Thursday, September 18, 2008

#64: Jewels in the Attic

Jewels in the Attic
  • designer: uncredited
  • publisher: Discovery Toys
  • date: 1992
  • BoardGameGeek rank/rating: not rated/6.5
  • age: 8+
  • # of players: 2-18 (this is NOT a typo)
  • print status: OOP
  • cost: I could not find a copy for sale from a trusted online source
I've written about Jewels in the Attic before on this blog - it was the featured game at Braeden's sixth birthday party. (The picture with this post is me helping the kids take a turn.) What follows is copied (and slightly edited) from that post.

We played Jewels in the Attic, a game published by Discovery Toys back in the early '90s. It's a little difficult to describe, but it's essentially a cooperative text adventure without a lot of text. Using circle-shaped "tools", the players attempt to find the best item among them to help solve the problem - whether that be avoiding a swarm of bees or trying to get out of an overstuffed chair. The notch on the tool card is lined up with the notch on the "problem" card and a small hole in the tool card reveals a letter - which corresponds to a result on the problem card. Many times, you defeat the card & get to claim a reward (which is a more powerful tool, usually)... though sometimes the problem causes the group some trouble. (Most of the group ended up asleep on the floor at one point; another time, they were all stuck to the walls of the room they were in.)

Eventually, you have enough purple (reward) cards in order to try & enter the Attic to defeat the Jewelkeeper... which, of course, requires you to defeat his minions first. (I didn't mention at the start that the game is played in five rooms: a Main Hall - denoted by a large placard - and four rooms - denoted by door hangers with the room name & description.) We played at the church gym - the intrepid band of adventurers (and their guide, me) ran through "the Main Hall" on our way to "The Library" (which was actually our senior adult Sunday School classroom.)

The game works very well with ages 4-8 with an adult guide... part of the secret of making something like this really "sing" is to get the kids involved in making spooky background noises, roleplaying the various troubles, and helping them celebrate their victories. This was, according to the kids & parents I talked to today, the highlight of the party for most of the kids.

I apologize for touting a game which is pretty much unavailable... however, I have a suggestion. If you know someone who's been selling Discovery Toys since the mid-90's, chances are really good that they own a copy of this and would be willing to get rid of it.


Anonymous said...

I snagged a copy of this off of Ebay after I read good reviews on boardgamegeek. At that time there were 2 available. After that auction finished I checked again out of curiosity 2 weeks later and there were 3 more. I think if you're patient and keep an eye out they do surface occasionally.

Anonymous said...

This game I played when i was little.And I have been seraching anywhere for it.My cousins who owned it dont have a clue what they did with the game.Seeing as they have moved and everything.I cant stop thinking about it!

Anonymous said...

You can call their 800 number and get instructions for the game emailed to you, which is what we did. We have the game but were missing the instructions.

The lady said that they may be selling it again sometime soon so keep your eyes out for it!

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

Thank you for the help, Anonymous! And for the good news about this game being republished!

Katie said...

I recently pulled this game out of the closet to play with my nephew. Unfortunately, I am missing a single doorway piece, the Library. Would you be willing to take a photo of that piece and email it to me? I've searched everywhere!