Reviews

Review – Disney Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – A Gemstone Mining Game (USAopoly)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - A Gemstone Mining Game
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - A Gemstone Mining Game

 

Mine for Gemstones to earn Gooseberry Pie… as one of the Seven Dwarfs!

 

Play Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – A Gemstone Mining Game and press your luck as you collect valuable gems from the mine and earn bonus points by discovering gem combinations from Snow White objectives. USAopoly published this updated re-theming of the older gem-mining game Quartz, by Passport Game Studios.

Snow White Card
Snow White Card

In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – A Gemstone Mining Game, you and your fellow dwarfs do what you do best — mine for gemstones. It’s off to work you go, collecting as many as you can to trade in for Snow White pie points. Beware of your friends as well as the dangers that lurk in the mine that could force you to return home empty-handed. Have the most pie points after five days in the mine, and you win!

The Story

The Seven Dwarfs are brave, determined, hard-working, and enjoy pie! In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – A Gemstone Mining Game, you and your fellow dwarfs do what you do best… mine for Gemstones. Upon discovering a new mine rich with a variety of valuable Gems, it’s off to work you go, to collect as many as you can each day.

Snow White is ready to reward you with special Pie Points for returning from the mine safely with a collection of valuable Gems! Beware though, your friends may interfere with your work, and every swing of your trusty pickax risks uncovering more than you bargained for.

How deep will you dig, how far will you go, and how hard will you work to bring Snow White these beautiful Gems?

Gameplay

First, decide which level of difficulty you wish to play. A basic game is appropriate for small children, and does not include the Reaction Cards in the deck of Action cards. For a more advanced game, shuffle in the Reaction Cards, using all of the available Action Cards.

Setup

The gameplay area is set up with the Main Game Board in the middle, with the Day Marker on the first Mining Day. Pie Points and Experience Tokens are placed nearby.

Main Game Board
Main Game Board

Shuffle the Action Card deck and deal 5 Action Cards to each player. Then put the remaining ones in a deck to the left of the Main Game Board. Shuffle the Snow White Cards, reveal one and place it on the Main Game Board, placing the remaining ones in a deck to the right of the Main Game Board. Put all gems in the Mine Bag.

Each player receives a Mine Cart with the corresponding Dwarf Token, and a green Chest Card. The player with the longest beard (or the shortest player) goes first.

Turn Order

Action Cards
Action Cards

On their turn, players choose to do one of three actions: Mine a Gem, Play an Action Card, or Leave the Mine.

When mining for a Gem, the player will reach into the bag and pull one Gem out. The Gem will either be a colored valuable Gem, or a black Obsidian. The valuable Gems and Obsidian drawn are placed in the player’s Mine Cart until the end of the day – whether that be by their choice of leaving the mine, or forced out by an accident. Drawing two Obsidian (black gems) causes an accident, forcing a player to leave the mine. All Gems and Obsidian are returned to the bag, and the player leaves the mine with nothing except an Experience Token, which can be used to return an Obsidian to the bag on a future mining day.

Action Card and Blocking Card
Action Card and Blocking Card

Players may also play an Action Card. There are several different Action Cards that will allow a player to draw multiple Gems and keep one or more valuable Gem, allow a player to trade Gems with another player, let a player pass their Obsidian to another player, and other actions. But watch out – that other player may have an Action Card that will block that action.

When a player opts to Leave the Mine, they keep all of the Gems in their Mine Cart, and place their Dwarf Token on the Main Player Board in the first available Bravery Bonus spot. The longer a player stays in the mine, the better the Bravery Bonus. Additionally, the first player that leaves the mine with the Gem combination on the Snow White Card will receive bonus points from that card.

End of Day

Leave The Mine
Leave The Mine

The workday continues until all dwarfs leave the mine, either by choice, or if an accident forces them out. The last player that leaves the mine will be the first player to mine on the next day.

At the end of each day, Gems are traded to Snow White for Pie Points. Before trading, players may set aside up to two Gems on their Chest Card to carry over to a future day. These Gems are not counted for points or towards combinations during end of day scoring.

There are several scoring bonuses available based upon the quantity of one specific color or the number of individual colors a player trades in. There may be more than one scoring bonus that is achievable, but it is up to the player to select the bonus that scores the best for them.

Scoring Bonus
Scoring Bonus

Beginning of the Next Day

The last dwarf out of the mine on the previous day is the first to mine on the next day. Each player receives a new Action Card, and a new Snow White Card is revealed. Advance the Day Marker to the next day on the Main Game Board.

End of Game

At the end of the fifth day, all Gems are traded in for Pie Points. Players can earn additional points by trading in unused Action Cards (1 Pie Point), Reaction Cards (3 Pie Points), and Experience Tokens (3 Pie Points).

The Dwarf with the most Pie Points is the winner!

The Good

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – A Gemstone Mining Game is a great family game that can be enjoyed by gamers of all ages. Snow White is one of the most popular of the classic Disney princesses, and the main character from Walt Disney Productions’ first animated feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Everyone has their favorite dwarf, and it is fun to select the dwarf character to play based on the player’s personality.

The theming of this game is excellent. The artwork is the traditional Disney Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which integrates perfectly with a mining game. The Action Cards are bright and colorful, and easy to understand. Some of the cards have a lot of text, so explaining their capabilities to younger players may be necessary.

Gem Bag and Gems
Gem Bag and Gems

What really stands out with this game is the components. All of the Mine Cart player boards, Main Game Board, Pie Point tokens, Dwarf Tokens, and Experience Tokens are made of heavy cardstock that should hold up to multiple plays and general wear and tear. The Gems are nice and chunky, and are fun to pull from the mine bag. They look like real gemstones! Everything fits in the box in a custom vacuum formed box insert. Setup and take down will be quick, and the game effectively stored away.

Scaling is great. One thing that is improved from the original Quartz game is increasing the player count from 5 to 7 players. So the ability to play the game with a larger group is even more appealing.

The Bad

As a family game, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – A Gemstone Mining Game is a very light game. Don’t expect deep gameplay. There is a lot of luck and very little strategy. For that reason it may not provide a lot of replayability for experienced gamers.

The Action and Reaction Cards do add some variability to the game. But I wish there were more. There are definitely other possibilities that could be included, instead of a deck with the same few Action Cards over and over. But, that being said, this is a light game. So the amount of Actions presented is suitable for the audience for which it is intended.

Obsidian
Obsidian

As far as the game components, the only ones that may show some wear in time are the cards. They are glossy and made of average cardstock. But with the handling and shuffling, they will likely wear out before any of the other well-made components.

I also had an issue with some of the content of the rulebook. The Treasure Chest cards are barely mentioned. When playing with my game group, I had players as a couple of questions that the rulebook didn’t specify. It would be helpful to have a little more clarification. When scanning the Board Game Geek forums for the answer, I found that there were a couple other gameplay questions that needed further clarification as well.

Final Thoughts

If you have any Disney fan on your list, young or not, this is sure to be a hit. This theme appeals to a wide range of audience, and has the ability for a higher player count than typical family games. There will be a lot of fun and memorable family game nights with this game at the table.

Game Statistics

  • Release Date: 2018
  • MSRP: $34.95
  • Playing Time: 45-60 minutes
  • Age Range: 8+
  • Player Count: 3-7

 


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About the author

Shanon Connelly

(a.k.a. “Super Muffin Girl”) is an avid board gamer, cosplayer, and all around nerd girl. She has been cosplaying for over 10 years, attending several conventions every year. She recently started a YouTube gaming channel, "Time to Play!", which previews and reviews board games. Follow Shanon on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (@supermuffingirl).

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