Once an idyllic paradise, the fate of the kingdom of Oniria now hangs in a thread. Save it by borrowing Book of Wonders, the only existing portal to get there. It’s epic of wonder bookboard games of the week.
Ken, Lara, Tina and Sid, four preteens, are projected into a parallel world, the kingdom of Oniria. The latter is in danger. The dragon of darkness, king of the lower world, has banished his brother, the dragon of light, king of the upper world. What will happen to its inhabitants if the balance is not restored? It is clear that you are the only ones who can save the kingdom from chaos.
wonder book is a collaborative game in which each player embodies one of these children through an adventure in six chapters. Each character has its own thumbnail (in chibi and kawaii) and specific skills (dough, healer, etc.). Each chapter is represented by a game of about forty cards. But the main element of the game is a book.
The first chapter, which serves as an introduction to the universe, the scenario, but above all the rules, is played on the back of the book, like a game board. We read the cards one after the other. Some tell the story, others explain where the various elements should be placed on the board, etc. Until you come to an objective map that describes what the players need to do to move on.
In return, they have three actions, to move, use a skill, attack a monster, interact with a map, etc. Then it’s the enemies’ turn, the villains Wyrms, to act. Beasts and villains, they are content to turn to the heroes to hit them. The number of appearances of new Wyrms and actions they have are defined by a set of cards.
The towers follow each other thus, the heroes act, then the enemies. If you achieve a goal, you read the rest of the adventure. Sometimes choices are offered (morality from time to time: do we want to help the dragon out of pure goodness in the soul or get some benefit from it?), Which leads to various branches of history. When a hero loses their last life point, they get them all back, but we return an hourglass token. The game ends with victory if the last goal is reached, or with defeat if there are no more hourglasses left.
But it’s the second chapter that really marks the beginning of the game, and introduces the great originality of wonder book : his pop-up book. From now on, the games are actually played inside the book, which reveals a large tree in relief when you open it. We also see elements that we can pull open, but all of this only needs to be manipulated when the scenario asks us to.
The parties also follow each other and follow the story through the six chapters. If we lose, we start again, if we win, we move on to the next one.
Why play wonder book ?
The pop-up book is obviously the center of attention, and is really very successful. The tree in the second chapter is already impressive, but far from the effect wow when we grab the sixth (which we do not reveal to you in a picture so as not to ruin the surprise). It is the work of an Italian specialist in the genre and it can be seen. The rest of the material does not have to be ashamed, especially the very beautiful figures. Although, let’s face it, their base is too wide to accommodate more of them on the squares of the board (small wooden cubes would have been more practical, but obviously less attractive).
But what about the mechanics, the story? It depends on.
It depends … who you play with. Mechanically, the game is very simple, very family friendly. You never have to go back to the rulebook, everything is clear, clear and the games flow. However, the scenario, very childish, can leave you hungry. We can not recommend it if you only plan to play it with adults. With children on the other hand (between 8 and 12 years old), they will be amazed. Everything is done to hang them: heroes of their age, beautiful material, a story to follow, and of course the pages of the book in relief.
The pop-up still adds a significant impact on the price of the game, which rises to 60 euros (like all books in the genre, much more expensive than a classic book). When you are at the end of the six chapters, you can start the game again and make other choices, leading to a different conclusion. But the element of surprise is over. It is up to you to see if it is worth the effort to play with your children. In our opinion, yes, of course, if your budget allows it.
wonder book is therefore a very nice family game, original, with action, a story to follow, a lot of chances and magnificent material. If we have any reservations about playing it between adults, due to its overly simplistic scenario, on the other hand, playing it as a family with your kids is a very nice gift idea.
- wonder bookis a play by Martino Chiacchiera and Michele Piccolini
- Illustrated by Miguel Coimbra
- Published by dV Games
- For 1 to 4 players from 10 years
- For games of about 90 minutes
- Price € 62.95 at Philibert
The magnificent pop-up book
Very simple rules
Perfect for playing with children …
We liked less
… Less between adults (simplified scenario, childish design)
The surprise effect of the past, if you want to start the story again
Very present chance
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