Small World - A Family Review

Can your flying elves best the hill trolls while avoiding the commando orcs from across the lake? In Small World, you take command of fantasy creatures and battle to expand your empire—until that empire inevitably falls and another must rise.
Small World - A Family Review

If you’ve ever thought “I wish Risk was cuter,” then do we have the game for you! Small World is a fantasy war game where mythical creatures compete to occupy the most of the fairytale map. Conquest has never been so adorable!

Small World is a great big box, long play game for kids. It has a great map and game board that spark imagination, and features tons of little tokens. It also comes with clever inserts to keep all the tokens organized—but be warned! If your kids aren’t great at keeping small objects organized, you may be doing a lot of reorganizing once the game is over.

Our kids were excited to play a game where they were in direct conflict with the other players. Our nine-year-old was especially excited to battle for as much land as he could. One challenge with that sort of gameplay? How frustrating it can be when you lose something you’re attached to. Small World gets around that in a very clever way. Losing your mythical creatures and lands is unavoidable, but the designers made moving on to your next fantasy creature combination a fun and rewarding play experience.

9yo: “It was really fun that we got to destroy each other! ”

If you’re looking for a gateway game before your kids try out more complex strategy games like Risk or Twilight Imperium, Small World is perfect. Its strategy is very accessible and the choices the kids had to make during a turn weren’t overwhelming. It’s also not hard to recover from an attack or mistake, making setbacks far less devastating. We found our scores at the end of the game were all very close!

11yo: “I really enjoyed figuring out how to make my magical creature combination work best.”

Small World is 100% a game we will play often with our kids. It’s charming, and for a competitive game, it managed to deliver a fun game with no hurt feelings!

Helpful hints

  • Keep all the tokens organized in the game inserts as you play. Your clean up after will be much easier!
  • Name your different fantasy troops! Have fun making up elaborate reasons why they are taking certain lands. “The Flying Ratman have returned to the hills for revenge!”

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