It’s pretty well known by anyone who’s read this site, or Purple Pawn, that my kids and I are big fans of Peaceable Kingdom games. The latest to arrive on my doorstep, Race to the Treasure!, requires a bit more thought on my little ones’ part. That’s a great thing. It’s got simple rules and quick gameplay, just what I’d expect from a PK game.
The goal in Race to the Treasure! is to form a path from the Start Square to the End square before the Ogre reaches the end of the Ogre’s Path. You do this with Path Cards that are drawn each turn. On the way to the End, you’ll need to grab the three keys scattered across the board. It also might be a good idea to grab the Ogre Snack. This card lets you remove an Ogre card from the Ogre’s Path.
Before you play the game you need to roll the two included dice 4 times and place the Keys and Ogre Snack on the board where the letter and number intersect. There can’t be two items on once space, so if you roll a combo that’s already been used you’ll need to roll again. After that’s done the Ogre is placed at the top of his movement track and the Path Cards are shuffled. Once everything is set up players take turns drawing Path Cards from the deck and placing them on the board to form their path. If an Ogre is drawn then that card must be placed on the Ogre’s Path.
That’s the gist of it. Make your path across the board, collecting keys along the way, and make it to the end before the Ogre. It’s super easy.
Race to the Treasure! is part of Peaceable Kingdom’s “Green Commitment.” That means that it’s printed with soy-based inks, utilizes corn-based plastics, and is made with Forest Stewardship Council certified paper and wood. The game doesn’t even come shrinkwrapped, so there’s no plastic waste. Are the components any less nice, or durable? Nope.
Everything in Race to the Treasure! feels sturdy, is well made, and feels like it’ll last a while. Peaceable Kingdom isn’t a company to sacrifice quality just to be green.
Race to the Treasure! has quickly become on of our favorite Peaceable Kingdom titles in a very short time. It hasn’t bumped Cauldron Quest, but it’s sitting in a solid 2nd place.
Even though it utilizes many common features to other PK games (A patch to track the “bad guy’s” path, items to slow down the game’s countdown, etc…) Race to the Treasure! still feels exciting and fresh because of the open nature of each player’s turn. Players choose how to play the path tiles to best get where they need to go. It’s not always the best, or most efficient, way, but the game can still be completed by the players anyway.
As for the Ogre? We’ve seen this mechanic time and time again with games like The Great Cheese Chase, Stack Up!, and Buzz, but it doesn’t feel overdone. The Ogre isn’t very aggressive, and players will end up winning this game more often than not, especially if they’re able to grab the Ogre Snack. In my eyes this is a positive, giving younger players a sense of accomplishment but with a little tension as that Ogre gets closer to the End.
My older kids (11 and 9) enjoy the game, though I’m sure there’s plenty of other games they’d choose if it were up to them. My younger guys (6 and 3) really have a good time with this one. It’s a game that I don’t mind bringing out time and time again with the little guy keeps requesting it, and that’s all I can really ask for in a kid’s game.
A copy of Race to the Treasure! was provided free for review by Peaceable Kingdom.
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.