Review: Enchanted Forest Board Game by Ravensburger

(Gifted) Enchanted Forest by Ravensburger is a magical game which references many of our best loved fairy tales. It is recommended for ages 4 and up and competitive players will love to race around the board finding treasure before everyone else to complete the King's challenge and become his royal successor.  

The Enchanted Forest board game box with fairy tales on the front of it
Enchanted Forest is a fun board game which involves memory, strategy and luck

Enchanted Forest Board Game Review

Getting Ready to Play Enchanted Forest

In the box there is the game board, instructions, 3D plastic trees, 2 dice, 6 game pieces and a sheet of card with treasure tiles and tokens. Before the first time you play you have to separate the treasure tiles and tokens from the cardboard sheet and push the tokens into the bottom of the trees. This is easy to do and means the token is only visible if you pick the tree up and look underneath. 

At the beginning of each game you open the large board out (it is twice the size of the box and measures roughly 37cm x 53cm) and put the trees on the blue tree icons without anyone knowing which treasure is hidden where. Each player chooses a coloured, wooden playing piece and places it near the star space in the village. The treasure tiles are mixed up and placed face down in the castle courtyard with only the top tile face up. 

The box contents on opening showing some initial setting up is required
Before first play you need to separate the treasure tiles and tokens 

After play you can store all the pieces back in the box
After play all the pieces can be stored nicely in the box

The letter from the King on the front of the instructions of Enchanted Forest
A letter from the King challenging his subjects to a mission to find his successor

Playing Enchanted Forest

The youngest player goes first and play continues in a clockwise direction. During the game players role the dice and aim to navigate around the board to land on blue spaces to discover which treasure is under each tree. You have to try to remember the location without letting anyone else know. If you find the treasure that matches the face up treasure tile then head to the castle. At the castle key space you can turn over one the tree that you think matches the treasure tile. If you are right you get to keep the treasure tile and the next tile is turned over for everyone to find. If you are wrong you have to go back to the village. The first person to collect 3 treasure tiles wins. 

Variations of Play 

There is another version of the game suggested in the rules which has more competition and strategy. This includes more flexibility in movement, being able to send other players back home by landing on them and using magic when you roll a double. It suggests this makes the game last longer, but in some cases it might actually be shorter as people can find the treasure more easily. It depends on if people decide to make play harder for the other players though.

Showing the hidden treasure token and matching treasure tile
Find the treasure token which matches the top treasure tile to collect the tile

The Enchanted Forest board game set up ready to play
All ready to play

close up of the game board, pieces and trees
Enchanted Forest is a fun game for children 4 plus 

What We Thought of Enchanted Forest

This is a fun game which will appeal to a wide age range. Despite the fairy tale theme the illustrations are fun and detailed. It is a good game for teaching strategy and memory skills, but there is an element of luck too. 

Players are most likely to do well if they have a good memory and can remember the location of all the treasures they find on their travels, not just the one which matches the current tile. With 13 different treasures and locations this is quite a challenge, especially for younger players or those with a poor memory. The box tells you what all the treasures are as well as which fairy tale they are from, which might help children to remember the treasure more easily by giving them meaning.

It is one of those games that if you are playing as an adult against younger players you are probably going to have to hold back and take a more supportive approach. When playing with older children or even other adults I think Enchanted Forest is much more fun as you can really get competitive and sneaky. By reading players' body language, tricking others and by using the additional rules you can bring in a new dimension to play. 

There is strategy involved by watching the behaviour of other players and potentially risking racing them to them the tile cards if they give away the location of the treasure as well as trying to hide that you are going to the castle. It’s a good game for practicing poker faces.

The Enchanted Forest game can be played by 2 to 6 players which I like because so many family games are for only 4 players. I also like that other than the trees everything is wood/ paper based.

There is also an Enchanted Forest “Sagaland” version of the game available which is a similar concept, but you are remembering the location of Disney Princesses to bring them to afternoon tea. While the game play is the same I think the Fairy Tale version will have much wider appeal making it a great present. I think the game is best suited for children age 5 to 9, but it will appeal to older children and adults too. 

Enchanted Forest is available to buy from Smyths Toys 

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