Smallworld Video Review


What’s Cool:

  • Lots of races to play as.
  • Each race has a random ability every game.
  • Easy to teach and games are short.
  • The artwork is very nice & comical.
  • Everything is well separated inside the box.
  • A different board depending on the amount of players.
  • Summary cards included.

What’s Not:

  • The rule book needs work.
  • The Dwarves are a useless race.

Neutral Information:

  • You can buy expansions.

User Ratings:

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.boardtodeath.tv/smallworld-video-review/

28 comments

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    • pitdood on June 26, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    My friends own this game, and it is a lot of fun to play. Easy to teach new people, with enough strategy to keep it interesting for everyone.

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  1. Games that have high production value and good, colorful art will always attract my attention more than other games. There are probably tons of solid games that just don’t stand out on the store shelf because they cut corners on presentation. Smallworld is one of those games that always grabs my attention in any game store. It just makes you excited to own it. The fact that it’s actually a strong game at it’s core definitely makes this game the total package! Also, cardboard chips always make better components than cards, in my opinion. Game designers: don’t cut corners on presentation and production value!

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  2. Great game. I always enjoy getting a laugh at the combinations the races and classes can be together. Took me and my gang only 5 minutes to know how to play and we played three games straight. The game feels a bit like a gestion game mixed with a strategy RPG. Great game atmosphere.

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  3. This game is nothing like Risk. I agree with a different take on a risk style game, but the fact is its all about maximizing the number of coins you get with each race as quickly as possible. With all of the different combos, this strategy changes every game.

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    • Brexis on December 22, 2012 at 9:18 AM

    Great game. This game has some over power / under power combinations but beyond that the game is always fun to see what combinations that come up. A different take on a risk style game. Enjoy.

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  4. it’s a fun game, the many combinations of races and powers gives it a lot of replayability.
    The different boards according to the number of players is a great idea. i like that races
    have differents strategies. the rules and mechanics are quite easy to understand making it a great game
    for newcomers, but might not please people who like more complex conquest games.

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  5. One of the first games we got as a family. It is fantastic. It can run a little long, but it is fun for our family to play.

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    • Patrick on October 28, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    A silly version of Risk?

    At first glance, it would seem so, but what really sets this game apart are the different race and role combinations that can appear. Whether you have Flying Wizards or Berserk Humans, you always get different combos each time you play which can be added upon with each of the various expansions. A very strategic game with light hearted humor and fun.

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  6. This one is now a classic, and it deserves the title.
    Easy to grasp and teach, even to non players… great artwork and beautiful map. Numerous races combinations giving a lot of replayability.

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    • Chris on May 16, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Amazing game to play, I have underground (And got the original game soon after!) and have had some really fun games with mates.

    Some races & powers are just plain ridiculous in both but hell, that just makes it more fun for the other players to wipe the person out who has them. Our second game had a friend win after we wiped his first race out in round 1 because we ignored him the rest of the game, =P

    I recommend watching Wil Wheaton playing this on youtube as well which gives a very good idea of how it plays out & how fun this is. 10/10 =)

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    • ktusing on May 1, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Great review. I watched this game played on another site prior to watching your reveiw. I’m sold and will purchasing Smallworld soon.

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    • TheImp on March 27, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    Great Review, I like this game, it is very easy to play and teach to others. The worst part for me is forgetting to move the turn marker but after you do that a few times you start to remember it. The game only takes about an hour to play so a great one to play between games or to fill the time at the end of a night of gaming.

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    • ChrisNYC on March 19, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Great review, thanks for showing the different races.
    Most fanasty games have 3 or four races tops, this game lets you really explore all the possibilities.
    I will have to head over to Chez Geeks to pick this one up.
    Maybe the expansions help from burning out on it?

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    • Rashley on August 5, 2010 at 5:36 AM

    This is a game I looked forward to after playing its predecesor ‘Vinvi’ went out of print. The ‘fantasy’ setting works much better. I have added the first 2 expansions, which both add extra races and powers, and it still gets played. It is easy to teach and relatively quick to play. 8 out of 10.

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    • Card on May 2, 2010 at 7:53 PM

    When I first picked it up… my friends and I couldn’t stop playing it. But after a while, it didn’t have the same staying power as other boardgames.

    The choices and strategy aren’t that deep and maybe we just got burnt out of playing it =) Great game… but it isn’t in my collection anymore. It got traded away.

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    • mlock on April 29, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    I love this game. The artwork and style drew me in as soon as I saw it. This game is what go me into board gaming. I wanted a Risk replacement and this did it for sure. 8/10.

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  7. i love this game. The different races make it interesting and different every game.

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    • Tarno on April 11, 2010 at 11:30 AM

    This game is a fantastic purchase, one i would recommend for this year. This game is picked up quickly by anyone in the family and the pleasent artwork and theme are attractive.

    This game has a very high replay value as the abilities and races are mixed each game. It’s simple to learn and simple to play. It also playes well with 2, 3 or 4 players.

    If you like what you see in this amazing video review, buy this game you will not be sorry!

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  8. I think I love this game just by looking at the components.
    I am not sure if I would like it to play.
    i am hesitating: buying it or not? I haven’t been able to play it yet.

    What makes it so exciting?

    Tips please!

    Fred

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  9. While others have mentioned that going into decline is a waste, it is actually very important. You have to pick up a second race to continue to acquire more points, the most important question is when. There are also races such as the priestesses that make it easier to catch up. I put them into decline on the 7th turn with 7 of them, allowing me 21 gold in three turns, bringing me to second place from last!

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    • ranoobu on March 9, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    In my opinion, there is a lot of subtle depth to this game the more you play. You realize there are things you can do to maximize your area control and/or protect your existing regions.

    The fact that the races and abilities can always be different makes this a huge replayability factor because the special abilities and race combos will surely change your tactic each time.

    I really enjoyed playing this game with lots of players because the board fills up that much faster.

    If you like area control and medieval themes, you should definitely check this game out

    rating: 08/10

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    • Kanin on March 9, 2010 at 9:24 AM

    Really basic but really enjoyable. When your just looking for a game to quickly pass the time and not looking for a lot of strategy and hard thinking just play.

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  10. Many of the people I game with enjoy this game. For me, it’s something I will play because many others enjoy it, but not so much me… I haven’t the foggiest reason why as it scores on many items I love with games.

    Theme: It’s there in spades.. although the mechanics aren’t incredibly married to the theme, the feel of running a race amuck in the world comes through very well.
    Graphics: Beautiful.
    Components: Top notch.
    Mechanics: Area control is one of my favorites and a tempered list of variable abilities usually adds to my enjoyment of a game.

    But it just falls flat.
    Players who have memorized the races and abilities will generally walk all over newbies. A game that requires a deep knowledge of a myriad of nuances generally turns me off (MtG being the king of flop in that regard for me).

    If you like variable player powers, a fantasy theme, and relatively quick area control games and you haven’t given this game a try… shame on you.

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    • Dandy_GO on February 24, 2010 at 9:19 PM

    I really like the fact that I can play this with my 10 and 12 year old cousins, and with my gaming group, and have a great time either way. It plays perfectly as a simple gateway game, but there’s plenty of room for fairly deep strategy. There’s definitely balance problems, but I think the fact that you’re playing with multiple combinations throughout the game, and have a choice as to who you play with, mutes this issue to some degree.
    One of the best recent games I’ve played.

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  11. My family loves this game, esp. my 12 y/o son who is always trying to get it on the table. It is quick in play and in time which helps it’s appeal for us.

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    • Max-Yazz on February 19, 2010 at 8:52 PM

    I truly enjoy shorts games, I am not a fan of such behemots as Twilight Imperium. I agree that it is hard to catch up if you get cornered. But all in all I think this is a very good game. Quick funny and as some strategic choices that makes you think your limitied amount of moves. BUT I must say that I must also agree that the rulebooks needs some work.

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    • Hem on February 18, 2010 at 5:26 AM

    I won’t say more than JA because I think he made a good article on that one, and quite true. However, I personally didn’t enjoy that game much : I tested it at a Festival when it went out in France, and it’s not that original (it’s a fantasy remix of Vinci, same author), and I don’t think it is entertaining after three of four games. You can see its limits, that is. Not very deep, like many euro-games, I guess. I have so much more fun with Carcassonne ! I give that one a 5.

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    • ja on January 11, 2010 at 10:06 AM

    ill start off by mentioning that maybe the name of the game wasn’t the best choice considering EVERYONE who plays it will be singing that terrible Disney song lol

    This is a very fun region control game but it has some flaws. One of the problems I’ve noticed while playing is that some of the races and abilities are really unbalanced. The review has already mentioned the dwarves but after playing a few games everyone usually ends up buying the same races over and over again. So even if the game has 15 races the same 5 will appear every game. (unless heroic dragon or merchant ability is available)
    Another complaint is that the game was really too short, only 9 turns. If you start off bad then you have virtually no chance of catching up. Also, going into decline is like a waste of 2 turns because its 1 turn to “say your going into decline” and then you next turn your whole army can only attack 1 border territory. Also, because of this in a 4 player game no one will ever go into decline more then once.

    What i liked is that even if the overall game is short the players turns are really short and that is a relief after playing other board games who have players taking 10-20 minute turns. The game board and tokens are beautiful and extremely well built. Lastly, the overall concept is very original and is fun for both casual and hardcore gamers.

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