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Board game review & gameplay of: Living forest

  • 8.5/10
  • 10+
  • 1-4 players
  • 40 minutes


In Living Forest players simulate nature spirits trying to save the forest and its sacred tree! They do so by having extuingished 12 fires, planting 12 protective trees OR collecting 12 Sacred Flowers to awaken Sanki the great Guardian. The first player to do so by the end of a round, wins the game.

Players assemble a team of guardian animals in your deck of which players (simultaneously) draw cards, being aware of the solitaire symbols showing, of which you can have only up to 3. All players get 2 actions per turn but when the 3rd solitaire symbol is showing, players only get 1.

Players take turn executing actions involving the visible symbols on their cards just drawn. Actions include:

- Buying new cards

- Planting protective trees

- Extinguishing fires

- Moving on the rondel track, with the opportunity to steel some from fellow players


Living forest is a fun family deckbuilding game with a lot going on without it being incomprehensible. The theme is nice and dreamy and the games feel quick and have a good tension buildup.

👍 I really like how the 3 winning conditions seem equally balanced so far and each in their own way are fun to chase!

👍 I like how the solitaire symbols add a push your luck element to the game, without being too punishing. It’s a bit like in Mystic Vale but when you go bust, you lose one action, not your turn.

👍➖ I like the aim of the artwork, but it feels not completely finished to me. However, opinions vary on this subject (also at my tables)

➖ In some games I found the Fire Varan cards a bit too punishing when you didn't have enough water to extinguish the fire. It was a bit too hard to recover from it. On the other hand, if you focus on buying new cards this mitigates this a bit


An official solomode is available on the website of Ludonaute. I’ve not yet been able to test it. When I do, I’ll make sure I’ll devote a post to my thoughts on it!


Boardgamegeek BGG

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