Above is the “Game Opening” video for the Geocaching board game Cache Me if You Can!, as being played by game designer and President of DPH Games Dan Hundycz (Geocaching.com username Zilt Pitorg), and developer Marty DeMarte (Geocaching.com username Allyn Birch), and also features several visits from Marvin the Tabby Cat! This video is actually one of five you can view on the game at the DPH Games YouTube Channel.
You may have seen this game advertised on Geocaching.com, beginning in May, 2013. We here at the blog saw those ads, and heard from a Geocacher that DPH Games had a tent set up at an outdoor festival in Corning, N.Y. during Memorial Day weekend. We contacted DPH Games requesting an interview, and happened to mention the blogger himself lives in New York State, about 135 miles away. It turns out Dan and Marty were about 80 miles closer to the blogger that day. One thing led to another, and we all met at a bar/restaurant in Clarence, N.Y. on June 2nd, 2013, where discussed the game for over an hour, and the blog procured a copy of the game for “testing” purposes.
|Equipment Cards; start with 3, you can earn more|
Why a Geocaching board game? Dan says “We saw that there wasn’t really a true geocaching board game out there. We wanted to make something that simulated the experience. We spent a significant amount of time at game conventions so that we would develop a solid game… not just a game to fill a void.” Yes, but would a non-Geocacher understand this game? No problem “We have played this game with more board gamers than geocachers” said Dan. He certainly has the credentials to take on this project, saying “I have geocached since 2007, played board games my whole life, and created board games and simulations most of my adult life.”
|“Caching Area” cards that players land on|
- 3 Game Boards
- 104 Caching Area Cards
- 12 Geocoin Cards
- 28 Equipment Cards
- 18 Event Cards
- 6 Playing Piece Cards
- 8 Character Description Cards
- 4 Card Stands
- Rules Card
- Geocaching Glossary/FAQ
- Endorphin Card
- Cool Ammo Can like box
In addition to the Cool Ammo Can like box, the game is also available in a real .30 caliber ammo box! The Collectors edition, for $20 more. We here at the blog have seen one, it’s very nice, with Cache me if you can stickers that cover most of both sides of the box. All game components are made in America.
How to play the game:
The still picture you see on the video at the top of this post will actually be very helpful to the reader for following along here! This will be a brief overview from the blogger, who has played the game three times thus far. The object of the game, as described on the rules card is to be the first player to earn 18 points, and points are earned by collecting Geocaches and Geocoins. You see three boards in the picture. There is a “town” board (bottom), and two “caching area” boards (top). Note that this is the optimum arrangement for a two player game, and the caching area boards can be set up in a multitude of arrangements. The town board has a Cafe, a Sporting goods store, a swag store, a hospital, and a Mega Event, as well as the trailheads to the caching area. Each player starts out with a playing piece, a GPS/Pen indicator card, a character card, and three 2-sided equipment cards, with only one of the two equipment options being chosen by the player (there are opportunities in the game to turn the card around and choose the other piece of equipment on the card). All players start at the Cafe. There are no dice, movement is up to three spaces on a trail, and one space inside the sporting goods store or hospital, or “off-trail” in the caching area. Additional equipment cards and “event cards” may be picked up in the sporting goods store. Note that event cards are things that happen, not Geocaching events. For example, if you drew the “I guess that’s not supposed to go in a parking meter?” card, you lose a Geocoin. You won’t need to visit the swag store or the hospital on the town board until after you enter the caching area. And believe me, you will get sent to the hospital.
Players then enter the caching area, only at designated trailheads. When a caching area card is landed on, it is flipped over. The cards contain caches (including legs of multi-caches), hazards, special actions and non-action cards. Cards may either be taken, or left in place (some have instructions to leave them in place). If taken, the card is replaced face down with another from the deck. Note there are 104 of them with the game, but the boards only hold 48. Certain caches can only be taken if you have the proper equipment card. For example, you need a flashlight to take a night cache. Hazards (and there are many) will generally send you to the hospital on the “town” board, although you may be immune to the hazard if you have the proper equipment card. If you lose your GPS Signal or pen, you will have to visit the swag store. There are also “free goodies”, for lack of a better term, at the Mega event in town. You of course have to go back out to the caching area if you have to go to town for any reason. Collect 18 points worth of caches and Geocoins, and you win! There is also suggestions for an “advanced victory condition” game on the rules card, and DPH Games has a Back into the woods expansion pack planned. Says Dan, “One of our goals is to create games that bring people together. Having a game that is interactive and very replayable does that. A board game creates an environment that the console game never will.”
|Chacter Description Cards, 1 per player|
We like to think that we don’t review Geocaching products at the OCNA blog, we just report on them. But I’ll tell you what, if this were a review, I’d give it an A+ for sure. I told Dan via email when I got around to playing it, it was “even more funner than I expected”, grammar aside. The 104 randomly placed caching area cards, and the ability to set the boards up in a variety of configurations make this game play different every single time. And his wanting to meet a blogger to discuss the game in person (even if it was “only” 50 miles away) really shows his dedication to making this game and his company succeed. Note on the main page of the DPH games website that they go out on tour with the game to game nights and Geocaching Events. For example, they will be at the Berkshire (Mass.) Geobash and the Midwest Geobash (Ohio) in July 2013. Note also per this page on their website that you can purchase Cache Me If You Can! directly from DPH games, or from Amazon.com or Puredesign.com. Also if you ever find yourself in Downtown Corning, N.Y., from the Market Street Apothecary gift shop. You can see it in person, and buy it, if you so choose, at a game night or Geocaching Mega event too, of course.