing area - composed of many different cavern cards - to find ones with gem combinations that you can match using your cards.  

Depending on how difficult you want to make each game, there are a variety of options available: additional Skill cards can come into play; variants on using those Skill cards; and different modes (Rush for competitive play, Crisis for cooperative play) can all be used. The first game, my husband just played by himself to get the hang of it, then we all joined in for the second. We didn't use Skill cards until about the third or fourth round. That's when it clicked that everything you need to know is literally written or drawn on the cards themselves.

For the beginner player, several Player Aid cards are included that remind you how the four special gems are used, what each player is responsible for each turn, and what the various room icons mean. (For us, we also had the rule book handy the first few games.) Different colored plastic gems serve as point markers. As the players build out the various caverns using Room Tiles they accrue points based on how difficult their combinations are.

What's In The Box?
• 80 Room cards (square)
• 7 Player Aid cards
• 75 Gem cards
• 20 Skill cards
• 7 Character standees
• 57 Point gems
• 1 First player marker
• 1 Rulebook

The Skill cards are awesome! My favorite is Caffeination: 

Where to Purchase?
Gem Rush is available online directly from Victory Point Games, as well as most brick and mortar stores

Victory Point Games is a small format, indie board game publisher. The business was founded on a passion for the historical war genre, but over their success has lead to an expanded repertoire including strategy, card, family, and casual board games. One reason we like their games is their focus on "easy to learn, easy to teach, and quick to play games" that are fun and accessible for any level of gaming experience.

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Disclaimer: The products in this post were provided by Victory Point Games. As always, our posts are our own, honest opinions.