This doesn’t seem like a game anyone has heard of or talking about one bit. Not climbing the BGG charts, not highly spoken of…just a small gem that people haven’t taken notice of yet. Definitely, that is definitely the case.
Let’s get to the soil of this!
Soil…because that’s where plant roots go…
Root is the latest asymmetric game where you play as cute woodland creatures that kill each other for victory! Well you don’t have to attack others but most factions need to do that to succeed. There are five different factions so five different types of play.
It sounds like a lot and seems it too but you don’t need to know how each faction actually plays to enjoy this game. You just need to know what their objective is and how they gain points. The variety offered here is great. There are industry builder cats, worker placement/chaos birds, rogue-ish/helper raccoons, rebellious mice, trading otters, and cultist lizards. that doesn’t explain how mice and lizards play but there isn’t a direct correlation that I can think of of what type of gameplay they employ. The mice try to muster support and pop out of no where. The lizards praise the great dragon and build gardens in his name to bring back his next coming…I’m a fan of playing as that faction since it is quite interesting how you have to annoy people enough to kill your warriors in order to be able to use them to move or attack. Basically they are pacifist until you provoke them.
Everyone gets to the end in different ways but each faction is trying to do the same thing, get 30 points. There is a small wretch thrown in with Dominance cards that can permanent replace one faction’s victory condition with territory control. But in general, everyone is trying to do the same thing but have a unique way of doing it.
The pieces are super cute and the gameplay it just fits well together. They even have a recommendation list of what factions you should use with how many players. You can pick any of course but some are more playtested than others. Like they only recommend the trading otter faction in a six player game and don’t recommend two vagabonds all the time.
Going back to the complexity and simplicity of the game, every player gets a faction board that tells them almost too much information. There is flavor text about the group, what type of gameplay it is, objective, ratings on level of complexity/aggression/etc, components, setup instructions, and most importantly turn actions. That’s right, each board tells you step by step instructions on how to play the class. Also helpful, if you want a little more details on other factions, there are cards that give the overview and objective that each player can hold on to. There is a lot of accessibility and just about all the rules are available to access easily.
Root is a really well thought out game that mixes things up.