ROOT: A Game of Woodland Might and Right
A review by Jesse James Durney
Root is one of those games where the box art is just so breathtakingly gorgeous, you simply cannot help but stop, and get lost in the adorable critters that abound. Kyle Ferrin brought this game world to life in such a memorable way, the woodland creatures pop right off the backdrop. I’m a sucker for memorable, eye catching box art and Root had me sold from the very beginning.
That well designed art continues throughout the included learning to play booklet, the learn-to-play walk-through sheet, a tiny bit in the rules reference booklet, and definitely all over the game board and game pieces themselves.
A fast paced board game, Root mixes area control, crafting, combat and possibly even subversion as woodland creatures vie for control of the wilderness. Players will have the option to choose to play one of four factions: the militaristic Marquise de Cat, the aristocratic Eyrie, the freedom fighting bunnies of the Alliance, and the opportunistic raccoon Vagabond. If you don’t have enough players to fill a party of 4 or 3, it’s very easy to modify the game by removing the Vagabond and Alliance faction respectively.
The game board is double sided which allows variety in game plays even further with just the flip of the board. One could easily get more than two hands worth of finger counting plays out of this game before any semblance of boredom begins to settle on one’s mind. However, in the event you find yourself quickly desiring more, they’ve produced three expansions the very first of which “The Riverfolk Expansion” introduces a single player mode, and expanded party size up to 6 players.
You’ll have plenty of replayability with this game because of the asymmetrical game design, allowing each faction to really feel unique. You can spend time mastering your Marquise de Cat strategy before branching off and learning new factions and discovering your favorite.
If you’re looking for a game to play with your kids, or one to introduce a friend to the wonderful world of tabletop gaming, or perhaps even just to win a bet with your friends on whose the rightful ruler of the forest, I would behoove you to give Root a consideration.
- It brings with it a ton of replayability with it’s innovative and fresh asymmetrical game design. There’s a lot of content to keep your game group busy for play session after play session.
- Quality game components, and packaging which practically sells itself.
- Some players might find the game can be a bit too dependent on the actions and awareness of the other people playing in a way that can cause some unintended consequences for your strategy.
- Playing with just 2 players, while still enjoyable, won’t be as great of an experience when having the other factions to balance out some of the play.