Dragonwood by Darren Kisgen
Playing Time: 20-30 mins
MECHANICS – 4
THEMES – 4
ART – 3
FUN – 4
REPLAY VALUE – 4
Total Rating: 3.8 Stars
A charming dice and cards, set collecting and pushing your luck.
The concept is you are an adventurer making your way through the dangerous forest of Dragonwood. To make it out safely, you’ll need your wits and use cunning to overcome the various monsters found amidst the dark shadows of the canopy of ancient trees.
It’s a fun game that’s perfect for a family game night.
Each player is dealt a hand of cards which they use to create sets. The card are set into colours and numbered 1-12. You can create a run of sequential numbers 1,2,3 for example, or multiple of the same number 2,2,2 or all the same colour. Each matched gives you 1 die an the die are used to fight the monsters. Once you have your matched numbers or colour, you’ll use those dice to roll up and try to reach or exceed the Monster’s toughness. If you do, you claim the monster and their victory points for later in the game.
One of the great dynamics of the game is the difference of the set gives different target numbers, therefore, you get a very basic tactical level of thinking which is perfect for the 8+ age range of the target audience, but also as an adult playing gives me that competitive edge.
The game ends when both dragons, the blue and the orange dragons have been defeated. Once they have, it’s time to add up all the victory points of the claimed monsters and the player with most VP wins!
The simplicity of this game isn’t a negative here, in fact it’s what makes this game so accessible. The game says 8+ on the box, but I’ve played this with my son since he was about 6 and it’s still a favourite and family board game night as he’s able to grab the concept of match and roll. There’s special cards that grant bonuses and negatives so there’s some fun wildness to the play which keeps it fresh, though it’s a race to collect the monsters you can and gives you two different tactics to explore. Collect cards to make more dice to go after bigger point monsters, or play it safe with smaller cheaper monsters?
The only slight negative I will say and it’s barely a negative at all, but the artwork is fair simplistic average fantasy, not as eye catching as some games, but with the 8+ age range in mind, it’s on point. Like I said it’s not bad, but if I need to find 1 negative then it would be that.
Fun, fast, affordable and full of laughs, Dragonwood deserves a place on everybody’s board game collection.
Final Thoughts: If you go down to the Dragonwood’s today, you better not go alone!