Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.When it’s time to play a new Days of Wonder game I’m always filled with a certain excitement, and a certain dread. The excitement comes from the fact that I’m playing a Days of Wonder game. That’s usually something I really enjoy. The dread comes from the fear that the new game I’m playing will be the one to break the streak of great games they’ve produced.

There’s nothing to fear with Relic Runners.

The game is simple to learn, simple to play, yet offers many choices and different routes to victory. Your 2 basic actions on your turn are to move and explore. Exploring let’s you move further into temples, lay down routes to move father during your turn, or earn the ever-so-important relics. The early game is a bit slow as you plod along to board trying to lay down paths and get goodies from the temples, eventually heading back to base camp for more rations. Later in the game you’re furiously trying to restore your toolbox paths so you can move already layed paths to better connect relics, earn big points, and eventually trigger the end of the game when you’ve snagged the last relic required for game end.

relic-runner-01The game states it’s for ages 10+, but my 6 and 8-year-old had no trouble finding their groove and really enjoying the game. My 3-year-old tried to get in the action, but basically just moved around at random and served as a foil to the rest of us. It couldn’t be helped, and we all had a good laugh.

My only complaint is that the game feels a bit long due to it’s slow start, but by the end you’re really moving along frantically to snag extra victory points. Our games have typically run about 60-75 minutes.

Overall Relic Runners is a great family game that’s easy to learn and fun to play. The instruction book states that you may want to omit some of the special rules for your first play, but it’s really not necessary.

As a side note, my daughter loved that each player color had a male and female side to the player board. This let her pick which ever color she wanted, and still play a female character.

A copy of Relic Runners was provided free for review by Days of Wonder.

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