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Sunday, June 7, 2020

Everdell: Spirecrest – Starling Games – Review

Everdell: Spirecrest is a fantastic expansion that just adds to the original fun and beauty of the base game. It increases the variety, adds potential for new strategies, enhances the theme, and creates new challenges for the players to maneuver.

Jeremiah & Kara


Everdell: Spirecrest - Starling Games - Review 1

Theme and What is it?


Far to the south of the Ever Tree, beyond the bustling meadow and lush forest of Everdell, lie the Spirecrest mountains. They rise from the ground like sharp daggers reaching out to pierce the sky. You are an explorer, chosen by your city to explore these mysterious peaks. At first the prospect of glory and adventure made your heart race and your tail tingle with excitement. Now, as you trudge through heaps of icy snow as high as your ears, you’re having second thoughts. The shrieking wind buffets your body, pushing you this way and that. You hold your hands in front of your face, trying to shield your eyes from the onslaught of pelting snow. 

Suddenly, a wolf howls. You freeze, forgetting the snow for a moment. The howl was not far off, and in this barren wilderness, a rabbit like yourself would seem quite the treat to a hungry beast. You look around frantically and spy a small cave not far off. Hopping desperately through the drifts of snow, you reach mouth and slip quietly into the dark. 

Only, it’s not dark.

Colors – gold, purple, and blue – dance across every surface in the cave, weaving and twinkling. You look around and realize that the entire cave is studded with beautiful crystals of every imaginable hue. You bend and gently pluck a golden one from the ground near your feet. It seems to radiate with an inner light that is both welcoming and enchanting. You find your earlier inhibitions fading away as wonder replaces fear – This is why you agreed to the expedition. 

Everdell: Spirecrest is an expansion for Everdell in which players send their rabbit travelers to explore the Spirecrest mountains. Through their journeys, players will discover ancient cities, magnificent beasts, and other wonders that will help them better develop their cities back in Everdell. So prepare well, bundle up, and get ready for Spirecrest!

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What does it add?


Everdell: Spirecrest adds quite a bit to the “prepare for season” phase. These changes expand the world of Everdell and help players experience the different seasons as they move through them. 

Mountain Board: The first thing Spirecrest adds is a mountain board, which attaches to the bottom of the Everdell meadow. The mountain board has places for the map tiles, discovery cards, and season cards that players will encounter throughout the game. 

Map Tiles: As players move their rabbit travelers along the mountain board they’ll collect map tiles, which will give players points at the end of the game if players can pay the required cost. This is a great addition that creates a way for players to use any leftover cards or resources they might have at the end of the game. 

Discovery Cards: The mountain board has 3 discovery decks that blend perfectly into the board art. Seriously, when I first saw the game, I didn’t even realize there were cards on the board because of how well they blend in! When a player explores a new area, they get to draw 3 cards from the discovery deck and choose one to add to their city. These decks are full of really powerful cards! Like an ancient orchard (worker space) that gives the placed worker 6 berries! Or an eagle you can ride (yes, ride) which will help you get more and more cards! The discovery cards add some amazing variety and strategy to the game and take players deeper into the beautiful world of Everdell. 

Season Cards: We’ve been constructing Everdell cities for years and years, and even though we know the seasons pass, the weather never really seems to change. Well, now it does! Spirecrest introduces season cards which modify the basic rules for the different seasons. Maybe spring will bring incredibly heavy rain which will slow down production. Or maybe the dry autumn grass will go up in flames and everyone will lose a worker. The season cards add more variety and make the game more challenging.

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What does it fix/ break?


As far as I have seen, Everdell: Spirecrest doesn’t break or fix anything in the game. The game is mostly the same, just a little more challenging and exciting with the addition of the season and discovery cards.

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Do I want this?


If you love Everdell and everything about it, and you just can’t get enough, then yes, you definitely want this. This is a fantastic expansion that just adds to the original fun and beauty of the base game. It increases the variety, adds potential for new strategies, enhances the theme, and creates new challenges for the players to maneuver. It’s a lot of fun, and I think anyone who enjoys Everdell will love this expansion.

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Do I need this?


The base game of Everdell is perfectly fine without this expansion; it’s fun, it’s gorgeous, it’s great. If you’re craving a new Everdell adventure then sure – get the expansion, you’ll love it! But if you’re content with Everdell how it is, you don’t need to get the expansion. Will you enjoy it? Probably, but do you need it? Not necessarily. Would I recommend it? . . . definitely.

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The additions in Everdell: Spirecrest merge perfectly into the existing Everdell content, adding depth where needed without over complicating or overshadowing anything else. It enhances the theme by adding weather rules to the different seasons, and expands the world of Everdell by taking players into the nooks and crannies of the Spirecrest mountains. If you like the base game and you want more Everdell, definitely consider this delightful expansion.

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Jeremiah & Kara Clark
Shortly after we got married we were introduced by our next door neighbors to designer board games. And we were immediately hooked! Since then we’ve been able to play hundreds of different games over the years, and we still can’t get enough. It’s been great having a hobby that we can both share together, and it’s a blast to explore all the different types of games, especially since we each have our own unique tastes in games.

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