The Mines of Zavandor
In this third game in Lookout's Zavandor fantasy setting, it's all about dwarves. And mining. And gemstones. And other enhancements for the mines that need to get developed further during the game to have full effect.
4 different gems are the currencies in this game. However, when collecting income you draw cards from 4 different mines (card stacks) with each having its own distribution! The number of gems you earn depends on the upgrade level of your dwarves. Gems are used to either win new objects for their mine through simultaneous 4-way auctions, or to enhance their mines, objects, and victory point count. Another innovative part is that each object has to be upgraded to fully use its benefits, e.g. a level 1 dwarf only gives you 1 income per round, some level 3 dwarves give you 3 income.
On the King's way through the mountain, the requirements for upgrading some special cards always change, and only the player who wins the sapphire auction knows where the next turn will lead to. There are shorter and longer paths to the Coronation Chamber, where the game ends. The game lasts between 10 to 12 rounds.