Everdell Review - Header

Everdell Review

Rob Kalajian review, tabletop Leave a Comment

Everdell Collector's Edition - Starling Games $85
Everdell Review - Cover

Game title: Everdell

Game description: From Everfrost to Bellsong, many a peaceful year have passed in Everdell — but the time has come for new territories to be settled and new cities to be established. You will be the leader of a group of critters intent on just such a task. There are buildings to construct, lively characters to meet, events to host— you will have a busy year ahead of you! Will the sun shine brightest on your city before the winter moon rises?

Overall
4.1
  • Play (Mechanics)
    (4.5)
  • Pieces (Quality)
    (5)
  • Pictures (Art/Illustration)
    (5)
  • Placements (Graphic Design/Layout)
    (4)
  • Plan (Rules)
    (2)

Summary

Raising almost $500,000 on Kickstarter, Everdell has a fair amount of hype behind it. With a stunning round board, 3-dimensional cardboard tree, wonderfully colorful artwork, and a cast of cute critters, Everdell is a hard game to ignore. The idea of a worker placement game/tableau building game that plays in about 20 minutes per player and has a unique seasonal mechanic for unlocking more workers promised backers a game with more than a pretty face. Now that backers have their copies, and the game is available for purchase, it’s time to see if it lives up to the hype.

Pros

Beautiful

Interesting mechanics/choices

Quality components

 

Cons

Poorly written/laid out rules

Lackluster first season

Raising almost $500,000 on Kickstarter, Everdell has a fair amount of hype behind it. With a stunning round board, 3-dimensional cardboard tree, wonderfully colorful artwork, and a cast of cute critters, Everdell is a hard game to ignore. The idea of a worker placement game/tableau building game that plays in about 20 minutes per player and has a unique seasonal mechanic for unlocking more workers promised backers a game with more than a pretty face. Now that backers have their copies, and the game is available for purchase, it’s time to see if it lives up to the hype.

Everdell Review - Setup

Everdell Setup

The goal of Everdell is to build the most successful city. This is done by placing workers, gathering resources, constructing buildings, and populating them with critters. There are also Special Events that can be claimed to earn bonuses and add additional scoring conditions to the end of the game. Players each start with 2 workers and unlock more as the seasons pass; an additional worker is gained in the Spring, Summer, and 2 more are gained in the Fall. Each season also carries an additional bonus like have all your Harvest-type cards produce or allowing you to draw two cards from the central market.

The way the seasons pass is fairly interesting. Players can keep taking turns as long as they can place workers or take actions. Once a player has played all their workers then they have the option to prepare for the next season. They take all their workers back, add the new workers unlocked by their new season, and earn whatever bonus goes along with that season. They then continue the game, now with more workers. Since each player can progress seasons at their own pace it means that certain players can finish the game before others. Once a player has finished the last season, the game is over for them. Once all players have finished it’s time to score and see who won.

Everdell Review - Cards

Sample Cards

Everdell has a lot going on during the game, but very simple rules. Unfortunately, the rule book feels a bit clunky and poorly laid out. Once you learn how to play. however, things move along at a good clip. I really enjoy the different actions available, the season mechanics, and the ability to use cards from either your hand or the central market. The fact that some buildings also have worker placement areas is pretty awesome, too. If another player takes an action from one of your buildings, you get a bonus. My only major complaint about the game is the first season feels very short, and a bit frustrating, because of the lack of options stemming from only having two workers. It’s by no means a deal breaker, though.

All in all Everdell is a solid game with a interesting mechanics presented in a beautiful package. It’s certainly one of the better worker placement games out there.

A copy of Everdell was provided free for review by Starling Games

Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.

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