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The Grimm Forest

The three little pigs are retired, and you are competing to inherit their role of royal builders of the Grimm Forest!

Players race to be the first to build three houses, competing for limited resources, recruiting fairy tale friends, and outwitting their opponents to build homes of straw, wood, and brick. Will you be the next royal builder of the forest?

Gameplay

In The Grimm Forest, each player takes a player board and a pig miniature. Three (or in a four player game, four) location tiles are placed in the center of the table. At the start of each round, five straw resources are placed on the field, four wood is placed in the forest location, and three bricks in the brickyard. Each player has a gather card for each location. At the start of the round, players simultaneously choose and reveal which gather card they played, which correlates to which of the three locations their pig will go to this round. When playing a gather card, you may also choose whether to play one Fable card along with it. Any played Fable cards are revealed before gather cards. Fable cards have a range of abilities, for example they might move a monster to a location or give you a bonus when you gather resources.

If you are the only pig at a location you gather all the resources that are present at that location. If there is more than one pig you divide the resources equally, with any leftover resources staying on the location for the next round.

Next you move onto the build phase. During this phase each player takes two actions. There are three possible actions to choose from, and you may choose to take the same action twice. You may draw a fable card and add it to your hand, take one of any of the three resources, or build.

Each house has three parts: floor (which costs two resources), walls (which costs four), and roof (which costs six), and they must be built in that order. A house must be built entirely out of straw, wood, or brick. In order to win the game you may have any combination of houses, you do not need one of each. You can have up to five houses built and under construction on your player board, but you cannot have two houses of the same building material under construction at the same time.

After you build a wall you get to draw a friend. You may only have one friend at a time. If you already have one you may replace it and discard it, or pass the newly drawn friend to another player. Friends have special abilities which help you along the way. Some even have special actions which you can use during the build phase in lieu of one of your regular actions. The first player to complete a house in one of the three materials also chooses whether to take a resource of each type, two fable cards, or a friend card.

Once a player has built three houses, the build phase is completed and then the game ends. If only one player has the three houses, they win, otherwise players check to see who has the sturdiest houses (brick beats wood, and wood beats straw) to determine the winner.

                               The Grimm Forest Components

Review

The Grimm Forest has high production quality, with beautiful components from impressive miniatures to gorgeous artwork. The house pieces fit together nicely so that it really is satisfying to build the homes and progress through the game. It’s also a minor point, yet an appreciated one, that Druid City Games has done a fabulous job of ensuring everything fits back into the box easily and nicely, despite the number of components and miniatures.

Regarding gameplay, The Grimm Forest is both easy to teach and learn. Both the Fable and Friends card decks include advanced cards that you can shuffle in once you feel confident in the game, and the rules themselves are simple.

There’s plenty of social deduction in trying to guess where other players are likely to go or how they’re likely to act. There’s also quite a lot of "take that" in the game, as some of the Fable cards can really put a wrench in your plans, particularly the monsters. Since the theme is so child friendly, this might cause some problems if trying to play in a family setting.

The game scales nicely depending on player count and the rule book marks clearly which sections to read depending on how many players are involved.

If you’re a fan of games with simultaneous selection, The Grimm Forest ties the mechanics together nicely while using some truly gorgeous components and a fun theme full of fairy tales you know and love.

Pros: Component and art quality is high, fun social deduction elements, use of advanced cards once you’re familiar with the game

Cons: Some players will not enjoy the "take that" elements

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.