Up to 4 players compete in this worker placement game set in the Everdell universe. This time, it's My Lil Everdell. Everyone works on building the greatest city by sending workers to gather various resources, then placing critter or construction cards into their play area.
Each card has various abilities and bonuses that activate at different times. Players will collect points from these cards, work towards gaining parade cards and after 4 rounds, whoever has the highest score wins!
Adorable Artwork & Familiar Gameplay
As with the original Everdell, this game has stunning artwork and production values.
The main deck of 54 cards is full of cute and cuddly critters. From bears, rabbits, foxes and more, each of these cards has a similar high detailed illustration, much like the original but with a focus on appealing to younger players.
The card quality is impressive, the board and tokens are made to last. I also really like the inclusion of small 3D wooden crates you can assemble to hold your resources. It all helps to immerse players in this whimsical world.
The game is played over 4 rounds, after the last round finishes a final scoring phase occurs to see who has the highest score.
Players gain a board to hold their tokens and resources. Then each player chooses a critter type; butterflies, foxes, mice and lizards.
Each round, new dice are rolled depending on the player count. These contain resources and victory points and are placed at the top of the board.
Then each player in turn order sends out a worker to a spot on the board to collect rewards. Either on the rolled dice or the open slots above which contain berries, resin and twigs.
After placing a worker you can play one card from the centre of the board (the meadow )into your city. As long as you spend the required resources of course.
These cards consist of critter and construction cards and have 4 types. Green cards activate when you place them and at the start of each round. Blue cards activate after you play a certain card type. Tan cards activate once and never again. Red cards activate when you place a worker on them and finally purple cards give you victory points at the end of the game.
After you’ve played a card, check if you have enough types to match one of the 4 parade tokens. If you meet the requirements, take the highest value token into your supply.
After the 4th round, everyone tallies up their victory points, from cards, parades and leftover resources and the highest scoring player wins.
Charming & Accessible
The theme of My Lil’ Everdell is one of my favourite aspects. Appealing to younger players and anyone with a love of whimsical forest critters.
This is an extremely simple game to teach and sets the foundations for more advanced games, teaching the basics of worker placement and resource management.
Having just 3 workers to use helps the game flow quickly and also means less experienced gamers wont tire of it too easily.
In addition to the well written rulebook, the games simple iconography and clear costs on cards will help make the game accessible and fun to learn. Combine this with the outstanding artwork on all the adorable critters and you’ve got a great game for any type of player.
It also features a fun solo mode. Players choose an opponent; Princess Periwinkle or Prince Pumpernickel. On an opponents turn they send their worker to a space, prioritising dice spots but they don’t collect resources. Then they roll an 8 sided dice to determine which card from the meadow they take.
Afterwards they see if they qualify for any parade tokens and pass the turn. This can also be modified with various challenges to mix up the gameplay or added to a multiplayer game for an extra AI opponent.
Comparisons To The Original Everdell
Most experienced gamers will have played or at least heard of the original game and its natural to draw comparisons to it.
The game obviously lacks the Everdell tree, event cards, spots on the board with certain abilities and players don’t collect additional workers during later rounds.
One of the most drastic changes in the game is that players don’t actually have a hand of cards but use the meadow to decide which ones to play.
While some of these changes work well and certainly help the game appear easier, fans of the original might not like these.
The dice being rolled at the start of a round which allow players to collect rewards are easy to understand but they become extremely sought after.
Due to these dice often giving players 2 of a resource or victory points, players who go first will have a slight advantage over others.
This also applies to cards in the meadow. Without an actual hand of cards, all the available critters and constructions can be played by whoever has the resources first on their turn.
This can lead to some players struggling to find a strategy. Despite the cards being simple to understand and combinations easy to acquire, some may find the high luck involved off putting especially at higher player counts.
However despite these small complaints every game of My Lil’ Everdell has been quite close. Even at 4 players, the game never really runs past the 1 hour and half mark, making this a great game to break out when you want something quick to play.
So Many Critters To Find
The real heart of this game is the huge number of cards, each one with a unique ability that can work well when paired with other cards. This leads to many simple yet effective strategies being formulated as you play.
Getting out green cards early can set you up for some rewards at the start of each round. Blue cards can be good as they might reduce the cost of a certain card type or grant you a bonus for playing card types. Purple cards are expensive but can really help you gain those crucial endgame points.
Another great addition is the captain and fort cards. These can be given to younger players to give them a slight advantage in the game. They will grant them extra resources each turn and count towards the parade tokens.
Despite the game being tailor made for the less experienced gamers, there is still plenty to enjoy here for the more hardcore bunch.
Gameplay may be simple and cute but rest assured you will need a keen eye to look out for the right cards to collect and its still satisfying finding all the fun combinations from different cards.
My Lil’ Everdell is an adorable and charming gateway game that’s easy to learn and fun to play.
A perfect game to teach the basics of worker placement, resource management and set collection. A pinch of luck with a dash of strategy, sprinkled generously with beautiful artwork and wonderful theme.