Following the likes of Wingspan (opens in new tab) and Gloomhaven (opens in new tab), Everdale, a beloved board game, has a new digital port, which arrived on Steam last week. The low-key strategic game about woodland critters building town was a huge hit with board gamers over the years, climbing into the top 30 games on BoardGameGeek. and winning widespread acclaim. Everdale has been praised for both reach and depth: it’s easy to understand, but clever strategies still rule.
In Everdale you do one thing at every turn: put your worker on board to pick up stuff, play a card with your hand, or get all your employees back. That simple strategy turns out to be a game about building your city tableau, essentially a bunch of card choices, combining actions and card powers into one engine for victory. You only have four seasons to play, so this is one of those games where your actions are a known quantity from the start. What matters is what you do with them.
You can add a treetop schoolhouse to your village, giving your usual critters more victory points, along with a raven teacher who will let you draw more cards. The thing is, other players are behind similar things—so hitting them to the punch really matters. You have a post office, but so does the other guy: who will get the matching postage pigeon first?
One neat feature of Everdale is that a lot of its mechanics require interaction with other players. Some games like this are criticized for being essentially multiplayer solitaire, so it’s good to see how often you need to interact in Everdale. For example, that Raven teacher already has actually drawn two cards, keep one, and give the other to the other player.
The digital adaptation, by the veteran port team at Deer Wolf, looks just as good as their previous work on The Root and A Game of Thrones. This includes the option of playing a single, part of the original board game, with multiplayer versus AI or other online games. Early player reviews mention a few bugs, and the UI design looks quite good—it’s clearly no wingspan digital, but we can’t expect every port to be that efficient.
You can get Everdeal on Steam for $20/£15.49. There’s no word yet on whether the tabletop expansion will be ported, which often depends on sales.
(Image credit: Dire Wolf)