Following on from the impressive reception Everdell and it's subsequent expansions received, comes Everdell Farshore. A new standalone adventure set on the rugged coastline to the North of Everdell, with islands in need of exploration, cities awaiting development and critters ready to seek out valuable treasures.
We are huge fans of Everdell and when we saw a new standalone game was being released that was set in the same world, we were instantly intrigued, however the question was... would it play differently enough to make it worthwhile getting both?
Upon receiving our copy, I was instantly in love with the artwork on the box! It's in the same quaint style as the original Everdell but with the Ocean theming of Farshore. Inside, is the familiar artstyle and components that you are used to with the original. The ocean theming is immediately apparent and the instructions read well. On the back of the rulebook is a list of variances between Farshore and the original Everdell, making it easy to learn the changes between the two games if you're already familiar with Everdell.
Game Play Overview
Farshore uses the familiar mechanics of tableau building and worker placement of Everdell with several added features, new critters and constructions and different locations. The game is played over 4 seasons with each player taking it in turns to carry out one of two possible actions; Place a worker or Play a card. You'll be placing workers out to gain resources and cards whilst you'll be spending resources to play a card and gain the cards bonus depending on it's type. When playing cards, you'll want to be aware of the Windrose tokens as playing cards which match one of the characteristics on the Windrose tokens will allow you to move your ship up the score track and potentially gain treasure tokens which can either be spent in place of any resource when playing cards or saved until the end of the game to score you 2 victory points. Each player will advance to the next season and gain an additional worker along with various benefits each season at the time of their choosing and the last player to advance to each season will also trigger the top Windrose tiles to be discarded. In addition to this, the last player to move into summer will also trigger a high tide, flooding 2 islands and therefore hiding 2 action spaces, changing the dynamics of the game part way through. Once all players have completed their actions for autumn/fall, the game ends and points are tallied up. The player with the highest score is the winner.
Pros and Cons
This game utilses many of the same mechanics as Everdell, whilst giving just enough variations to give the game a different feel whilst remaining familiar. The addition of the Windrose tiles and the ship along with the disappearing islands mid game, really changes the way you play the game and gives you something else to think about when playing cards. The components all have a lovely texture to them and the game comes with plenty of bags to keep them separated between games, although we found that there was in fact too many! If you're looking for a completely different game to Everdell, then this game probably isn't for you, however if you want familiarity with some nice additions and variations, then Farshore is a great choice.
Overall, we really enjoyed it and loved the changes that Starling games made to Farshore giving it enough of a variance from Everdell to make it worthwhile in our opinion. And, if you've never played Everdell, then Farshore is a lovely standalone option with a gorgeous ocean theme and fun gameplay.
In conclusion, we would rate this game a 9.5/10