I am a huge Disney fan. I love their movies, theme parks, pretty much everything they do. I am also a huge fan of the board game Villainous which has Disney villains facing off to see who rules the world. So, when I saw Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: A Gemstone Mining Game I thought two things. One, I hope this game is as good as Villainous and two, they should have come up with a shorter name. So, how well does this game stack up in the eyes of a Disney fan? Let’s find out.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a board game from USAopoly that has you take on the role of one of the seven dwarfs, mining for gems down in the gem mines. This is a push your luck style game where you will be drawing gems from a bag in hopes of finding ones that are the most valuable. But there’s a catch, if you draw obsidian then it may force you to leave the mine removing you from the rest of the round. The player who manages to find the best gems over the course of the game is the winner.
USAopoly is best known for its casual games like Trivial Pursuit and typically license intellectual property to use for their games.
- Ages: 8+
- Players: 3-7
- Play Time: 45-60 Min
- Designer: Sérgio Halaban, Scott Morris, Andrew Wolf
- Publisher: The Op
- Year Published: 2018
How to Play
What’s Inside the Box
The game includes a wide assortment of components including:
- 64 Action Cards: These cards give you benefits like drawing extra gems or messing with your opponents.
- 7 Chest Cards: Once you have finished your round, you can save up to two gems on your chest card.
- 10 Snow White Cards: These are bonus point cards that can be claimed by finding certain gems.
- 90 Pie Point Tokens: These represent the points in the game.
- 1 Day Marker: This is the round tracker token.
- 7 Experience Tokens: These can be used to keep you in the mine if you draw two obsidian.
- 68 Gems: There are 7 different colored gems that are all worth different points.
- 1 Main Game Board: This is where you place your dwarf token when you have finished your round.
- 7 Mine Carts (Player Boards): This is where you will store your gems and act as a reference when scoring points.
- 7 Dwarf Tokens: These are the player markers in the game.
How to Play
A game consists of five rounds and a round ends once every dwarf leaves the mine.
All of the action cards and snow white cards are shuffled into piles and placed near the game board. The day marker is placed on the first spot on the game board. Create a supply of pie points and experience tokens that can be reached by all players.
Everyone picks their favorite dwarf to play as. They don’t have any unique abilities or anything so no need to stress about which one.
Then, each player receives these components:
- Mine Cart: This acts as a reference sheet for points and is where you will store all of your gems.
- Dwarf Token: When you leave the mine you place your dwarf token on the game board to show that you are done with the round.
- 5 Action Cards: Action cards can be played to help give you the upper hand.
- Chest Card: When trading gems for points you can save two gems that you can use on a later round.
Decide who goes first and give them the bag of gems.
On your turn you can do one of the following actions:
- Mine a Gem: Simply draw a random gem from the bag and add it to your cart.
- Play an Action Card: Action cards can help give you better chances of finding the gems you need. There are also reaction cards that can be played on other player’s turns that usually let you cancel the effects of action cards.
- Leave the Mine: If you are happy with the gems you found this round, you can choose to leave the mine and place your dwarf token on the game board.
Once you take one of these actions, your turn is over and the next player goes.
When you decide to leave the mine and place your dwarf token on the game board, you also get the bonus action listed. Usually, this action is a new action card or pie points.
If you ever have two obsidian in your cart then you are forced to leave the mine and all gems in your cart are returned to the bag. Bummer. Your dwarf token is placed upsidedown on the game board and you don’t gain the bravery bonus. You do however gain an experience token. Yippee!
You may spend an experience token to remove one obsidian if you ever have two in your cart. This keeps you in the mine longer. Experience tokens are also worth three pie points at the end of the game.
The round ends once all players have left the mine. Then players can trade their gems for pie points. You can also choose to save gems on your chest card for a later round.
Snow White Cards
The first player to leave the mine with the corresponding gems listed on the snow white card gains the bonus pie points.
End of Game
The game ends at the end of the fifth round and the player with the most pie points wins.
Art & Components
The artwork in the game looks good. It’s pretty much what you would expect from a licensed game. The artwork is pretty minimal and I would have liked to have seen some more original artwork with these characters, but for what is in the game it does look good. It’s just a shame considering Disney Villainous did such an amazing job with the artwork in that game. I think that game really set the bar for what I expect from Disney board games now.
The components are all great quality. Everything has held up through numerous plays and looks good on the table. These are your standard gems that you can find in games like Century Golem and they are still super pretty. All of the different colors really make this game pop when you start collecting a bunch.
I will say that I did have problems when I first bought the game because it didn’t come with all of the gems needed to play. So I had to exchange it for another one. I haven’t seen anyone else have any issues like this, but it was odd and thought I’d mention it.
I have some mixed feelings about this game.
I like the gameplay for the most part, but I feel that this game is heavily luck based and there isn’t much in the game to mitigate it. The main mechanic of the game is simply drawing a random gem from the bag and hope that it isn’t obsidian. If you get two obsidian during the round then you are out for the rest of the round.
There are a few ways the game tries to help mitigate the randomness. If you have an experience token then you can discard it to put back one of your obsidian and stay in the game. But the only way to get these tokens is by getting knocked out of a round from obsidian so it’s a bit counterproductive.
The other way is through action cards. Action cards let you do things like trade gems with other players, give obsidian to an opponent, or draw extra gems. This is my favorite part of the gameplay since it adds some much needed player interaction. The downside is that you can absolutely get hosed by these cards and if you are already having some bad luck drawing valuable gems then this can be frustrating.
I would have liked to have seen some sort of special abilities thrown in for each of the dwarfs to help differentiate them a bit more. Beyond their names, there isn’t any difference between them. It could have really helped with the replayability of the game.
There really isn’t much to the game in terms of strategy. Since everything is luck based, it’s either you draw the gems you need to win or you will lose. There were times where someone would be dead last and then the last round came and they were able to draw gem after gem without finding obsidian, winning the game.
Turns do go by quick so the downtime in between turns is pretty low. But if you have some bad luck then you are eliminated from the round and have to wait before joining a new round.
I found the point system to be way too complicated. Especially since this is a family game, I expected it to be easier to add up points. Each gem by itself is worth a certain number of points, but then if you have a certain set then you can double the score of another type of gem. All of this can get overly complicated real fast if you have a lot of gems to add up.
Each round a new snow white card is revealed that will score you bonus points for completing. I wish the game focused more on these as the main way to gain points. It’s far easier to add up points and visualize how far along you are.
Overall I found the game to be too reliant on luck with not much strategy to be found. The playtime is a bit too long for me to want to keep revisiting it, especially since it’s possible for you to win with just a single round.
As I said before, I am a big Disney fan. That was the main reason I picked up this game. The story for the game is that the seven dwarfs are down in the mines looking to trade in gems to Snow White in return for pie.
It’s a simple theme that works pretty well. Going into the mine searching for gems and exchanging them for points is easy enough. Although, I don’t really remember the seven dwarfs being so adversarial as they are in this game though.
This game is based on another game called Quartz. They didn’t really change anything, but paste on a Disney theme and expand the player count. This is definitely a family game so I can give it a pass for not wanting to add anything too complex to the game.
I would recommend this game to anyone looking for a board game that they can play with their family. It’s a game that kids can easily grasp and one that you won’t be completely bored playing.
I would also recommend this game to fans of Disney in general. As long as you aren’t expecting anything more than a simple push your luck game.
Similar Board Games
- Megaland: This is a Target exclusive board game that plays similar to this game, but with a shorter playtime.
- Villainous: Villainous is my favorite Disney themed board game. It offers quite a bit of strategy and playing as a Disney villain is really fun.
- Machi Koro: Machi Koro is easy to pick up and it’s kind of like a Monopoly 2.0.
- Point Salad: This is a quick playing set collection game that is one of the simplest games out there.
- Tsuro: Tsuro plays extremely quick and has you trying to stay on the board while moving along various path tiles.
Overall I think Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: A Gemstone Mining Game is a good game that I would recommend to any family. The gameplay isn’t really my cup of tea, but it’s a game that you can shut your brain off and have fun with. And plus, who doesn’t love looking at pretty gems?
Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs: A Gemstone Mining Game is a good family game that will keep you and your kids entertained for many playthroughs.
- The action cards add some much needed player interaction.
- The gems and components look great.
- Simple gameplay for kids.
- The gameplay is too random.
- I found the play time to be a bit too long in large groups.