A Board Game Gal's Review of Grimm's Forest

Jenna pulled this out at Geek Girls Game Night last night. I am trying to get back into logging plays and reviewing games this spring/summer after an insane 2017, so here's my review pasted over from BGG.

Grimm Forest
This play was only the second game since the box was cracked. Jenna had played it as a two player and wanted to try four. Agree with her that four is really needed to get the most out of the game. Some details of card usage weren't clear from the rules as we understood them, but we worked it out. Would like to take more time reading the rules for myself before I play again to refresh details. Apparently...we own this one, too, according to Chris. I didn't know he had backed it!

Ameri(trash? I hate this term, there's gotta be another term!) can be hit and miss for me, with their hard stop endings. I prefer Euros with multiple paths to victory and being able to accumulate points in different ways. This game tries to introduce more complexity through Fable cards and Friend cards, which can give different powers and consequences, but it's still a race to built three houses and once that's done...it's over. Turn order alone can make or break a winning run with a hard stop ending like that.

I also struggle with games where you have to track other people's tableaus/progress, in particular trying to read text upside down or having to ask constantly for reminders as to what everyone has/is doing. This wasn't a big deal with the houses, which are easily seen, but becomes a problem with the Friends aspect of the game. We spent a lot of time asking for clarification or re-reading everyone's Friends in order to make decisions about how to proceed, which slows the game. We were on a small table and even then there is simply no way to know what they have without asking, or having played a LOT and already knowing the powers of each potential companion.

Final thoughts: the theme is strong and thoughtful. Having various beloved  storybook characters as your companions or enemies, with really witty powers associated with their universe/storylines, was fun to discover. The insert was detailed and unique. The minis were a bit cheaply made and were often warped, but the sculpts were really cool. Artwork was beautiful, cardboard thick, card stock and finish felt good in the hand, fonts generally easy to read. I will withhold judgement on the rules as written until I read them for myself, but it felt like there was some lack of clarity in places, or could just be organization left something to be desired. We worked it out in the end and fun was had by all. Wendy won!

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