ROOT Review - Header

ROOT Review

Rob Kalajian review, tabletop Leave a Comment

ROOT - Leder Games
ROOT Review - Cover

Game title: ROOT

Game description: Root is a game of adventure and war in which 2 to 4 (1 to 6 with the 'Riverfolk' expansion) players battle for control of a vast wilderness. Each player in Root has unique capabilities and a different victory condition. In Root, players drive the narrative, and the differences between each role create an unparalleled level of interaction and replayability.

Overall
4.7
  • Play (Mechanics)
  • Presentation (Art/Graphic Design/Quality)
  • Plan (Rules)

Summary

The Woodland has become a battlefield. The vile Marquise de Cat has taken over the once peaceful wood trying to spread her industry and exploit it for her own gain. The Eyrie, once proud rulers of the Woodland, have found a new commander to help them reclaim their birthright while the Woodland Alliance tries to spread sympathy for their cause to all those crushed under the weight of the Cats and Birds. Then there’s the Vagabond whose only in it for himself and will take whatever jobs he can to make sure he survives and wins favor with whatever faction ends up on top.

Pros

Charming artwork

Variable faction rules

Well thought out design

Highly replayable

Cons

Can suffer from Analysis Paralysis

Deceptively cute.

Full ROOT Preview

The Woodland has become a battlefield. The vile Marquise de Cat has taken over the once peaceful wood trying to spread her industry and exploit it for her own gain. The Eyrie, once proud rulers of the Woodland, have found a new commander to help them reclaim their birthright while the Woodland Alliance tries to spread sympathy for their cause to all those crushed under the weight of the Cats and Birds. Then there’s the Vagabond whose only in it for himself and will take whatever jobs he can to make sure he survives and wins favor with whatever faction ends up on top.

Welcome to ROOT, a brutal war game wrapped in an adorable package with cute cats, birds, mice, foxes, rabbits, and trash pandas. Up to 4 players use a simple, common set of rules to play, then choose a faction that will dictate how they win the game and what unique way their faction plays compared to the others. The Marquise de Cat uses an Action Point mechanism to take whatever actions they like up to their limit. The Eyrie gradually build up a set of programmed moves to take each turn. The Woodland Alliance gets more power the larger they grow and the more sympathy they spread and the Vagabond only gets one meeple and tracks their relationship with the other factions.

ROOT Review - Cards

ROOT Cards

The common set of rules deals with how players move around the board, the phases of each player’s turn, combat, and the use of cards. The cards in ROOT serve several functions. They can be used to craft, using the information on the bottom of the card, or they can be used for the Suit in combat or other situations depending on the faction being played. The basics take no time at all to learn so the players can really focus on the meat of their faction’s abilities. ROOT comes with both a Learning to Play guide that gets you up and running right off the bat and a Law of ROOT book that contains all the rules for reference if needed.

So how well does it all come together? REALLY freakin’ well. Everything is ROOT feels really well thought out, balanced, and meticulously crafted. The artwork is out of this world, the graphic design is easy to follow, the rules well written, and the overall game play, while vicious, is extremely satisfying. While the game is amazing, those who are adverse to conflict are best to steer clear. While the game looks cute and cuddly, it’s far from it. This is a war game down to its very core. Those who suffer from Analysis Paralysis should also beware. It can be very easy to get stuck in a thought trap here.

So would I recommend ROOT? Absolutely! It’s one of the best games I’ve played this year.

A copy of ROOT was provided for review by Leder Games

 

 

 

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