We just picked up a new game from our favorite toy store, Thinker Toys, to play on our trips this summer. We are all bored with the games in our cupboard and were ready to try a new card game. I was going through the various card collecting games and settled on Dragonwood by Gamewright. We love their games and with the various award stickers this game had on it, we wanted to give it a go (this game is a National Competition Winner at Mensa Select and was honored for excellence and has earned many other awards as well)!
The game is recommended ages 8+ and is said to be played in about 20 minutes with 2-4 players. My nearly 9-year old had no troubles with the first play, and I think he would have been fine at 8. The age ranger really feels about right to me. This is a came where you collect cards, roll the dice, and it is really more about luck than strategy, but there is thought and I like the quick mental math that it promotes.
The game comes with two decks of cards. The red deck is your Adventurer deck that has all of your players which you use to earn dice that will aid in your capture of Dragonwood cards (the green cards) which give you enhancements or points.
Each player starts with 5 cards and as you go around you draw a card and can either hold (they call this a reload) or you can capture. You can capture 3 ways: a Strike (using a run of cards like 1, 2, 3), a Stomp (using cards that all have the same number 4, 4, 4), or a Scream (using cards that are all the same color). The points needed for each capture are listed on the cards. The number of cards you play earns you the number of dice you can roll. If you play 3 cards, you roll 3 dice. Play more, you get to roll more dice. The game continues until both dragons are captured or you have been through your Adventurer stack twice.
There is more to the game and you can see it in more detail in this video by Board Game Brawl.
As far as the look of the game, it is beautiful. The card illustrations are really lovely. The colors are beautiful. The dice are specific to this game (they only go up to 4 and there are 2 2s and 2 3s), but the color is lovely and they have a good feel to them. The characters in the landscape are beautifully illustrated and the dragons and jaguars are our favorites (it helps they are also worth the most points too!).
We found this to be a really fun game for our family. Even my husband who isn’t a big fan of board games has enjoyed playing this with us. While the plot is light, the game moves quickly and and is more of a game of chance. There is a little strategy, but that is fairly light too. I think this is going to be a fun introduction to card collection games and it will help us move into the the more advanced games I have been eyeing! Check this out if you are looking for a fun game that is great for families!