August 4, 2021

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Renature - Animal Platelets - Photograph by Axel Bongaert

Renature – Board Game – Review & Test

Finding interesting topics for a new game is becoming an increasingly difficult task for authors and publishers. On the other hand, topics such as the Middle Ages, trade routes and the transportation of goods are already under great pressure. On the other hand, games with less common themes are also less popular. Except for the flapping of the wings, which not only has a natural feel, but also looks rather reserved in terms of design.

In Renature by Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling (Deep Print Games / Pegasus Spiele), the goal for two to four players is to return the ecologically polluted valley to its natural origin by growing plants. Do you have to be environmentally friendly to find the topic exciting? Let’s say it helps.

How do you play Renator?

In the game, players put the best domino– Pattern of stones with animal symbols on the course of the river in the field of play, fold them over the areas where you plant grass, bushes or trees at the same time and score points with them out of every three stones the player faces in front of him, he can choose the one he should place appropriately. A certain type of animal always has a joker, which makes it easy to land it. When an area is completely surrounded by stones, it is scored. A maximum of two players with the majority in the area gets a predetermined number of points, while the player who completes it gets a piece that also earns him points at the end of the game.

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Renature - Detailed view of a game scene - Photography by Axel Bungart

In addition to their own player color, each player also owns stones of a neutral color, which they can use in the same way as they do. A handful of cloud tiles also allow players to take special actions like double action or retrieve plants that have already been used. But it’s about that when it comes to complexity.

Is Renitor fun?

When I unpacked the game and read the rules of the game, I was initially a bit off with what to expect. Everything looks very sober, and in the end it is. However it is only an ordinary game – however, I did not expect in the eyes of the authors.

Renature - Another game scene - Photography by Axel Bungart

In a game for two people, the allure of the full game has not yet unfolded, which is typical in games of the majority. With three and four, the ideas work best: with neutral stones you can really annoy your opponents because you can win a majority in an area without using your precious stones. There is also an interesting arms race for supremacy in larger areas. And even a player who doesn’t want to interfere here (anymore) can eventually tip the scales by locking up the area and thus at least securing the area tiles. Some call this the kingmaker effect, and that’s what it sometimes looks like. Even if you think of yourself more than others.

In any case, you run the risk of giving the opponent or opponents a model by setting a stone in many situations. This is part of the idea of ​​the game, so to speak.

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Renature - Game scene - Photography by Axel Bongaert

Clouds make the difference

Careful consideration should be given to the use of clouds. The possibility of double moves is attractive if you want to quickly secure an area and its points. However, with regard to the end of the game, this is a dangerous task, since all players have the same number of turns and often the most profitable areas are unlocked only with the last turns. Those who can no longer participate have to watch the others do nothing as they are fighting for 13 points for the largest area.

Restoring one of your plants to release clouds is usually more effective. Even if that means you’ll keep at least one plant in your board, which ultimately gives you minus points.

Recreating nature - tree shapes - photography by Axel Bungart

This actually exhausts the tactical possibilities, but those cliched possibilities domino Make one more interesting. Where to place your stone is in most cases the decision of the active player, not the opponent’s. The game does not become a strategy game and the topic does not become more attractive. But at least in terms of game materials, no compromises are made here. The plants are well designed (and improved by the sticker on the last game box). Dominoes with animal symbols are fun to handle. Your graphic design is not intrusive.

Kramer + Kiesling = Spielqualität

Renature - Box - Photo by Deep Print / Pegasus

The games offered by the award-winning author duo (among other things) have two very important quality features: they have attractive rules and an efficient operation. Both apply here without reservation. Everyone can judge for themselves whether this domino shape is particularly attractive. There are people playing يلعب domino Even without a game board and rating the majority. This means that anyone inspired by the topic can have three quarters of an hour in conversation with Renature.

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