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The description on the front of the box states "A magical treasure hunt in the land of fairy tales" and it certainly is a hunt with well known fairy tales that will, no doubt, appeal to many kids.
This game is for 2-6 players, aged 6 to adult.
In the box:
13 picture cards
13 trees with pictures
6 playing pieces
The box is bright red and has Enchanted Forest written across the top in typical fairy tale like font (much like you'd expect to find on the DVD cover of films like Sleeping Beauty). In the centre of the box is a bright, colourful image showing characters from various fairy tales such as Puss in Boots and Little Red Riding Hood. The picture is framed by two trees at either side with some plants at the bottom, almost as if you are looking out from the forest on to the land behind it which shows a long winding path and a shining white castle at the end.
I've never really been a big fan of fairy tales, but I have always liked this picture. It's quite detailed and when you look closer you notice more things.
It has the typical blue corner with Ravensburger written in bold white writing in the corner so you know right away it's a well known brand.
The board looks rather like a map with a small village one end and a castle the other. One long path down the centre joins the two and a number of other paths go off to the sides. There are a number of images on the board like Cinderella's carriage and horses and the tower with long blond hair flowing down from Rapunzel.
Most of the board is green and there are many trees as this is, of course, the enchanted forest. The paths are made up of circles. The middle path is grey while the other paths are yellow and certain circles are blue which is what the trees go next to.
Setting the game up:
Each tree has an image underneath of an object (e.g. a glass slipper) you will recognise from a fairy tale. The trees need to be mixed up and placed next to the blue circles on the board face down so no one can see what the images are. Next you need to shuffle up the cards and place them face down on the image of the castle.
Once all the playing pieces are at the village ready to start you can turn over the top card which will have an image on and an object in the corner.
Playing the game:
Playing the game is simple. Each tree matches one card and the idea is to find where the tree is hidden on the board.
At the castle is the image on the card that you need to find. You start at the village and roll the dice. The dice are counted separately so if you scored a 5 and a 6, for example, you could move 5 to view one tree then move 6 and view another or go back on yourself. If you score a double you can transport yourself to anywhere if you wish, which is really useful if there's a tree you need to see that is a long way away.
Whenever you are next to a tree you may view it, making sure not to show it to anyone else. You need to remember what the image is and where it is as when it is shown on a card you can make your way to the castle. Once at the castle you need to find the tree and show it to others to prove you are right.
If you get it right you get the card and the next is turned over. If you get it wrong you end up back at the village. On your next turn if you know the tree you may find it again, otherwise you must walk away from the castle and go and view more trees.
The winner is the first to get 3 cards.
This is a fun game to play even with just 2 players and you could always play until one player gets 5 cards instead of just 3 if you want more of a challenge or a longer game. It tests your memory so it is a great way to keep your mind active.
The only bad thing I can say about playing the game is if you've been around most of the trees then you go up to the castle and just go through each card guessing the tree correctly because the other players don't stand much of a chance unless they can get to the castle and knock you off. Sometimes you can work out where a tree is based on where you haven't been, especially if you know another player has been to one you haven't and are then making their way to the castle. However, it all depends on how you play the game and which trees you happen to see. Some games you make loads of trips up to the castle and other times you go through all the cards in one trip.
How long it takes to play a game depends on how many people are playing and how good their memory is, plus how lucky you are in getting to see the trees you want to. On the back of the box it says 30 minutes, which I'd say is probably about right although if you have 6 young children playing it might take longer, especially if they forget where the image is.
This game is quite durable. As with most boards it is likely to wear slightly over time. The cards are thick but if children are really rough with them they might bend or snap, but for playing the game properly they should last a long time. The playing pieces are wooden and well made. The trees are plastic and quite hard, but the images underneath are card and could easily be pushed out so if you have children who like to mess around with things like that it might be an idea to make sure they only handle the tree when looking at it (which should only be a short time). If pushed out it's likely to be tricky to get back as it will probably get stuck in the tree or if it does fall out it may get lost.
Enchanted Forest is a board game that's fun for everyone, especially those who love fairy tales or memory games. As the trees can be moved around you never know where they will be and the cards are always in a different order so it's not repetitive. It's also much more challenging if you play two or three games in a row as you have to remember whether the tree you're thinking of is in the place you think or whether it was there a previous game. I highly recommend this game.