If oldie time pirates and the saltiest of sea dogs are to be believed, X always marks the spot. But what about when you’re given a treasure map and there’s no x to be found? That’s madness! Treasure Madness! We grab a pick axe and a machete and go deep into the jungle on a quest for buried goodies in this popular Facebook release.

Treasure Madness offers up an interesting mashup of map exploration and mini-games. As the name suggests this game is all about accumulating treasure, and like any good treasure you’re going to need to dig for it. A seemingly endless supply of treasure maps are available with each of these maps being made up of so many diggable squares. Using your shovel you’ll dig in each of these squares and uncover either a mini-game, a chest full of gold, a tasty treat, or an empty hole full of disappointment.

Treasure Madness

The mini-games borrow liberally from a number of other games, providing quick 15-second rip-offs of games like Tetris, Memory, Bejeweled and Pachinko. The lack of originality is a bit of a disappointment, but the games themselves play competently enough and offer enough variety that it’s easy to give them a pass. After all – the mini-games are really just a means to an end, and we just want to get our hands on that sweet sweet treasure.

Successfully completing a mini-game will award you with the artefact that was buried alongside it. The game seems to be a bottomless well of cool and unique artefacts, but what you’ll instantly take note of is how each of these artefacts belongs to a set. Collect all 5 artefacts in the set and you can cash them in for a top notch bonus.

Trying to build sets becomes to main objective of Treasure Madness, but there’s a great deal of gameplay that will help you to get there. Buying and exploring different maps, acquiring the right tools to dig in the right circumstances, and tackling a variety of mini-games should be enough to keep anyone entertained. But Treasure Madness also has a unique social element that puts a fantastic twist on the generic gifting you’ll see in other Facebook fare. Instead of gifting decorative items that serve no real purpose, you’ll be able to gift any of the artefacts that you’ve uncovered to help your friends complete their collections. How will you know what they need? Every player can create a wishlist to let their friends know what they’re on the hunt for. It’s a great touch and an excellent way to give social gift-giving in games a real sense of purpose.

Treasure Madness

Thanks to a well-designed health points system, each visit to Treasure Madness can easily last 5 or so minutes. You’ll begin the game with around 100 HP, and you’ll use up 10 every time you dig. Sometimes you’ll dig up tropical fruit which will replenish your HP and keep you digging longer. Sometimes you’ll be lost in a good mini-game for a minute or so before you get back to digging. Every 30 seconds you’ll regain another health point, so you’re never more than 5 minutes away from being able to dig again. This means sessions here can last longer than they do in a lot of Facebook games, and you should be able to return to the game with far less time off between sessions.

Treasure Madness stands out as a strikingly original game, especially in light of the fact that Facebook is often considered a platform for copycat game design. We only wish that the mini-games, which make up a good bulk of the time you’ll spend with Treasure Madness, were as unique as the game itself.