Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Unboxing Incan Gold (Udc 4284)

I attended a gaming event at the local library a few weeks ago and was introduced to Incan Gold. My eldest son and I really enjoyed it, and I wondered if it would be accessible to my three-year-old. Remembering that my university library had a copy, I looked it up in the online card catalog. The entry describes it, "Educational resources non-print. Ask at desk." I wrote down the code on the page, "UDC 4284", and asked for it at the desk.

They must store non-print educational resources in boxes like this. Seems like a good idea to use uniform boxes with identifying codes, even though the game itself is in a box. I'm a collector of board games, and I like my boxes to be in relatively good condition too. I opened up the box...

Sure enough, Incan Gold. The labels on the box are probably helpful in case the game box gets separated from its containing box. Putting a university sticker on any library resource is probably a good idea, too. I took the game box out of the larger container and popped it open.

There's the rulebook. Little sticker on there indicates that it's from educational resources with code Udc 4284. I suppose that might get separated from the rest of the materials, and putting the code on there makes sure it ends up in the right place. I already know how to play, though, so let's move that rulebook out of the way...

Hey, take a look at the tent cards... and the temple cards! Looks like they wrote the Udc 4284 code on these too. Here's a close-up of the tent:

Is it only written on the top of each stack? Riffling through the cards reveals that not to be the case: the code is written on each and every card.

These are the Player cards. The code is written on the back of them. On the backs? That's marking the cards! I suppose it would be hard to write a code on the dark-colored front, but still, isn't it bad form to write on the backs of cards?

Same thing with all the Quest cards: code written on the backs, fronts pristine.

Fortunately, it's all one handwriting and the same marker! I would call these visually indistinguishable, for casual use anyway.

Ironically, the Temple cards have the codes on the front. If you're familiar with the game, this is the only kind of card where it wouldn't matter if it were on the front or the back.

Whew, can you believe someone went through and wrote "EdRes Udc 4284" on each and every card of the game? Sounds tedious. Well, let's move on and play the game. Better get out the gems.

Wow, even their own zipper baggie has "UDC 4284" written on it.

Wait, what's that on the gems... could it be?!

Every single gem has "4284" written on them! Black marker on the green and yellow gems, silver marker on the black ones.

Let's hope they never have to change their indexing scheme and relabel all the components!

Aside: My three-year old loves it and has just enough patience for a complete game. His strategy is questionable, but because it's a game that balances risk and reward, there has been times that he is safely in his tent with one or two gems while the rest of us return to base camp with nothing! The game allows for some good mathematical exercises for my elder son as well, including mental addition, change-making, and division with remainders.


  1. That's Bizarre. I never would have imagined they'd go through that much effort to mark everything. I wonder if they have a manifest of what games contain what and go through and count every piece to ensure there are still "62 gems in the bag" upon returning the game.

    1. I'm tempted to keep one out, just to find out if they do...