From Thundergryph Games
A preview by Mawihtec
- 1-4 Players
- 20 Minutes
- 14+ Age
Mythic winds lift the veil. The Spirit world and ours connect. Seraphs who are whimsical by nature. Find themselves drawn to the life force of an ancient forest. They descend through the clouds. Eager to resume their games from time immemorial. You are one of these spiritual Seraphs you posses great power but also great curiosity. You find yourself fascinated by the life force of this ancient forest and eagerly collect Plant, Animal and Sprite. Driven to add them to your mystical menagerie. But you are not alone you must compete with other spirits to collect the best specimens.
The box art of Spirits of the Forest is beautiful and has an almost ethereal look to it. Inside you will find,
- 1 Single player Favor card,
- 12 Gemstones,
- 14 Favor markers,
- 48 Spirit tiles,
- 1 Rulebook.
A game of Spirits of the Forest begins with the layout of all 48 spirit tiles in 4 equal rows. These tiles each depict 1 or 2 spirit icons, with some of them also showing one of three “Power” icons (Sun, Moon or Fire). Straight away you see all the information. No hidden luck of the draw which is a nice surprise from a small box game. Each player takes a number of gems based on player count. The Favor are shuffled and 8 are randomly placed face down on tiles. The remaining ones are put back in the box. You are then ready to begin.
Your aim is to collect as many of each type of spirit and power icon as you possibly can. With points being awarded based on the number collected but hefty penalties for missing some out. You can use your gems to “reserve” certain tiles to help you out. You get these gems back when you collect the tile. However if you want to take a tile with an opponent gem on it, You can. At a cost, they get their gem back while yours is removed from the game. So use it wisely. Collecting the “Favor” tokens will give you extra spirit or power icons, You might even get the special token to retrieve a discarded gem.
OK so just how to collect these spirits? Well it is surprisingly easy to play, But what was pleasantly surprising was the amount of thinking that could be involved. On your turn you can choose tiles from either end of the rows only. You are allowed to take 1 or 2 tiles only and they must match and have no more than 2 spirits between them. e.g. 1 tile with 2 spirits or 2 tiles with 1 spirit. These will open up the next tiles in those rows for selection. So when faced with multiple choices of tile. It can be very worthwhile making note of what each players situation is. Also judicial use of your gems can force others to make decisions that will help you later on. At the end of the game each player totals up individual colours with only the highest total scoring of each colour. Failure to collect any of a particular type is -3points to you which is a tough amount to lose..
- The base game is going to be approx 10euros which is a great price if I am honest.
- The next level will have a magnetic box and Player stones not gems making a huge improvement to look and feel.
- There will also be a collectors edition with colouring books signed posters table cloths and limited edition extra stones to name a few upgrades.
Right then that is the basic bones. But the big question is just how does Spirits of the Forest come together as a whole?
What about play itself? This is a very gentle game to play. It is very light with only a few choices available each turn. The chance to play strategically is there but not in a heavy Analysis Paralysis way. Nobody is going to melt their brain on this one. This game is listed as 14+ I think this is purely for a CE testing sake as it can very easily be played by much younger 9+ would be my rating.
What about group suitability? Family play is a definite winner here with no heavy take that or overly cerebral decision making. It is not a long play game either so attention span suitable, for the younger family members. Game group as a filler is a possibility but I do think given its lightness other options would be more likely. Meet-up is another possibly good call not a big table hog short quick play suitable for occasional but not regular appearance.
Theme is very stuck on. Change the spirits to armies or weapons and you have a game about military might.
The creators have included a solo play mode which is very much a solitaire feel beat the deck to gain the most points but most cards are hidden making completion a lot more luck based. Nice to have not missed if not there.
- Nice light easy to play.
- Can sit happily on most shelves.
- Worth a look on kickstarter? one to watch.
I received a preview copy of “spirits of the Forest” through BGE to review. This game will now been forwarded onto another reviewer. I have tried not to let this influence my review.