Anthropomorphism is the scientific term for attributing human properties to non-human beings, such as animals and plants. For example, it’s very tempting to think that a dolphin is happy because of the “smile” on his face, but actually his mouth is just like a smile and you can’t deduce anything from it. In the world of games there are also many games with an anthropomorphic theme. Everdell is the newest game that is making this happen: in this game the inhabitants of the forest crawl into our skin.
Everdell is a workerplacer game in which the experiences of a group of forest dwellers during a year is replayed. The game starts at the end of the winter with (per player) two animals that carefully perform the first activities to build their own village on an empty spot in the forest. In every season new animals are added to help you, so you can achieve more and more. The animals help you to collect resources and these resources can then be used to build buildings or attract new residents.
During the game there are always 8 cards (with buildings or inhabitants on them) face up in the middle of the table and all players have a number of hand cards (maximum 8) to choose from. Each building has its own occupant (the judge at the court, the shop owner at the shop, etc.). If you build a building and later have the matching occupant (in your hand or the cards that are open on the table), then the occupant comes to live in the building for free (you don’t have to pay any more fees for the occupant). So it pays to keep a close eye on which combinations are shown.
Of course, the various buildings and residents also give their owners advantages in terms of points. This varies from extra resource revenues at certain times, to extra action spots for your workers to extra ways to score points at the end of the game.
Everdell Review Summary
In Everdell, various elements of other games are skilfully mixed into a fun new game in a beautiful package. The game is well made and it doesn’t take long before everyone is playing. The first season is quickly over, but the further you get into the game the more possibilities there are because you can use the buildings in your village and the extra workers you get.
There are 27 different buildings and therefore 27 different inhabitants in the game. The cards are in the stack several times, but still it happens that you are looking for a teacher who can help you in your empty school, but who will not arrive. However, you can give luck a helping hand because there are also places where you can place your workers where you can draw or exchange extra cards, but sometimes it just doesn’t work. But that’s no reason to sit back and relax because there are always plenty of other things you can do. You need to be a bit more flexible in this game and be able to adjust your strategy if you get stuck.
It’s really amazing how much attention has been paid to the design of this game. The drawings would look absolutely perfect in a picture book and you have to have very little imagination if you don’t start to daydream during the game about that little place in the forest where slowly an idyllic animal village is created where animals live as if they were humans.