I want the river here and the forest there... chop chop...
Designer: Michael Palm , Lukas Zach
Artist: Paul Riebe
Playing Time: 30-60 Mins
BGG Rating: 7.7
BGG Ranking: 977
Publisher: Pegasus Spiele
Mechanics: Cooperative Game, Tile Placement, Area Majority,…
Sleeves: EUR 59x92mm,
Rippling rivers, rustling forests, wheat fields swaying in the wind and here and there a cute little village - that's Dorfromantik!
In Dorfromantik: The Board Game, up to six players work together to lay hexagonal tiles to create a beautiful landscape and try to fulfill the orders of the population, while at the same time laying as long a track and as long a river as possible, but also taking into account the flags that provide points in enclosed areas.
Quick play overview:
At the start of the game players draw and place »Task Tiles« onto the table adjacent to the other tiles until there are 3 Task tiles placed. After that the players in turn order draw a »Landscape Tile« from the pile and place it on the table adjacent to an existing tile following just the simple rule »if the tile has a river or a train track, the two of them cannot just hit a dead end… they cannot dissapear in the woods«. All the rest is allowed.. Yes, it is as simple as that.
The trick of the game is that you want to score the most points and unlock achivements. By doing these things, you will unlock even more achivements and new tiles that will make the game more interesting and fun.
At the beginning the task tiles will give you the most points and they are the simplest to understand and to achive. The idea is that there will always be 3 task tiles on the table and they will ask you to place 4,5 or 6 tiles of the same type into a group. Once you finish the task, you will draw a new task tile and place it somewhere on the board and try to do what is asked of you.
This game can be played as a relaxing »turn a tile and place it wherever« game… or you can plan ahead as this is the fun part of this game. Example: Even if you don't have any wood-task-tile out, you know that sooner or later one will be added to the table, so you can already prepare a small forest patch with 3,4,5 tiles that will accomodate and score the new task tile right as it is drawn and so on.
To keep the game interesting, you will unlock some new tiles every game. The new tiles will tweak the rules a little bit, ask from you just a bit more planning and giving you more reasons to place the 2 forest patches close to each other rather than on the oposite sites of the table.. but this will limit where the train tracks can pass and the rivers are always in the way of your plans.. such a delicious puzzle game.
I didn't expect to like this game as much as I do. We finished the campaign much faster than I expected. We decided to play 2-3 games of Dorfromantik in a row rather than mix the game night with different games.
Now that the campaign is done.. I don't think I will play it again anytime soon.
It's really fascinating how a game can be so interesting for a time and once we were done, we don't feel the need to play the »unlocked« game over and over. I guess this is the curse of the coop games, as you don't have anyone to beat but yourself and this is not as interesting as winning against other players.
Tile placement at it's best. Not too limiting, so that you HAVE to find the 1-2 spots that the tile can fit. But also you WANT to find that 1-2 best spots that will give you the most points.
Art & Graphic Design: 10/10
The art is beautiful. Cartoony enough that the game emanates a very relaxing feeling.
Graphic Design is great. The tiles and details are clearly visible and after the first game, you shouldn't need the rulebook or any aid anymore.
Rules & Complexity: 10/10
Rules are clear and easy to learn. There is only a few limitations to what you cannot do and it's all logical.
The game's complexity evolves very nicely. At the end of the game there is a lot more than what you started with, but the tempo that these extras are implemented is great. The game has a perfect »complexity arc«.
The weakest point of the game. You could paste on any theme you want and it would be ok. Playing gods that construct the landscape is an acceptable theme for such a relaxing game.
Fun & Replayability: 8/10
If you like puzzles, this game is just fantastic fun. Trying to figure out where to place a tile to get good points and still leave all the other unfinished patches open for later..
Replayability…on one hand the campaign is fantastic as it adds new tiles all the time and you just want to play one more game to try the new tiles and to try to best your score from the last game. On the other hand, once the campaign is done, we didn't feel the need to play another game.
I will play another campaign somewhere in the future, but not right now..