Days of Wonder typically release one new game each year and it’s always something I look forward to. After Yamatai released in January/February 2017, we’ve seen no news of a 2018 game from Days of Wonder until The River appeared on a demo table at Gen Con last month.
The River is a new worker and tile placement game from Sébastien Pauchon and Ismaël Perrin. Sébastien Pauchon is probably best known for games like Jaipur, Jamaica and some of the Unlock scenarios, whilst Ismaël Perrin appears to be a new designer.
The game is said to take only 30-45 minutes, so it will be interesting to see if this is a lightweight family game, or something more.
From what we know, The River is a worker placement game with tableau building and resource management. You’ll place workers on the board to gain resources or building tiles to add to your tableau. These tiles will either generate resources or provide storage for resources. Resources can be spent for buildings which will give you points.
Some of the most interesting aspects of the game appear to come from the way you layout tiles on your tableau. Tiles must follow the path of the river printed on your player board and as you place them you’ll want to be mindful of the bonus points available for putting matching buildings in the same column.
In addition, as your tableau and engine get more powerful, you will start to lose workers in your pool, which sounds like it will give an interesting balance and arc to the game, as well as encouraging different strategies.
The River - Coming Soon
We’re really relieved to see that Days of Wonder are still putting out one solid game each year and I’m hoping for something mid-weight like Five Tribes or Yamatai, although it looks a little lighter, more like Quadropolis, but it certainly has the lovely art and production quality we’ve come to expect from this great publisher.
The River will be an Essen release in October 2018 and should come to the UK soon after.