Teaching Time: 1 mins
Playing Time: 15-20 mins
Setup Time: 5 mins
Value For Money: Low
Recommended: Not for a serious gamer.
Before reviewing a game I try to play it at least four or five times, more depending on the nature of the game and the complexity, or if I just plain like it. There are two exceptions so far, Hare and Tortoise, where the rage it created in my wife made only playing once a matter of self-preservation. The other is Enchanted Forest, but not because it annoyed anyone, just because the game is too simple to bother re-playing. It seems a good bet that the only reason most people will read this review is the same as the only reason I played it, it’s a Spiel Des Jahres winner.
The game consists of roll and moving some meeples around a board. You roll two dice and get to change direction and order them as you choose, so it’s not as bad as a roll and move could be (but it’s still pretty random). When you land next to a little plastic tree you get to look under it and when you reach a set card if you can remember where its matching symbol was then you score a point, first to three wins. Players can take multiple routes so they can have a split of the trees but can add a stock of knowledge when sent back to the starting point.
It’s not great but it’s pretty harmless, the game I played ran for all of about fifteen minutes, if that, and nobody was either angry or delighted at the end so things could really be worse. The game also fits in logically as an SDJ choice, depending on your point of view, it has solid tactile components and can be played with equal interest by adults and children. It just so happens that the level of interest in both cases is pretty low. I had very low expectations of Enchanted Forest having read other reviews but it did manage to exceed those expectations, which is to say, I didn’t hate playing it. Would it even bother the children’s spiel category today? Probably not, but you can pick it up second hand for pence and a young child will get a few smiles out of it, so there are worse things in the world.