Our Wayfinders review, what we have to say about the route making set collection game. Do you remember the game leap frog you may have played as a kid? You use the people around you to jump over them and move forward out from your starting position. This game plays out like a really advanced version of that game.
Here you must collect resources and fly to different islands to build Airstrips. You move through the different spaces to expand your empire and depending what the other players did there could mean everything. At the end of the game, you will score all islands where you built Airstrips, some of which provide unique scoring effects. Not only is Wayfinders beautiful but it is a very interesting take on set collection and gives new meaning to the idea of multiple paths to victory.
We took a look across fun, replayability, player interaction, quality and art & style to come up with the overall score for our Wayfinders review. See the breakdown by category below.
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– CATEGORY BREAKDOWN –
Fun (7 out of 10)
For the fun section of the Wayfinders review, we award a great 7 out of 10. This has all the keystones you look for in a lighter strategy game; a high degree of freedom in choices and paths to victory, modularity in experience and simple yet robust actions. Twenty Five random tiles form the board each game with you starting in the middle. You need to move outward one space at a time and each space is an opportunity to expand you empire and get a nice end game score bonus. You get resources by managing a fleet of workers (some may call this worker placement but it is about as much a worker placement game as Carcassonne is) and need to use them wisely to build and move in the most efficient matter, while benefiting where possible over the actions of your opponent.
The game is a great experience overall but it falls short in a few areas that could take it to that next level. For example, It has elements of engine building, but nothing robust enough that is going to matter enough to make a big difference. You have to manage a bunch of different resources, but the system to gather and hold specific types isn’t really that controllable. You have to credit the balance they achieved in having lots of things going on, but this has also resulted in some pieces landing a little watered down (note the 2 puns in 5 words).
Replayability (8 out of 10)
For the replayability section of the Wayfinders review, we award a wonderful 8 out of 10. The high degree of modularity and in game events make each and every game of Wayfinders very different each time. Different tiles have different overall effects and these are mixed up to form what will be the game board. It is impossible to have just one strategy because not only will the final scoring be dramatically different from game to game (because this is determined by the tiles) but you have to react heavily to what the other players are doing.
This is a light and breezy one that is easy to get to the table and runs fairly quickly. There is not a high learning curve and while you turns are very simple, everything seems very meaningful. With all the interaction, you are constantly on the edge of your seat, so those lulls that deter future gameplay never happen. Since the randomness is at a max, you loose a little bit of control so at some point you are going to get numb to that, but you should have no problem getting many plays out of this one.
Player Interaction (7 out of 10)
For the player interaction section of the Wayfinders review, we award a great 7 out of 10. You are basically doing your own thing, heading in the direction of your choice to build the right infastructure to get big points at the end in a place where space is not limited. That being said, there is a very fun and unique player interaction element that kicks this aspect way up.
You have to move around the 5×5 grid one space at a time. When moving through these tile spaces, if you are the first, it will cost you, but if someone has built there. Resources are scarce and how and when what islands are controlled is what will drive the final outcome. Getting this right is as satisfying as a well crafted double jump in checkers. And thats not all, then there is a twist. While moving through an island with a built airstrip is free, if you want to build there, the resources go to the player already there, not the bank. A good mix that will keep you on your toes when it comes to what your opponents are doing,
Quality (8 out of 10)
For the quality section of the Wayfinders review, we award a great 8 out of 10. This is a very well constructed game, it is many things but it is not any one of them. There are different interesting and unique things working together here and it makes for a balanced and worthwhile experience. As you will see below, the art and style score is very high and that level of execution bleeds in here. Across the board, everything from the gameplay, to theme, to fulfillment is all at a high level.
The components and production quality are all there. Pieces are thick, finished well and will stand the test of time. Resources and workers are a slick plastic that you might expect to find in an upgraded component pack.
Art & Style (10 out of 10)
For the art & style section of the Wayfinders review, we award a rare 10 out of 10. This game is gorgeous and would have been impossible to do anything better than what they ended up with. The illustrations are exciting, interesting and terribly unique, and the colors are like candy, a vibrant array of shades that you want to consume in vast amounts. Typography, iconography, use of space, information hierarchy and pretty much anything a graphic artist needs to attend to in order to succeed at their job has been executed here to a top of class level.
Even the game box and cover art are a master class in color, graphical elements and negative space. The title treatment is beautiful and so fitting of theme. Speaking of theme, everything goes hand and hand perfectly. The design speaks to a brave new world to explore but in a style befitting of the era of when wayfinders (a person navigating to a particular location) ruled the world. Artist Michael Parla has brought something special into the world.
– IN CLOSING –
Wayfinders Review | Board Game Halv
Wayfinders is a wonderful path setting and set collection game set against one of the most beautiful backdrops ever. An interesting element of player interactions makes reacting to what your opponents do very key and keeps things exciting from start to finish. Turns are simple, you either place a worker to set up your future or you move into action to expand your empire. There are tons of different scoring avenues and the person who is going to win is the one that buys airstrips on the right mix of islands. This title is on the lighter side of the spectrum and easy to hop into. Wayfinders is an overall great experience that anyone out there could enjoy. This has been our Wayfinders review, we hope you liked it!
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