A Valley-based board game company has turned the story of Jacob Waltz and his famed gold mine into a board game called “Legend of the Lost Dutchman.”
According to the tale, German immigrant Waltz found the mine around the 1870s in the Superstition Mountains near Apache Junction. Some believe that the mine is protected — or cursed — by the Apache “Thunder God,” who is said to keep its location secret by killing those who attempt to discover it. Over the years, many have gone missing or have died in search of the treasure.
Fascinated that there are still treasure hunters searching for the gold, Patrick Nickell, co-founder of Crash Games, decided he wanted to create a game about the Legend of the Lost Dutchman.
Players take on the role of Waltz while moving across the Superstitions. The object of the game is to mine as much of the Lost Dutchman’s gold as you can before the water supply runs short or until another player finds the gold. Players must avoid flash floods, haboobs, javelinas and other obstacles. Players have the opportunity to stash treasure and collect valuable items during their quest. The Spirit of the Lost Dutchman can also attempt to steal your booty.
Nickell explains that the game is simple, yet meaningful. Players not only roll dice, but must make decisions as to what their fate will be. “Legend of the Lost Dutchman” is designed for two to five players and can be played within 30 minutes.
Crash Games, LLC, rose out of a board gaming convention in Indiana, when Nickell and Michael Coe, another lifelong gamer, met in the crowd of 35,000. The two started Crash Games, LLC, based out of Phoenix, in October 2011. They work with their wives to design and publish board games. The company has a total of three games, including “Legend of the Lost Dutchman." In “Rise!,” players strategically “race to be the first to construct three high-rise towers on the growing game board, moving workers to and fro to keep the towers rising and the opponent befuddled,” as described on the Crash Games website, www.crashgamesaz.com. There’s also “Lords, Ladies & Lizards,” described as a role-playing fantasy adventure game that involves “strategy, economics, and politics,” and is “set in a medieval fantasy world threatened by an all-powerful dragon.”
In order to put the Lost Dutchman game on the market, Crash Games is raising money through www.kickstarter.com. Kickstarter is an online fundraising tool where anyone can pledge to support a project. Fundraising goals are all-or-nothing; projects must be fully funded or there is no money exchanged.
In an interview with 92.3 KTAR news radio, Nickell said that the company needs to raise about $30,000 to put the game on the market. Entering today, just shy of $5,000 had been raised with 45 days to go until the fundraising deadline of July 23.
Caitlin, a senior studying public relations and journalism at Northern Arizona University, is an intern for the East Valley Tribune. Contact her at (480) 898-6514 or firstname.lastname@example.org