Small World is a game where you simply sit and enjoy playing. It’s beautiful, fun and changes every time you play it. Your goal is to have more victory coins than your opponents and to do that you have to conquer territories.
On this Small World Board Game Review you’ll understand why it is a game for every age, has a lot in common with The Lord of the Rings and how I came to play it.
This is a board game as much as it is a piece of art.
Small World Details
Name: Small World
Creator: Philippe Keyaerts
Publisher: Days of Wonder
Year Published: 2009
Number of Players: 2 – 5
Age: 8 and above
Play Time: 40 – 80 minutes
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Game Rules: Click here
Best Price: Check at Amazon
It looks like Days of Wonder always pays a lot of attention to their game components and was just because that attention that I decided to buy Small World and give it a go.
As I previously stated in my Ticket to Ride Board Game Review, every single component of the game is incredibly well made and durable. Small World has two double sided boards to be played each with a different number of players. They are very thick, and the artwork is astonishing.
You also have 14 race banners, 20 special power badges, 35 miscellaneous game pieces, a die, 109 victory coins and 168 race tokens. They’re all incredibly beautiful and have funny drawings describing each race or power. Instead of using player markers, you actually use the race tokens to represent the territories you own.
You’ll need to be careful not to look too much to all the illustrations and forget to play.
There are some expansions for Small World in the market. All following the same quality as the original. Some expansions add new races, powers or increase the number of players.
Here is a small list of expansions for Small World. You can find even more if you want to expand your playability:
Small World has a good number of races that you can see in The Lord of The Rings. You can play as Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, Trolls and, of course, Humans.
As you start playing, you have to choose a race and a special power combo, which will give you more coins, more troops or other bonus to play with. Then you go to conquer some territories and finally collect your victory coins.
To acquire a new territory, you need to stack with more troops than the new territory holds, which makes the game mechanics very simple.
At some point, you’ll run out of troops to acquire new territories. That’s the moment where you’ll put your own race in decline and choose another one. Placing a race in decline is what completely changes the game dynamics as you basically restart your play and have different bonus and powers.
In the end of every turn, you move the player marker one position. Each board has a different number of turns that have to be played and when you reach the final one, everyone has to count its victory coins. The player with the most victory coins wins the game.
Interested? Buy it or read more reviews at Amazon.
I always have fun when I play it and choosing a new race is always a decisive moment in the game. Have you ever played it? Tell me about your experience playing Small World in the comments section.
This game looks amazing! You are right about the artwork of the board – it looks very detailed. One of the nice things about this is the fact it is an actual board game. This is only my opinion, and I know others may have different feelings, but there has been such a shift to online gaming for kids – I think it’s nice to have board games like this to really interact, either with friends of the same ages or as a family. Certainly in the UK, Christmas time is a time where board games are often played with families and relatives – the weather is usually not nice and it gets dark really early. This is one I would definitely think about adding to our “games cupboard”.
Exactly my thoughts Mara. The kids (and the grown ups) are always amazed by the artwork and always wants to play. 🙂
It looks fresh and doesn’t seem to be so complicated. I was just wondering if there is a better race or power? You know what I mean, Like in the game of thrones game board. Lannister’s are just like gods; You can always win if you don’t make a huge mistake. Have you found this sort of problems in this games?
It’s very well balanced and it always depends on your strategy and a bit of luck. But as you always will enter in decline and have to choose another combination of race/power, the balance of the game can change very fast.
My son is 9 and has many of the traditional board games. He keeps asking us to buy more and we were running out of ideas. This looks like just the thing. It looks like it will really appeal to him as he is into online games. Thanks so much for this review!
You’re welcome! I hope he enjoys it. 🙂