Publisher: Days of Wonder # of Players: 2 – 5
Suggested Age: 8 and Up
Here we have a diabolical game of world conquest. Players vie for control of the world which has simply grown too small to accommodate its 14 different fantasy based races (more are available via expansion packs). With limited turns, each players must make use of their race and one of 20 unique abilities to rush the board and expand as far as possible. If you happen to trample over your neighbors to do it…well so be it.
How does it work? Each turn you use a combination of your race tiles and their abilities (if possible) to occupy adjacent territories. Once you have expanded as far as you can, you can set your race into “decline” and select a new one where the process starts over again. Technically, you can do this as many times as you wish within the rules and the number of turns. Following each turn the player accumulates coins based on criteria set out in the rules and special abilities. The player with the most coins wins the game. Easy right?
Down to the nitty gritty. This game is wickedly fun with far more strategy involved than there seems at first glance. It is also relatively quick to play with games lasting anywhere from 30 – 60 minutes in length. Of course this depends on the number of players and their familiarity with the game. Which brings up the one drawback. Re-playability. Eventually, the games all begin to feel the same which almost necessitates the purchase of one of the expansion packs. Maybe that’s intentional…Who knows?
The game board is well made as are the tiles and the other components. The box containing the game is sturdy and well constructed. The artwork is beautiful and fun all at the same time.
If you wish to see a good demonstration of Small World in action then check out Wil Wheaton’s show Table Top on Youtube. It’s pretty fun to watch. Which is a lot like this game…pretty fun. Go check it out!