The Brothers Grimm introduced us to some of the most iconic characters we know and love from the world of fairy tale and fantasy. Your favorite character can most likely be traced back to the works of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm who worked hard to collect and produce in writing a treasure of oral folklore. These men were prolific composers of the written word and personalities that defined our youth. Now imagine if you were hurled into that world and all your favorite characters got loose and interacted together-some wanting to harm you, some to help you and others partnering with you to work against the other piggies in this landscape. Now move that idea into a boardgame, add some good looking components and you have the makings of the game The Grimm Forest.
Druid City Games has produced the game The Grimm Forest, designed by Tim Eisner and artists Lina Cossette and David Forest. It plays 2-4 players, 45-60 mins per game. The game plays with a variety of ages and can ramp up the difficulty level based on the players.
Grimm Forest comes in a large box-inside of it you will find a stunning collection of game components. The Kickstarter version is identical to the retail version except here you get a box sleeve if you came along side of them in the crowdfunding campaign. The components include:
-4 Gather location boards
-4 Player boards
-16 Gather cards (4 for each player)
-4 Player aide cards
-45 House pieces ( Straw, Wood and Brick pieces with 5 of each roof/wall/floor)
-56 Fable cards
-25 Friend cards
-75 Resource tokens
-3 first player bonus tokens
-4 Pig minatures
-6 Monster minatures
-Starting player token
-1 Resource die
All of these components are stored in amazing “Game Trayz” inserts that fit like a glove in the box and make this game a beautiful display when you open it up. They went above and beyond with the detail to pieces and the art on this one for sure. The Game Trayz are an extra amazing notch above your average game as well.
You can check out our unboxing of the game here:
The goal of the game is quite simple: You and the other little piggies are in a race to collect resources to build three buildings before anyone else. Construct your third one before your fellow pigs construct theirs, you win. If you all finish at the same time, the strongest building combination will stand victor!
The play area is set up with the three locations boards in the center, the Fields, Forest and Brickyard. If you have 4 players, add the Market board as well. The resources tokens are set next to the board, and a large pile of all the different floors, walls and roof house pieces are places in a pile as well. A draw pile of the Friends and Fables is made face down as well. The monster minis are placed in the play area as well.
Each player is given a player board, aid card, a pig mini and their gather cards. The first player is determined by who ate bacon most recently (oh the humanity!) and is given the first player token. Time to play!
Gameplay is broken down into 3 phases. These are:
Gather Phase: Each player selects a Gather card and a Fable card and reveal them at the same time. Fable cards (if played) are resolved first, and then players move their Pigs into the location board to take the resources. If you ended up there alone, congrats-all the stuff is yours. But if you go in with others you divide the supplies rounded down and leave the extras there. Players move their resources collected to their personal supply and add the Gather card back to their hand.
Build Phase: Here each player will perform two actions in player order. The options include:
Draw a Fable card: Take the top card, add it to your hand and it gives you another option to play during the Gather phase next turn
Gain 1 resource: You can use one or both of your actions just to collect 1 single resource that you may need during the next action.
Build: Here is where you may build a section of your house if you have the resources equal to the cost and can build it in correct order starting at the floor, adding walls and a roof. You may work on multiple houses at once, but never two of the same until the first one is complete.
Here is the build phase you may acquire a Friend. The Friends are where all the awesome characters from the Grimm
stories come in to help with special powers that can aid your adventure. Goldilocks, Rumpelstiltskin, Snow White and many others join the fray to help you with their own unique abilities. But the kicker is that you may only have one, so if you are forced to draw another one you can replace your current one or force an opponent to take it and discard theirs. Some Friends have special actions that allow you to do something else as one of you actions but you only do it once per turn.
If you complete the building of a Straw, Wood or Brick house before anyone else you also get a first completion bonus giving you more resources, a Friend card or two Fable cards. Don’t sleep on the Fable cards-they can make the difference during the Gather Phase to really grab the resources you need before your opponents do.
During the Clean Up Phase, you will restock the Markets with mega resource tokens, upping the supply in an area and pass the starting player token clockwise.
The game ends when someone has completed their third house, regardless of the combination of house types. If you are the only one on the board with three completed houses, you win. If there is a tie, the person who build more brick houses win.
In a two player game, you add the die to play as a neutral character and take resources from the Gather area equal to half of the side the die that appears. This helps keep one area from being overrun with resources as the game progresses.
What we didn’t like
-The 2 player version. Although this does play well with two players, adding the random nature of the die roll doesn’t seem to be enough to balance it. Also, the lack of the market makes it a very different game. And the monsters don’t seem to have as much impact when there is only one other player out there with you.
What we liked:
-The design. This game is gorgeous. Between the art and the miniatures, this game wins as one of the best produced Kickstarter games I have every received. It fires on every cylinder, giving you beautiful artwork on the cards and player boards, well sculpted minis tokens. There was no expense spared to make this game one of the best looking I have in my collection.
-GameTrayz. The storage solution for this game is top notch. The GameTrayz fit like a glove through the box, holding everything just right. The trays all fit in the box so well, each item with its own little home built in. The rocking mechanics to the card and board holders in amazing-you can tip a side to pop them out the other side for easy removal.
-Gameplay. The Grimm Forest is a game I can play with a novice player and have a good time. It is also a game I could play with a more experienced gamer and have a good time. It ramps so well between levels of skill and can make for a much more involved game if you want it to be. The “take that” nature of it can shine with the right group, or just be a solid set collection game.
-Family friendly. Not every game shines as a family game. This is one you will want to play with your kids or relatives or friends who want a light game that has strategy and not luck as its main drive. This is quickly becoming the intro game in our house for new or light gamers to try out.
The Grimm Forest is an awesome game. This simultaneous action selection aspect puts a focus on set collection and take that mechanics and wraps it in a beautiful shell. The art and components really make this game shine-the minis are worth the price of admission alone. Everyone we have sat down and played this with has learned the rules and gameplay very quickly and enjoyed the mechanics of it as well. It is a “multiple play in one sitting” type of game, which really points to the enjoyment people have with it. If you don’t own this gem from Druid City Games I would highly recommend searching it out to add to your collection!