“The light adventuring mixed with some minor player interaction and Slavic based story arcs in missions/quests made this a very different and interesting experience.”
Jordan Macnab, Writer
Publisher: Underworld Kingdom
Designer: Grzegorz Arabczyk
Artist: Marcin Adamski
Game Type: Area Movement
Game Type: Card Drafting
Game Type: Variable Player Powers
Initial Year of Release: 2018
Age Range: 12+
Expected Playtime: 90-180 Minutes
Number of Players: 1-5 Players
Theme and What is it?
Stworze is an adventure game set in Slavic mythology filled with magical creatures, lost children, hunters, wizards and warriors.
Each player plays as Stworze, a Mythical creature that can either be seen as a blessing or a curse to the neighbouring villages. Its your choice how you play the game and how you influence the towns folk.
Each player starts by choosing a Stworze and taking a location deck. They then chose a home location which is going to be where your lair will be. This is secret and will play into a part of the game later.
Once this is done, in player order, each player chooses one of the 5 available actions. There is a twist to this though. Each action has a second action underneath it which wont become available until someone selects its first action… not only that, the action chosen then moves to position one in the action row and all other actions move down… not just that though, once you choose an action there is a corresponding event card that has a dice on it counting down to zero. Once that action location has been used up the event takes effect.
Does all of that make sense? If it does then you’re doing very well. Try to keep up.
So, each of the actions you can choose does one of several things like get you influence that can be used to move around the board or used to help you pass tests, perform quests, guess at an opponents lair location, help some lost kids, fight a hunter, battle a warrior or do general quests. All the while trying to complete your character quests.
Completing a pre determined number of Stworze quests will win you the game.
I first saw Stworze in a Facebook group, seems like forever ago, but I was captured by the art and the premise right off the bat. Slavic Mythology isn’t something that has been delved into very often in the board gaming world (comments welcome to correct me on this) and so I was fascinated to know how it would be depicted.
Game Build Quality
As quality goes this is very impressive game. The minis are all resin which is so rare these days and most of the other components of wood with heat etching. It makes everything feel really nice and solid.
I’m sorry to say there are couple of small spelling mistakes, one of which is on the main board. Now this type of thing doesn’t bother me. It’s just worth mentioning for the perfectionists out there.
Other than that, the card stock is excellent. The player boards could have been thicker but again that is just a minor niggle.
The art is fantastic, splashes of colour make the right things stand out and everything feels very thematic. I love how the creatures are depicted and each Stworze deck has varying images on the back of very card. Not a requirement but a very nice touch.
The board art is beautiful and deep… while playing I did often have a small issue of defining the difference between the village and surrounding areas but it wasn’t an issue that spoilt anything gameplay wise and would become less of an issue the more I play the game I sure.
I have a small caveat to mention here… This could have easily been scored as a 1 star and that’s for one reason and one reason only… the rule book! It took two of us over an hour to paw through the rule book and try to understand the basic gist of Stworze… between us all, we have read hundreds of rule books but there must have been something about the translation to English that made this so tricky to understand.
However, once we started playing the game it turned out to be incredibly simple and intuitive. We flew through turns and ploughed through quests etc with ease. Once we finished our first game we found ourselveswondering how it was so hard to figure out in the first place.
Age Range & Weight
This is a tough one… The only reason why this may not be appropriate for 12yr olds is the glaring fact that there are *cough* breasts in the art work. I actually feel childish writing this but some parents may not want there 12yr old playing a game with that type of art in it. I am not one of those parents but I’m trying to be objective *deep sigh*.
Rules issues aside I would say the play time was spot on based on player count. 90 Mins for a 2 player game and 180 minutes for a 4 player.
Once we dug past the rules and figured out the basics to Stworze I thoroughly enjoyed the game and everything it involved. The light adventuring mixed with some minor player interaction and Slavic based story arcs in missions/quests made this a very different and interesting experience.
The art work is beautiful and the mini’s are detailed and captivating.
Hopefully there will be an English “How to play” video released to help with the rules issues but apart from that I would highly recommend this game to anyone who wants to play an action based adventure game.
No radioactive spiders were lurking inside my copy, sadly.
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