Game Review: Everdell

In Everdell, you play as a cute forest critter and work through the seasons of the year to build the best city you can before winter arrives!

We chose Everdell for our Sunday game this week.  This was the third time we played it (about 7th game) and it was easy to remember the rules.

We first chose this game at the shop because of three things:  It has great art on the box (and inside), it’s a top 50 strategy game on BoardGameGeek, and finally there was something familiar about it that we couldn’t place!

Our completed cities at the end of one of our games!

Cute Forest Critters trying to Build their Best Cities in Everdell

Why did Everdell seem so familiar?

It was only after we bought Everdell that we realized why it was so familiar.

We saw the game at the Prague ComicCon when it was a prototype!

What stood out in our memories most was the three dimensional tree, which is part of the board.  It is not strictly necessary for the game mechanics, but it looks cool, is easy to set up, and helps with the flow of the game.  What’s nice about the beautiful artwork on the cards is that they are all in the same style and relate to the text to create the backstory of the world the game resides in.

The quality of the game components add to the overall game experience!

In addition to the great artwork on the cards, gameboard, and Everdell tree, the game pieces are great quality.  The cards are full sized, glossy, and beautiful.  The victory points are heavy cardboard.  And the character tokens are colorful cutouts of woodland creatures.  The resources also make the game feel better.
  • Wood is a stack of little textured logs.  
  • Resin are small orange crystals.  
  • Stones are little gray skipping stones.  
  • Berries are squishy pink spheres with embedded stars!
The game board of Everdell.

The mechanics of Everdell are easy to follow and the story to accompany it is cute!

The basic idea is that you are a woodland creature who has to build a city.

It is resource-based and in every game it seems like you are just not going to have enough resources to build what you want, but then before you know it, your city slots are full!

The game has four phases (the seasons) and does not take long to play because of that.  It is nice that each player moves on to the next phase when they want to.  As you learn the cards and combinations, the game goes even faster.

One really cool feature of the game is that there is usually not much spread between the winner and loser in victory points.

Part of that is that there are so many ways to get points and taking one route leaves interesting options for the other player.  Because there is a random draw of cards, there is some luck involved, but there are enough choices that it really is a strategy game.

Everdell is a great game for 1-5 people!

We played two games this time and split, one each!

Since Cally and I often end up playing games alone, we are always looking for great 2-player games or 2-5 player games that work well with just 2.  This is definitely one of them!

The game is just slightly above average on the BGG complexity rating, it plays in under an hour when you are familiar with it, and it is easy to learn.

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

  1. How do you decide what new game to buy?
  2. Do you look at ratings on BGG or other sites?
  3. Do you go by recommendations from friends, or just judge the game by its cover in the store?

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