I love a good prop in my tabletop games. Whether it’s the satisfying pouches used to smuggle contraband in Sheriff of Nottingham, the tactile implementation of the Mafia de Cuba box, or the legendary foam guns from Cash’ n Guns, a good prop goes a long way to breaking down the barriers of board gaming. Because, let’s be honest, there’s nothing more intimidating for new players than hundreds of tiny components - or a board that requires a set up rivalling it’s play time!
Quartz, features an excellent prop - an enticing bag of crystals.
In this push your luck game, players take the role of a bunch of greedy dwarves who are mining for crystals. Each crystal up for grabs is a specific colour and the various colours provide players with differing amounts of cash at the end of a round. On a players turn, they’ll dunk their hand into the bag of crystals, have a feel around, convince themselves that they can distinguish one of the more valuable crystals merely by touch – you can’t - and without looking, claim the crystal they wish to mine.
This right here is the joy of Quartz. Every time a player plunges into the mine; if you just watch the players faces, there’s a guaranteed rollercoaster of emotions. Perhaps the frustration at discovering an Obsidian crystal, maybe the excitement at finding a precious ruby followed by the immediate fear and suspicion that all of your fellow players are going to attempt to steal it. Most games would be lucky to get this much of a reaction once or twice; but with Quartz, this happens on every single player turn.