Monday, April 15, 2024

Arborea Board Game Review

Julie and I played Arborea yesterday. In Arborea players move workers on action tracks. There are 8 sets of tracks covering different actions you can take in the game. These actions vary from collecting resources, attracting specific creatures, collecting creatures, adding terrain cards to your personal monster ranch, training specialized workers and giving gifts to powerful sages. 

Arborea is all about manipulating the action tracks, knowing where to commit your workers, and when. Some workers have to be retrained every time you use them while others can be used again right away after they complete their tasks. This is tricky because workers are placed out on these sort of conveyor belt things. Taking action will only happen after a conveyor belt moves. The longer a worker stays on the conveyor belt, the better actions they can take, but the longer they remain unavailable to perform other jobs.

The steps to game play in a turn are spelled out on the game board and the game play loop is reasonably intuitive. This makes the game feel simple, while at the same time, you know that it's not. You have to get resources to gain terrain and then place the terrain. You then need to attract some wild monsters and then capture those monsters and place them in the habitats that you create. The proper placement of your monsters is where you are going to score most of your points.

The board and the components are beautiful, but manipulating the actions of the game to get what you want is a real brain burner. I think Arborea is the heaviest board game we own. It's probably as heavy as I want to get. I do really enjoy it, but Julie and I have played twice now. There is a 100 point score track around the outside of the board. In our first game, Julie almost lapped me in points. In our second game, she did lap me. So, I seem to be missing something, but it's a testament to Arborea's gameplay that I really enjoy the game despite losing so badly.

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1 comment:

  1. I may have lapped you, but I only achieved less than half the points that are apparently possible, so I’m also missing a lot. I think I’ve been lucky