Everdell is probably one the most anticipated Kickstarter games of 2018. I couldn't resist the vibrant colors, gorgeous card art and of course the unique board design which includes a colorful 3d tree. To my surprise it arrived 5 months ahead of schedule and I'm stoked!
- Published by Starling Games
- 1-4 players
- Hand management
- Set collection
- Worker placement
- Resource management
- Place the board in the center of the table and place the ever tree on the stump at the top of the board.
- Place the twigs, resin, pebbles and berries where indicated along the river. Place point tokens and occupied tokens beside the board.
- Shuffle the forest cards and place them on the forest clearings. Use 3 instead of 4 in a two player game. Unused cards go back in the box.
- Place the 4 basic event tiles along the river. Shuffle the special event cards and place 4 special events on the lower branches of the ever tree. Unused cards go back in the box.
- Shuffle the main deck and randomly place 8 cards face up in the meadow. Place the deck inside the ever tree.
- Each player chooses a color and starts with 2 workers of the color. The remaining workers go on the upper branches of the ever tree.
- First player draws 5 cards, second player 6 cards, etc.
There are 3 actions a player may take on their turn:
- Place a worker
- Play a card
- Prepare for Season
Place a worker
You can place a worker in various locations on the game board. Some spaces allow only one worker per season while some allow an unlimited amount workers. Each space will give resources needed to expand your city or allow you to perform an action such as drawing cards. Some actions are on the board while some maybe located on cards in yours or an oponents city.
Play a card
To play a card you must have/pay the listed requirements. The cards are played in front of you to form your city. Some cards in your city will allow you the play a specific card for free. A card can be played from your hand or from the meadow. You can have multiple copies of common cards but only one of each unique card. There is a maximum of 15 cards in your city.
Prepare for season
If you can no longer perform any actions or choose not to, the prepare for season action is performed. When preparing for season you bring back each of your deployed workers and depending on which season it is, perform the below actions:
Spring: Gain 1 new worker and activate all green production cards.
Summer: Gain 1 new worker and draw up to 2 cards.
Autumn: Gain 2 new workers and activate all green production cards.
The game ends in autumn once all players have completed their actions and have chosen to pass. Add up the points. The player with the most points is the winner.
Points are scored for:
- Base points value on cards
- Point Tokens
- Prosperity card bonus (cards that have abilities that score during end game)
- Journey points (a location on the board that workers can be placed to score points)
- Events (tiles/cards worth points at end of game)
- The production value for this game is amazing. I have the collectors edition so I have a few extra frills but I would definitely not be disappointed in the retail version of the game.
- The resource pieces are fantastic and super adorable. The berries aren't perfect spheres and the material is a little sticky which prevents them from rolling off the table. I love that. The stones and the resin are impressive but I wasn't 100% satisfied with the wood pieces. The wood DOES roll off the table, frequently. The quality is still fantastic but a stack of wood or rectangular pieces would have been better in my opinion.
- The most noticeable game component is the absolutely stunning 3d tree. The tree is gorgeous and adds amazing aesthetic to the game however it doesn't add anything to the actual game play. In my opinion, it hinders it. The biggest downside to the tree is that it prevents players from sitting on that side of the table as they wouldn't be able to see the game board over it. It is also pretty far out of reach for everyone. Using a smaller table to decrease the reach is not an option because you need the extra table area to build your city. I also have concerns about deconstructing the tree in between games. I think frequently building the tree will cause the cardboard to wear so I ended up putting the whole entire tree on top of my game shelf. All that being said, I'm still going to use the tree for every game because, well, it's pretty.
- The cards are good quality and I'm absolutely in love with the art. It suits the game perfectly. There are 5 different types of cards that all have abilities and combinations that are equally balanced. There is a lot of cards. At first glance I thought we would never make it through the whole deck but in a 4 player game we ended up having to shuffle the discard pile to replenish the deck.
- The rule book was easy to read and understand. I was able to very quickly set up and be ready for our first game. Game play is very simple so I was able to explain the rules easily without referencing the rule book too many times.
- There are a few questions I had that I was unable to find or managed to overlook in the rule book. For example: when a player prepares for the next season, if they return a worker from an exclusive space, does that space become available to other players this round? Or does it remain unavailable as it was already used in the current round? I literally don't know. (Update: Starling Games has confirmed that the space DOES become available once a worker is removed. Props for quickly responding to the question!)
- I enjoyed that there were several viable strategies. The production cards allow you to produce a bonkers amount of resources. Some cards allow you to play or upgrade cards for free. Personally my favourite strategy thus far has been to fill my city with unique cards and gain additional points for each unique card in my city at the end of the game. There's definitely several more strategies I will have to try.
- One perk to the game is that it has a solo mode. I haven't had a chance to play it solo but I did take a peak at the rules and think it puts an interesting and challenging spin on the base game.
- Overall I would say the game mostly held up to the hype. Aesthetically it's perfect even though practicality takes a bit of a ding. The actual gameplay seems flawless to me so far. There's a small learning curve as you spend a lot of time reading card abilities during your first couple games but is otherwise extremely easy to learn. Despite how easy it is to learn, there is enough strategy to keep any gamer entertained. I would recommend this game for anyone that enjoys worker placement, resource management and card or deckbuilding games (even though it is not a deck builder).
Where to Buy
You can pre-order your copy at: https://www.starling.games/everdell
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