Silver & Gold Review

Use treasure maps to pillage islands for gold and notoriety. Silver & Gold is a flip and write game from designer Phil-Walker Harding (Sushi Go, B√§renpark, Gizmos). We first played the game as an import from Germany last Summer and couldn’t wait for it to hit the U.S. So what makes this card game such a hit for just about everyone we teach? I’m glad you asked!

Explorers Wanted

Players are working on two island maps at a time, using dry erase markers to mark up each of the cards in the game. Silver & Gold uses a set of 8 expedition cards that contain a pattern for the players to use. Each time a new card is revealed, each player uses that shape to cross off squares on one of their two island cards. You can rotate or flip the pattern to serve your specific need.

Each of the islands in Silver & Gold have a point value from 8 up to 14 points. Some cards even award bonus points for other islands you finish during the 4 rounds of the game. These cards feel incredibly well balanced. Islands with a simple shape don’t contain bonuses while islands with odd corners will ultimately net you more points.

While everyone at the table knows which shapes are available because of the round card that sits in the middle of the table, only 7 of the 8 expedition cards will be revealed during a round. This means you have a 1 in 8 chance of not seeing the exact shape that you’re waiting for to finish an island. You can always forfeit taking a shape and just mark a single square on an island. No matter what, all players must mark a space during a turn.

Hunting for Treasure

On the various islands you’ll find gold coins, palm trees and red X’s. Gold coins count as victory points but also award bonus points each time they collect 4 coins. The award bonus starts at 6 points and declines each time players claim an award. When a palm tree is crossed out, you get a bonus based on the number of palm trees available in the middle of the table on the 4 unclaimed island cards. Red X’s allow you to cross out another space on either of your islands.

Silver & Gold does an excellent job of rewarding players in different ways during the game. While it seems unorthodox to write on the game cards, this works really well. Finishing the final space on an island or gaining an award for collecting gold coins give you a rush as try to out score your opponents.

As you finish an island, players will draft a new map from the center of the table. When the 4th round ends, players calculate their points using their score card and the player with the most points wins.

Teaching the game takes 2 or 3 minutes and the game is very portable. With each game taking around 20 minutes, we often find ourselves playing back-to-back games. Silver & Gold is a pretty addicting filler game that is a great introduction for players who aren’t familiar with flip (or roll) and write games.

I want to give props to Pandasaurus Games for including dry erase markers that don’t have to be replaced after a handful of games. With more than two dozen games with our family, the 4 dry erase markers included with the game are still going strong.

Silver & Gold was the smallest game to make it into my Top 10 of 2019 and it’s a game that still hits the table all the time at the house.

You can purchase Silver & Gold at your local game store or purchase a copy on Amazon today.

Highs

  • Writing on playing cards feels wrong but so right at the same time
  • Each flip of the cards is a gamble as you wait for the perfect shape
  • We regularly play back-to-back games
  • Rewards keep players focused on completing goals

Lows

  • The cards get tougher to clean after a lot of plays