|Players:||1 - 4 players|
Within the charming valley of Everdell, beneath the boughs of towering trees, among meandering streams and mossy hollows, a civilization of forest critters is thriving and expanding. From Everfrost to Bellsong, many a year have come and gone, but the time has come for new territories to be settled and new cities established. You will be the leader of a group of critters intent on just such a task. There are buildings to construct, lively characters to meet, events to host—you have a busy year ahead of yourself. Will the sun shine brightest on your city before the winter moon rises?
Everdell is a game of dynamic tableau building and worker placement.
On their turn a player can take one of three actions:
a) Place a Worker: Each player has a collection of Worker pieces. These are placed on the board locations, events, and on Destination cards. Workers perform various actions to further the development of a player's tableau: gathering resources, drawing cards, and taking other special actions.
b) Play a Card: Each player is building and populating a city; a tableau of up to 15 Construction and Critter cards. There are five types of cards: Travelers, Production, Destination, Governance, and Prosperity. Cards generate resources (twigs, resin, pebbles, and berries), grant abilities, and ultimately score points. The interactions of the cards reveal numerous strategies and a near infinite variety of working cities.
c) Prepare for the next Season: Workers are returned to the players supply and new workers are added. The game is played from Winter through to the onset of the following winter, at which point the player with the city with the most points wins.
We really enjoy this game. The art is so beautiful and the card combos and engine building keeps you thinking between the games- how do I optimise my moves to get the resources I need to play the cards into my tableau. And like other worker placement games, you always need one more worker more than you've got. At mealtimes, my kids have Everdell-related conversations about their favourite Blue Governance cards or who their favourite Critter is- I mean, how often does that happen?? We've introduced this to a few other families and they've gone on to get their own copies and I field Everdell questions on the phone from them. I mention all this just to say that if you like this sort of game, you end up loving and obsessing about the game.
I decided to buy this game after seeing a while bunch of photos of it on Instagram showcasing the gorgeous artwork. The artwork and component quality is outstanding! In addition the gameplay is heaps of fun. It's not a serious brain-burner, yet there is a wealth of neat card interactions that really amazed me. Mechanically you're trying to use your actions as efficiently as possible to score the most points by the end of the game. In the first round you'll feel like you can accomplish very little, but by round four you'll amaze yourself with how many actions and abilities you have at your disposal. The rate at which your 'engine' builds is incredible. Thematically there is a wealth of interesting characters and constructions to discover, and I love how well thought out the card abilities are since they match the theme so well. It's an easy game to learn and to teach, particularly for people familiar with modern game concepts like worker placement and resource management. Believe the hype, this game is wonderful!