Everdell, by Starling Games, transports you to down to leaf-level where you grow a charming woodland community. Up to four players build small forest constructions, and then move in cute critters to work there. Everdell is a tableau and ‘engine-builder’. When it rumbles into gear, you can chain some excellent moves.
There are also modular worker placement, resource- and hand-management mechanisms in Everdell. On your turn, you do one action. Traditional worker placement is an option. Or, you can build a card from your hand or from the public, free-for-all Meadow. Players start with a couple of animeeple workers. These little squeakers can visit locations under the Ever Tree to claim resources.
You’ll need specific resources to build cards. Every Construction Card (building) has its own associated Critter (employee of said Construction). You can place a Critter into your tableau for free if you’ve already built the corresponding Construction.
Cards provide end-game points – and most points, wins! But cards also provide instant and/or ongoing bonuses or free resources. Others give future discounts off card costs. Some provide extra personal and public worker placement spots. If you’re first to build over a threshold of same-set cards, you can complete Events to claim extra points. Some of these are modular each game, offering excellent variety.
Everdell lasts four rounds (‘seasons’) and 2-4 players can join in the fun. It has a solo variant too, where you take on Rugwort the rat. And did we mention Andrew Bosley’s stunning art? Every card aches with beauty, offering dreamy snapshots with a Wind in the Willows vibe.
In Everdell, it’s safe to say designer James A. Wilson has created a modern masterpiece of a board game! Love Everdell? The Pearlbrook, Spirecrest and Bellfaire expansions provide even more hours of delightful gameplay.
Player count: 1-4 players
Game length: 40-80 minutes
Age rating: 13+