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Awards

Rating

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

You Might Like

  • Easy Rules
  • Lovely components
  • Fun mix of area majority and social deduction

Might Not Like

  • It might feel a little too light and fast for some
  • A little luck plays a part in the draw
Find out more about our blog & how to become a member of the blogging team by clicking here

Wonder Woods Review

wonder woods

I walk our family dog in the forest near to our home. We follow a pretty well known path (with GPS in my pocket obvs!). But it’s rare that we come across anybody or any other pups when meandering between the trees. What we do find is a huge collection of multi-coloured and myriad shaped mushrooms though. Shiny red and white spotty toadstools to rival any Disney film. Big round puff-balls….. I’d never pick them (you only have to get that wrong once, right?), but I love to see them nestled on the forest floor.

So Wonder Woods with its gorgeous box art drew me in when I saw it. And I thought it was going to be straight-up set collection like Fungi (another fun-game! Haha). But no! Wonder Woods has us deducing and deceiving our way to gathering the best boletes and munchiest morels. Oh and there’s a little dash of area majority in there for good measure too!

Geroff My Girolles

Essentially, wonder Woods is a fun, light, deduction based game about finding the best mushroom patches in the woods. But what are the best mushroom patches? Well, usually the ones full of tasty treats. And as such, everybody wants a piece of that parasol pie! But the tasty thing here is that their true value isn’t known until the end of the game….unless, that is, you’re a dab hand at deduction!

There aren’t any set number of rounds – the end game trigger is when 2 of the 4 mushroom varieties run out. But each round has two distinct phases; (a) a Harvest phase where you are using your permanent baskets to fill up columns on the patch boards in the hope of snagging tasty toadstools – area majority style; and (b) an information exchange phase where you can show a card from your hand to bag an extra basket. But the price is that you are revealing what a particular mushroom variety is not worth – deduction time!

Not Mushroom To Move

The cards in this game are few – there are only 4 per mushroom type (valued 1,3,5 and 7) – but they are vital. One from each variety has been secretly chosen at random to be its end game value.

So, if you were to reveal a 1 Morel card from your hand, for sure you’ll gain an extra basket. But your opponent(s) now know that the Morels have got to be worth 3,5, or 7. And if others have the 3 and/or 5 in their respective hand(s), then they’ll now have a better idea of the likely end value of those meaty morels! Given that there are only 2 extra baskets on offer, you won’t get any reward if you have already played cards to get them. Luckily, you can pass this phase if you want.

Once the end trigger flips, the secret value of each mushroom variety is flipped over and the winner is the player with the most points!

Final Thoughts

Before I do anything else, I must praise the component quality in this game – the wooden baskets and mushroom tokens are so lovely! The publishers could have easily used basic cardboard tokens and thin boards, but they didn’t. And they come in a brown paper bag which adds to the mushroom picking theme (and overall environmentally friendly feeling of foraging in the woods for your tea! ).

The game itself is light but fun, and very easy to learn. it falls squarely in filler territory running at around 15 mins and scales well from 2-5. In fact, it plays so fast that the end comes just as I am starting to work out what the mushrooms might be worth! Or perhaps that’s just because my husband is a pro basket placer and drains the pools double quick!

Tis true that the cards you get in your hand are decided by lady luck. But Wonder Woods has a tasty tactical side. Knowing when it’s worth trading up some information for an extra basket and the chance to secure a mushroom (plus an extra if you have the most tokens on any board overall!) is key. And with the card flipping happening simultaneously, nobody gets a sneaky advantage.

Timing your tip offs has to be right. Especially as the cost of each mushroom increases the more the boards fill up – what originally cost 1 basket soon becomes 2,3 4, or 5 during a round. With that in mind, gaining extra baskets sound like a no-brainer. But if others have previously revealed cards that give you an existing advantage, it might not actually be worth showing what only you know to get some extra picking power! Alternatively, revealing a card could confuse and obfuscate – you’ll soon know if anyone drops their parasol inspired poker face or starts making a bee-line for those boletes! Haha

The pull to dominate boards versus spreading out and grabbing the cheapest of each mushroom is also neat – with values very much a mystery early on, going heavy on one variety could be risky!

Overall, we are really enjoying Wonder Woods as a light, filler level deduction game. And as it plays super-fast, there’s no lingering better aftertaste when someone else is crowned first place funghi forager!

That concludes our thoughts on Wonder Woods. Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts and tag us on social media @zatugames. To buy Wonder Woods today click here!

Zatu Score

Rating

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

You might like

  • Easy Rules
  • Lovely components
  • Fun mix of area majority and social deduction

Might not like

  • It might feel a little too light and fast for some
  • A little luck plays a part in the draw

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Find out more about our blog & how to become a member of the blogging team by clicking here

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