Welcome to the world of fairy tales where all your dreams come true! I’m of course talking about the magical Enchanted Forest where you will be looking for fabled treasures from some of the most loved fairy rhymes from times gone by. Will this review have a happily ever after ending? Read on to find out!
Unfurl the board and randomly place the trees on the relevant spaces on the board. Shuffle the treasure tiles deck and place them on the castle face down, turning over the top card to start. Each player chooses a coloured pawn and places it on the village space. Set up is now complete!
Enchanted Forest comes with two variant gameplays, a beginner friendly game and the so-called ‘Classic Play’ for a longer game with more competition and strategy apparently. To win both versions you need to be the first player to collect three treasure tiles.
The main difference between the two versions is how dice rolls are resolved, in the beginner version you can move any number of spaces up to the number shown on the two die. In the harder version you have to use both dice rolls. These are resolved independently so with one dice you can move one direction to that die’s full value and then the same or different direction with the second die’s value.
The Classic Play also offers opportunities to bump opponents back to the beginning and when rolling doubles on the dice use magic to move around the board, or again be mean to your opponents and send them back to the start.
If on your turn you land directly on a blue space you get to peek under a tree and look at the treasure. You’ll need to remember the location of it. If you know the location of the treasure on the treasure card at the castle, you need to race there and claim it before your opponents. That’s how the game plays out!
What it’s like
Enchanted Forest is an incredibly boring plod around an attractive board. The game starts as a race to look under all the trees and try and memorise the locations of the treasure. For a game aimed at children this simple memory game is far from easy. In the beginner mode it isn’t so bad but in the Classic Play, the dice rolls mean you can’t look under the trees in a methodical manner which hinders memorising where the treasure is even for adults.
This is coupled with a lot of luck, as the treasure may be under the first tree or the thirteenth tree you look under. Add in the bumping people back to the start in the classic mode and the walk in the woods becomes a trudge. You really are wading through sticky gloopy mud and you become less enchanted and more entrapped.
I can’t fathom the four plus age rating, that is lunacy! Perhaps on the very basic level it just about works for children, but not age 4, maybe 6, by which time they can be playing something considerably better than this!
So this is the only area where the game shines! Well sort of. The prickly trees are a fantastic board game component and the board really is very pretty in a fairy tale kind of way. The artwork on the treasure cards is also delightful with scenes from the Fairy Tales. The coloured pawn player tokens have a charm about them like a certain prince, I do quite like their behatted form.
The rule book is clear and concise, but then this is a roll and move memory game so the game isn’t tough to learn.
The box is unnecessarily big to fit the board with a massive trough insert to fill the void. Folding the board in four instead of two would mean the box could’ve easily halved in size. The components all came packaged in single use plastic too. All acceptable in the 1980s but I hope we are a bit more aware now we are in 2021.
Final thoughts on Enchanted Forest
When I purchased Enchanted Forest for my young family I was inspired by rave reviews. I can only assume, as it came out in 1981, these were tinged with nostalgia. Perhaps, they have only played Trivial Pursuits and Monopoly and in comparison to those, this would feel considerably better. Let me be blunt and clear, this is a poor game, only saved slightly by the components.
I don’t normally write negative reviews as I like to share the love of board games, and share brilliant board games I think you will like. On this occasion however, I felt compelled to warn people away from this title. Consider this a PSA!
I am now faced with the difficult decision of how to get rid of my copy. I would feel bad giving it to someone, equally bad giving it to a charity shop for someone else to part with their money for it. Even worse adding to the world’s landfill by simply binning it.
Also, if Ravensburger are reading this, I am sorry I don’t like your game, I wish I did! You make some amazing other board games! The Quest for El Dorado is one of my all-time favourites for example and as a family we love Disney Eye Found It! This one though, should’ve been left in the 1980s along with shell suits, shoulder pads, Dallas and Kajagoogoo.
Number of players: 2 to 6
Board Game Review Recommended Age: 6+
Publisher’s Recommended Age: 4+
Playing Time: 30 minutes
Setting Up and Take Down Time: 2 minutes
Designers: Michel Matschoss and Alex Randolph
If you are looking for a new family board game, keep looking, this is dull and not the board game you should buy!
Artwork and Components
Value for Money
- The tree components and the board
- The nostalgia of playing it in the 1980s
- Everything else about the game
Need more games?
If you already own Enchanted Forest I am really sorry for you, so if you are looking for other inspiration, you might like these games:
- Disney Eye Found It
- Funny Bunny
For clarity. We don’t get paid for our reviews. We were unfortunate to part with our own money for this game, this has not affected our review in any way.
We may however earn a tincy wincy commission if you buy a game having clicked one of our affiliate links… this hopefully gives us a bit of pocket money towards hosting costs and new games to review!
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Board Game Review is a brand ambassador for Out of Town Games.
These affiliate advertising programs are designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to their websites.