Do you enjoy playing light strategy games? I do. My schedule tends to be so busy that I’m not often able to play games that last longer than twenty minutes…hence why I decided to give “Mine Shift” a go. The idea here is simple: get your pieces “home” before your opponents do. Is it worth the twenty bucks I paid for it at “Barnes and Noble”? Read on to find out…
Tiles – Tiles serve as the maze in which players will be navigating. Each tile has four spaces on it that are sometimes separated by walls/barriers…some tiles have a slightly different configuration.
Gem Pieces & Cloth Bag – There are four sets of gem pieces (each set is a different color). They are stored in a cloth bag.
Setup & Gameplay
Player shuffle the tiles and lay them out appropriately, depending on whether or not they are playing a two or four player game. It’s essentially a doughnut configuration with the home tiles placed on the outside on opposite ends. Each player gets a set of gems and places them on their home tile (one on each of the four spaces).
A player can take three moves on their turn, consisting of:
1. Jewel Step – The player can move one of their pieces to an adjacent space/tile. They can’t move through a barrier and they can “jump” over a piece if the space they are moving to is occupied. A player MUST make at least one jewel step on their turn or they automatically lose the game. They also cannot occupy both home tiles at the same time.
2. Tile Turn – The player can rotate a tile 90 degrees, including home tiles.
3. Tile Shift – The player can move a tile, not including home tiles, so as long as it stays within the doughnut’s perimeter.
The first player to get all of their pieces across the maze to the other home tile, wins the game!
Editor’s Note: The above doesn’t cover all of the rules found in the manual, but should give you an idea as to how the game is played.
The quality of the components are fairly good. The gems are colorful while the tiles are large and thick…meaning that they aren’t hard to see and won’t bend after repeated use. The rules are easy to learn, though there are a few miscellaneous tidbits that you might miss on your first run-through…honestly though, they won’t break the game if you forget about them. There’s nothing revolutionary here to really make me do a double-take, so I’m inclined to simply give this a passing grade for its components and convenience (play time). As such, I’d recommend this product to families or possibly a group of adults who just need to fill time with a light strategy game. It’s not worth more than twenty bucks in my opinion, so I’d shop around a bit and compare prices if you’re dead-set on picking this up (I’ve seen this product sold for as much as thirty-five bucks).
Final Verdict: 6/10