Everdell is a beautiful woodland themed game about critters creating cities in the woods. This game has a large table presence, the look and feel of the game is gorgeous. At first I thought the tree was a bit gimmicky but it really makes the game pop. The components are great, I especially love the berries. There is just a lot of attention to detail in the design so the quality stands out. The game takes place over four seasons, each season you can take your workers and place them in different areas to gain resources or cards. The way the season play is the only thing I don’t like. It’s possible to finish the seasons a lot faster than everyone around you, which feels out of place. On the positive side you have a lot choice for placement and lot of decisions to make in this game. There are a lot of cards for the game to keep the game fresh, plus if you love this there is no shortage of expansions coming. Everdell is here to stay.
Everdell is a 1 to 4 player game designed by James A Wilson and published by Starling Games. This is for ages 13+ and takes about an hour and a half to play.
- Game board
- 4 Event Tiles
- Point Tokens
- Occupied tokens
- 8 Sided Die (solo mode)
- 128 Critter and Construction Cards
- 11 Forest Cards
- 16 Special Event Cards
- 1 Victory Card
- 30 Berries
- 30 Twigs
- 25 Resin
- 20 Pebbles
- 24 workers
- 1 tree
Place the board on the table. Put together the tree and set it on the stump section of the board.
Along the river place the resources. Those are the twigs, resin, pebbles and berries.
Place the point and occupied tokens near the board.
Shuffle the forest card deck and place on the forest clearings.
- 3 cards for two players
- 4 cards for three to four players
The event tiles go along the river above the resources.
Place 4 special events on the first level of branches on the tree.
Shuffle the main deck and draw 8 cards face up in the meadow area. The rest of the deck can be placed face down in the tree trunk.
Players choose their color and take 2 workers. The other 4 workers will be placed on the top level of the tree. 1 worker on spring, 1 on summer and 2 will go on autumn.
Players draw cards:
- 1st player draws 5 cards
- 2nd player draws 6 cards
- 3rd player draws 7 cards
- 4th player draws 8 cards
How to Play
Each player will get three actions per turn.
- Place a Worker – Place a worker on one of the many locations each giving you different rewards. There are two types of locations for workers, exclusive and shared. Exclusive is a paw print with a full circle around it, shared is a paw print with half a circle. Exclusive spots can only have 1 player on it at a time. Shared locations are unlimited. Workers will stay on the location you choose until you need to prepare for the next season.
- Play a Card – You may play one card if you have the resources to cover the cost. You will place these cards in front of you to form your city. Your city can have a maximum of 15 cards. There are two types of cards, critters and locations. If a card is unique you can only have one. You can pay berries to play a critter card or if you already have the construction listed on the card, you can play the critter without using berries. If you do this place an occupied token on the construction.
- Prepare for the season – once you’ve placed all your workers you can prepare for the next season. To do this return all of your deployed workers. The game starts in late winter, when you move to spring you will gain 1 worker and activate all green production cards in your city. In summer you gain another worker and summer cards will activate immediately. Plus you can draw up to 2 meadow cards. In Autumn, you gain 2 workers and activate all green production cards in your city.
When it comes to locations for your workers there is a lot of choice.
Forest – gain resources
Destination cards – You can place a worker on a destination card in your city or even in another player’s city. If a worker is placed on another player’s city that player will gain a token from the supply.
Event – To achieve the event you must meet the requirements on the card. Only one player can achieve a specific event. Achieved events will be placed next to your city for scoring.
Haven – the haven is a shared space that has no limit to the amount of workers. Landing here means you can discard any amount of cards in your hand. For each 2 cards you discard you can replace with any 1 resource.
Journey – In autumn only, workers can be assigned to a journey. You will discard cards equal to the listed points for the journey you choose. The 5, 4 and 3 point locations are exclusive and the 2 spot is shared.
Draw from the deck, unless told to draw from the meadow. You may only have 8 cards at a time in your hand. Replace any meadow cards that are played immediately.
- Tan Traveler: Activates only once when played.
- Green Production: Activates once when played and while preparing for Seasons.
- Red Destinations: Activates when worker is placed on it. These cards can also be visited by opponents.
- Blue Governance: Gives you bonuses for playing certain types of cards.
- Purple Prosperity: Gives bonus points.
End of Game
Once you have finished all the actions you wish to take you can pass. Once all players are done calculate the final scores and the player with the highest score wins.
This game isn’t just beautiful, it has a lot of content. There are a large variety of cards and the game also has a solo mode. Reading the rules may be a bit overwhelming but they are actually fairly straight forward once you start to play. There is a lot of text on the cards to help you through. If you really enjoy this, there are currently five expansions you can add. Everdell is an experience worth checking out.
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