At first, I didn’t really think I was going to like Dragon’s Gold. You only start out with four cards and you use these cards (and their points) to fight dragons.

Seemed pretty simplistic, that is until you factor in the negotiation round where everyone who played a card on the slayed dragon must agree on how the gems/treasure are split.

This negotiation is really the heart and soul of the game and as the game progresses it’s really the source of fun.

Dragon's Gold
Dragon’s Gold

I do have a few small gripes about this game. Having only four cards does seriously impact the pace of the game, and when all your cards are in play you have to pass your turn.

There were a couple times when no one could really make any moves, so we had to intercede with some house rules.

It would have been nice to have a slightly larger hand of cards to work with, especially since two of the cards have special abilities which nicely impact the game (it would have been nice to have just a couple more).

The game can be played with or without additional magical object cards which does really add another of dimensionality and strategy to the game, but again one or two more cards in a players hand would have been more helpful for the flow of the game.

Once the game does really get rolling, it is quite fun. Having to negotiate against a timer can be thrilling, and it’s an interesting experience to both compete and cooperate with your fellow players. Negotiating and conflict resolution are nice skills and the game gives a nice platform for kids to learn them.

Ultimately there’s enough fun in the negotiation phases of this game to turn a fairly simplistic mechanic into a very fun game.

Designer: Bruno Faidutti
Publisher: IDW Games
Price: $30

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Geoff Kleinman is a professional journalist and has served as publisher of DVD Talk and Drink Spirits. His work has appeared in Whisky Advocate Magazine, Playboy Magazine, Black Book, and Mixology Magazine. Geoff has also appeared in the Wall St. Journal, ABC News Tonight, The Atlantic, Yahoo Finance, and Esquire. He is the founder of the Society of Modern Journalists, and a Kentucky Colonel. Follow him and on twitter at @GeoffK.

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