Unearth: Reclaim. Rebuild. Remember.

2 points

Unearth is a dice rolling set collection game for 2-4 players by Jason Harner and Matthew Ransom.

Unearth’s uniqueness comes from the way both and high and low dice rolls can reap rewards. High rolls help you to claim Ruins, while low rolls allow you to acquire Stones and build Wonders. 

The multiple paths to victory makes it more fun than a traditional dice game where only the highest roll scores.

Contents Overview

A dice game must have dice, and Unearth comes with 20 dice, including three d6, a d8, and a d4 for each player. The dice have a slight pearly swirl and white numbers.

There are 30 large cards; 25 in the Ruins deck and 5 in the End of Age deck.

There are 15 Named Wonders cards

Greater and Lesser Wonders cards,

and four Reference cards.

The largest deck is made up of the smallest cards; 38 cards in the Delver deck.

60 colored hexes (15 in each of 4 colors) fit into the cloth bag.

31 hexes correspond to Wonders. 15 are for Named Wonders,

10 are Lesser Wonders,

and 6 are Greater Wonders.

Greater and Lesser Wonder hexes have a range of possible point values, and are kept face down until final scoring.

Setting up Unearth

Players receive a set of colored dice, two Delver cards, and a Ruins card. Ruins cards are collected throughout the game, and players score points for sets at the end of the game. Some Ruins cards are discarded before each game, so not all sets will be possible.

Ruins cards are displayed face up, according to player count, and colored Stones from the cloth bag are placed on each one, according to the number on the lower right. An End of Age card is put at the bottom of the Ruins draw pile.

The Greater and Lesser Wonders cards, with their tokens, are placed in the display. Named Wonders cards are placed into the display, according to player count, with their matching tokens. Any unused Named Wonders cards are placed back in the box; empty spots will not be refilled during the game.

Note that there are some changes for two players, which are not mentioned on the main setup page. If you are playing with two players, consult page 3 of the rules during setup.

The setup checklist also doesn’t mention creating a draw pile from the rest of the Delver cards. It is shown in the illustration on the next page, but can be momentarily confusing.

Playing Unearth

Turns are short and the game moves quickly. Players may play one or more Delver cards for a special one-time ability.

Then they must roll one die. If they do not have a die available, they must take a die from a Ruin and use it for their turn.

If the player rolls a 1, 2, or 3, they may take a colored Stone from the card. If the card is empty of Stones, they may take one from the bag. The Stones are arranged in hexagonal rings.

Once a ring of stones is completed, a Wonder may be claimed, and the corresponding hex tile is placed in the center of the ring.

If the die placed on the Ruin makes the total of the dice greater than or equal to the number on the top left corner, the card is given to the player with the highest die on that card. Other players with dice on the card receive a Delver card for each die. All players take their dice back, and a new Ruins card is put into the display.

The game ends when all Ruins Cards have been claimed. Players score points for sets of one of each color of Ruin, sets of cards of the same color, individual Wonders, and sets of 3 Wonders.

Comparing Unearth

Unearth is easy to teach, and playable in about an hour. It has some similarities to Artifacts, Inc., another light-ish 60 minute dice game for 2-4 players.

Unearth is about the same complexity (and box size) as Istanbul: The Dice Game. A main difference is that in Unearth, the dice are left out from round to round until someone claims the card, whereas in Istanbul: The Dice Game, anything claimed is claimed immediately, and pending dice are not kept in place between turns.

Because not all cards are used in every game, Unearth has good replayability. The randomness from the dice rolling is also tempered by the Delver cards. It requires strategy in both the Ruins and Wonders you work towards, and has a dash of player interaction. Be prepared for someone to make you reroll your dice, or change your die value.

But while they were focused on the Ruins, you were amassing points from Wonders. They don’t call it the Greater Wonder for nothing.

[Unearth on BGA]  [Unearth on BGP]

JamesReid860 Supporter5 months ago | 2 points[-]

This game always looks so good!

philryuh Supporter5 months ago | 2 points[-]

They sure did a great job with the theme and art direction on this, makes it look like an already existing video game/world. 

Greyback 5 months ago | 2 points[-]

This has been one of our go to short games.  Waiting for the expnsion

Marshwiggle92 Supporter5 months ago | 2 points[-]

How long does it usually take you? 

Greyback 5 months ago | 2 points[-]

45 min to an hour.  very replayable

Marshwiggle92 Supporter5 months ago | 2 points[-]

That does sound great for that general weight of game. 


Comment deleted.

Sliddell11 5 months ago | 2 points[-]

Also I’m glad to hear your thoughts on the replayability, as that was something I was curious about. From my one play through I think that was my only concern.

Sliddell11 5 months ago | 2 points[-]

I’ve only played this game once so I couldn’t say 100% that I want to purchase it, however I did enjoy my one go at it. The art work is really great and unique so that was a major selling point for me.

Marshwiggle92 Supporter5 months ago | 2 points[-]

Are the components good quality? 

Sliddell11 5 months ago | 2 points[-]

I would say they were pretty standard quality, however they were really fun and unique. I liked the different types of dice for the different characters you use (I love dice games) and the hex’s and smaller cards were cool to play with too!

Marshwiggle92 Supporter5 months ago | 1 point[-]

OK. I will set up a price alert. 

Marshwiggle92 Supporter5 months ago | 2 points[-]

I love the artwork on these cards. I have ignored this game, but it looks like it could be fun. 

indigopotter Supporter5 months ago | 1 point[-]

I found the art very interesting and different too.

Marshwiggle92 Supporter5 months ago | 2 points[-]

It's different without being tastless. 

Sliddell11 5 months ago | 2 points[-]

I thought the same. Plus the “world” it’s set in is interesting and makes you want more. I think the theme was prevalent and added a lot to my experience.

Marshwiggle92 Supporter5 months ago | 2 points[-]

Sounds great 

Sliddell11 5 months ago | 2 points[-]

Yeah i think it would be a great game to buy if it went on sale.

Marshwiggle92 Supporter5 months ago | 2 points[-]

I was just thinking about setting up a price alert for it. 

Sliddell11 5 months ago | 2 points[-]

That’s a great idea, I keep forgetting about that.

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