Following the likes of Wingspan (opens in new tab) and Gloomhaven (opens in new tab), a beloved board game has a new digital port in Everdell, which arrived on Steam last week. The low-key strategic game about woodland critters building towns was a huge hit with board gamers in the past few years, climbing into the top 30 games on BoardGameGeek. and winning widespread acclaim. Everdell’s been praised for both accessibility and depth: it’s easy to understand, but clever strategies still rule.
In Everdell you do one thing each turn: Put your worker on the board to get stuff, play cards from your hand, or get all your workers back. From that simple strategy emerges a game about building up your city tableau, essentially a slew of card options, making combinations of actions and card powers into an engine for victory. You’ve only got four seasons to play, so it’s one of those games where your actions are a known quantity from the start. What matters is what you do with them.
You might add a treetop schoolhouse to your village, making your normal critters worth more victory points, alongside a raven teacher who’ll let you draw more cards. Thing is, the other players are after the same things—so beating them to the punch can really matter. You’ve got a post office, but so does the other guy: Who’s going to get the matching Postal Pigeon first?
A neat feature of Everdell is that a lot of its mechanics require interaction with other players. Some games like this get criticized for essentially being multiplayer solitaire, so it’s nice to see how often you need to interact in Everdell. For example, that raven teacher from earlier actually has you draw two cards, keep one, and give the second to another player.
The digital adaptation, by the veteran port team at Dire Wolf, looks to be about as good as their previous work on Root and A Game of Thrones. It includes a solo play option, part of the original board game, alongside multiplayer versus AI or others online. Early player reviews mention a few bugs, and the UI design seems good enough—it’s clearly no Wingspan digital, but we can’t expect every port to be that masterful.
You can find Everdell on Steam for $20/£15.49. There’s no word yet on whether the tabletop expansions will be ported, which often depends on sales.