Dorfromantik - The Board Game
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Dorfromantik – The Board Game

RRP: £33.99
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RRP £33.99
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Burbling rivers, rustling forests, wheat fields swaying in the wind, and here and there a cute little village – that is Dorfromantik! The gaming community has been swooning with delight over the video game by small indie studio Toukana Interactive since its Early Access in March 2021. It has even won several well-known video game awards. Now Michael Palm and Lukas Zach have transf…
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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Super quick games
  • So much to unlock
  • Starts nice and easy and gets harder at the right pace
  • One game is never enough
  • Completely resettable campaign

Might Not Like

  • This is a solo or 2 player game, no way you would want to play at 6
  • Sometimes it comes down to the luck of the next tile
  • When the rivers or train tracks get in the way
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Description

Burbling rivers, rustling forests, wheat fields swaying in the wind, and here and there a cute little village – that is Dorfromantik! The gaming community has been swooning with delight over the video game by small indie studio Toukana Interactive since its Early Access in March 2021. It has even won several well-known video game awards. Now Michael Palm and Lukas Zach have transformed the popular landscape-building puzzle game into a family board game for all ages with Dorfromantik – The Board Game.

In Dorfromantik – The Board Game, up to six players use hexagonal tiles to form a beautiful landscape together and try to fulfill the wishes of its population. At the same time, they must lay the longest possible train track and the longest possible river, and take the flags into account, which provide points in completed areas. The better the players succeed in designing their landscape, the more points they can achieve at the end of a game. During the replayable campaign, new tiles can be unlocked with the points scored in earlier games. Those tiles are initially hidden in small, closed boxes. They provide the players with new, additional tasks and make it possible to keep increasing the high score in this cooperative game.

Confession, I haven’t played the computer game DorfRomantik, so you may be wondering why did I buy this game? The answer is it looked cool and it has tile laying with campaign / legacy elements, what’s not to like? So now I have played the game (a lot – spoiler) the question is do I like DorfRomantik? Yes, yes I do, read on anyway to find out why.

Who Needs Theme?

So the theme in this game is…..um…..there isn’t one. But that is ok. Not all games have to have a big back story with reasons why you are doing everything. I would suggest if you are looking for a theme you are redesigning your world trying to please the whims of the residents.

This is a cooperative game where you play a series of short games to achieve the ultimate aim of completing all the achievements, unlocking every new component and scoring the hard to reach target of 400 points.

The game starts simple with very few rules but as you progress further into the game you will be awarded with new tiles that score in lots of different ways but also provide an extra level of complexity. Because of the way the new tiles are introduced it is very easy to take the new rules in and you never feel overwhelmed. In fact the opposite is true, you get really excited to see what you have unlocked next and you immediately start planning your next game.

Is It A Cooperative Game

Ok, so I want to get a negative point out of the way. This isn’t really a cooperative game. Not really. It is more like a solo game that you can play with others. That is fine for me but some people might not like it if they go into the game thinking there will be lots for each player to do on their turn. All you do is turn over the next tile and decide (as a group) where to place it.

For me this game sings at 2 players. You can both discuss where you should place it without too many opinions being thrown around and you can both be nice and close to the table.

Task Master

I have also written a How To Play here, but essentially on your turn you will reveal a new Landscape tile and place it somewhere so at least one of its sides is touching another tile. There are placement rules for the tracks and stream (they must always lead into themselves) and then more rules as new tiles are revealed but that is basically all you have to consider.

There are also Task tiles and when you complete one (there are always 3 on the go at any one time) your next tile placed must be a new Task tile. The Task tiles will have an icon relating to either village (houses), stream, track (railway), grain, or forests. You take a task marker and place this on the tile. It will indicate how many of the same terrain types you need to complete it. Once you do, this marker is moved to the side to be scored at the end of the game.

You will also score for enclosed flag areas (forest, grain and village) as well as your longest continuous stream and track. These are all the basic scoring objectives that you will use for your first few games but by game 10 you will be having to consider a whole lot more.

But I Want More

Every game you complete is logged with your scores rewarding you with a number of X’s you can mark off in a multi branching campaign trail. I won’t spoil any of the achievements or what they do but I will say it is a wonderful way of keeping you coming back for more and gives you the same feeling of playing an Xbox game when the achievement pings off. The fact that you can choose which way you complete the achievements is very clever.

Final Thoughts

DorfRomantik is brilliant. Each game only takes between 15 and 20 minutes but one game is never enough. There is so much content included which entices you back for more each play. The tile placement and initial scoring is nothing new and each decision seems simple, but as you progress through the game the amount of scoring options and decisions increases really satisfyingly, so much so that by the end of the campaign you will have to have your best gaming hat on.

You can feel the games DNA from the computer world coming through with the achievements and unlocks, and it has moved across to the board game world really well. I love the fact that the game is completely resettable and can be played as many times as you want. I expect to still be playing this for a long time to come just trying to achieve higher and higher scores.

Be aware that it is a solo game you can play with others and that luck does feature as the tiles can be your friends or enemies (especially if you turn over track after track when you don’t need tracks). But if you are looking for a chilled tile laying experience you can share with maybe one other person you could go a lot more wrong than buying DorfRomantik.

Now I have to go as I need one more go, maybe two.

DorfRomantik is an awesome tile laying cooperative game with legacy / campaign progression and I love it (you can see why here in my review). I have written this blog to help get you started on your world-building adventure, so read on to find out how to play.

Set Up

DorfRomantik is a campaign / legacy game which means the game starts with very few components and as you progress you add more to the game. I will not spoil any progression in this how to play and instead will just teach the basics.

To get started shuffle the task tiles and place them on the table in a face down stack. Do the same with the landscape tiles, except you remove 3 at random from the game each time. Make 5 separate stacks of the task tokens face down corresponding with their types (forest, grain, village, track, stream).

You are now ready to play your first game.

How To Play

At the beginning of the game you must place 3 task tiles (1 at a time) each with a task token on it matching the type required (forest, grain, village, tracks or stream). Once you have done that you can start to place landscape tiles. All tiles must always be touching another tile already placed along at least 1 side. This way as the game progresses you will be making a world made up of lots of hexagons like a honeycomb.

The aim of the game is to score as many points as possible by completing the tasks. So for example if you had a forest task with the number 4 on it you would need to connect 4 tiles so that the forest runs over all 4 of them continuously.

When you complete a task token you move it to the side to score later (leaving the task tile in place) and add a new task tile (and token) to your game. There must always be 3 task tiles / tokens being worked on throughout the game (unless you managed to complete them all).

There are no placement rules or restrictions in DorfRomantik except tracks must only run into tracks and streams must only run into streams. You can have grain next to villages which are next to forests.

On a players turn they must turn over a new landscape tile and add it to the map unless there are less than 3 task tokens being worked on in which case they will need to add a new task tile and token.

To complete a task it must have the exact number required. If you ever joined two areas which causes one of your tasks to be over its requirements this would fail. You then remove the failed task token from the game.

You may not place a new task tile and token if by placing it you fail that task immediately. For example if you were placing a 5 stream token but you were adding it to a stream that was already 7 long it would immediately fail. However you may place a new landscape / task tile which causes a previously placed token to fail. Sometimes during the game you may need to do this as the token would be too difficult to complete.

Some tiles have flags on them. To score a flag you need to enclose that terrain type by the end of the game. If you managed to do that you will score 1 point per tile / flag in that chosen terrain type (forest, village, grain).

End Of Game, Scoring & Campaign

DorfRomantik ends when you need to draw a new landscape tile and there are none left. At this point you score your game. You will score points for all of your completed task tokens together with your flag points and your longest track and stream. You mark this on the scoresheet.

Now take your final score and find that on the campaign sheet. You make a note of which game you scored that many points (rounded down to the nearest 10) and you see how many X’s you get to cross off on the campaign trail. Very quickly you will be opening new boxes and adding new components to your game. You will also find new ways of scoring and lots of different tiles to play with, but I won’t spoil the fun here and instead leave you to discover all that the game has to offer.

Conclusion

I hope this has helped you to learn the rules and how DorfRomantik plays. Obviously I would always recommend people use the official rule book to learn the rules in depth but this blog should give you a really good flavour of how the game flows.

I really enjoy the game and if you want to find me on twitter to discuss how brilliant DorfRomantik is please do @boardgamehappy.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Super quick games
  • So much to unlock
  • Starts nice and easy and gets harder at the right pace
  • One game is never enough
  • Completely resettable campaign

Might not like

  • This is a solo or 2 player game, no way you would want to play at 6
  • Sometimes it comes down to the luck of the next tile
  • When the rivers or train tracks get in the way