Pirate Den

Hobby Gaming

The Basics:

  • For ages 8 and up (publisher suggests 14+)
  • For 3 to 5 players
  • Approximately 30 minutes to complete

Geek Skills:

  • Active Listening & Communication
  • Counting & Math
  • Logical & Critical Decision Making
  • Memorization & Pattern/Color Matching
  • Risk vs. Reward
  • Hand/Resource Management
  • Bluffing and Misdirection

Learning Curve:

  • Child – Easy
  • Adult – Easy

Theme & Narrative:

  • Plunder and loot until you can retire in comfort


  • Gamer Geek mixed!
  • Parent Geek approved!
  • Child Geek approved!


Pirate Den is a game of risk and reward. The goal is to amass the most wealth by collecting Loot tokens from the bag and burying them as Buried Treasure. On each turn, a player takes an Action card from their Pirate Captain mat (which has 11 cards, numbered 1-11) and performs one of three possible actions: Dig for Loot, Bury Treasure, or Steal from another player. After performing the action, they must discard the Action card and draw a new one from their mat.

When Digging for Loot, players draw tokens randomly from the bag until they get two matching colors; these are then placed on their Buried Treasure pile. When Bury Treasure is chosen, players can select any two matching colors of Loot tokens to add to their Buried Treasure pile. If Stealing is chosen, players can take one token out of any opponent’s Buried Treasure pile and add it to theirs.

At the end of each round (when all players have taken their turns), all players must discard down to five Action cards in hand; any excess cards are discarded face-down in front of them as “lost loot” which cannot be recovered during play. The game ends when all 25 Buried Treasure tokens have been claimed; at this point, each player tallies up their total wealth (the value of all Tokens in their Buried Treasure pile). The player with the most wealth wins!

Pirate Den offers an exciting blend of strategy and luck that will keep you coming back for more swashbuckling fun! From its top-notch components to its clever mechanics, Pirate Den provides an enjoyable experience that captures the spirit of pirates while providing plenty of opportunities for clever tactics and daring risks!

Preparing the Rigging

In order to play the game, each player must first select a Pirate Captain mat of their choice, which all have the same abilities but different artwork. The unselected Pirate Captain mats are then returned to the game box. Each player is then given 11 Action cards that match their selected Pirate Captain mat, and any Action cards not taken are returned to the game box. All of the Loot tokens are placed in a cloth bag and randomized, and three Loot tokens are drawn for each player at random. The players should organize their Loot tokens by color next to their Pirate Captain mat, and the Loot bag is placed off to one side of the game playing area. Finally, the Buried Treasure tokens are placed off to one side of the game playing area as well. Once all of this is done, it’s time to set sail and make a fortune!

Final Word

The Child Geeks were quick to pick up the rules of Pirate Den, a game of bluffing and misdirection. They quickly developed their own strategies for how to deceive their opponents, such as one Child Geek always announcing which card their neighbor would play, and another Gamer Geek announcing which tokens they were going to take and why as a bluff. The games were very close with no one player having a clear lead. After playing several rounds, the Child Geeks voted to approve Pirate Den, with one Child Geek commenting that they enjoyed the game’s fast pace and moments of panic when revealing cards. Overall, the Child Geeks found Pirate Den to be an enjoyable game that tested their ability to outwit their opponents.

The Parent Geeks thoroughly enjoyed playing Pirate Den, demonstrating a more refined and aggressive form of bluffing. They would keep track of the cards played by their opponents and even lie or badmouth them if needed. Despite their competitive nature, they still maintained proper etiquette while playing with the Child Geeks. According to one Parent Geek, the best part of the game was trying to outsmart other players and sneak up on treasure without anyone noticing. Despite their aggressive game play, all Parent Geeks voted to approve Pirate Den in the end, regardless of whether they won or lost.

Pirate Den is a light game that provides some player interaction and entertainment, but it lacks any real depth or challenge. Half of the gamers found it to be an enjoyable filler, while the other half found it to be completely void of any strategy, tactics, depth, or challenge. The game consists of players playing cards to gain gems and loot from a central board. Although there is some bluffing involved with the cards, ultimately the outcome of the game can be achieved by randomly picking a card. This lack of strategy makes it difficult for more experienced gamers to find enjoyment in Pirate Den.

Playing Action cards at random is not recommended as it can ruin the spirit of the game. Pirate Den is a game that relies heavily on bluffing, table talk, sly remarks and over-the-top reactions to make it enjoyable. If players do not interact and get into the game, it will quickly become dull and uninteresting. The Gamers made a point but their tactics were not in line with what makes Pirate Den fun. Interaction between players is key for this game to be successful as it involves more than just playing cards and collecting tokens; it is about outsmarting your opponent and one-upping them.

Pirate Den is a family game that is designed for players of all ages and skill levels. It was easily taught to the Child Geeks and non-gamer Parent Geeks, who were able to quickly understand the game’s concept and goals. The game play was enjoyable for everyone, regardless of whether they won or lost. This suggests that Pirate Den is indeed suitable for a family environment, as it allows young and old, skilled and unskilled players to enjoy the game on equal terms.

Pirate Den is a game that is not suitable for those who seek complex and strategic gaming experiences. The game play is straightforward and repetitive, with rounds of the same basic tasks being repeated over and over. However, the social elements of the game are what make it enjoyable, as players must interact with each other to complete tasks and strategize. There is an energy at the gaming table that makes up for the lack of complexity in the game play itself. While Pirate Den may not be suitable for hardcore gamers, it can still provide an enjoyable experience for those who like to socialize while playing games.

Pirate Den is a fast-paced, pirate-themed game that is perfect for family game nights. It has just the right amount of components to make it simple to teach, yet still provide enough complexity and strategy to keep players engaged. Players take on the roles of pirates and must bluff and misdirect their opponents in order to gain the most treasure. The game also has enough flexibility that it can be adapted for different play styles, making it suitable for both casual gamers and gaming elitists. All in all, Pirate Den is an entertaining game that provides plenty of fun for everyone!

Pirate Den is a cutthroat, fast-paced Pirate Bluffing Game!

Set sail on the high seas in the Golden Age of Piracy! Liberate riches from the three wealthiest shipping companies of the era and bury your loot before anyone else can steal.

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Crash Games