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Review: Dragonwood – A Game of Dice & Daring by Gamewright

Suitable for: 5 and above
No. of Players 30 minutes
Best features: Fun mathematical concepts, diverse gameplay, strategic thinking, game aesthetics
Worst features: Dependent on luck, many numbers to keep track of
Price: $$
Overall Rating: 8.5 / 10

With math, practice makes perfect, but my K2 girl was getting tired of the endless assessment books, so I was on the lookout for a different way for her to practice mathematical concepts. Enter Dragonwood!

 

The publisher recommends it for ages 8 and above, but after reading the rules and several other reviews, I was pretty confident my five year old could pick it up; and I was right!

To play, your child will need to be able to:

  • arrange numbers in a row
  • group cards of the same colour together
  • group cards of the same number together
  • recognise numbers up to 20
  • be able to do addition up to 20

As with most games of this type, I provided my child with a notebook and a pencil, for her to jot down numbers and sums. This affected the pace of our gameplay somewhat; and on average we took half an hour each time, 10 minutes more than the publisher’s estimation.

 

The 6 dice provided are special - the largest number is four, the numbers two and three repeat once each. The number of dice you are allowed to throw correspond to the number of cards you choose to play - these cards are determined by how many you can group together, by colour, by number or sequence. This part of the game was fairly simple for her to catch on and she did so without difficulty.

 

To capture a card, all you have to do is ensure that the total showing on the dice thrown exceeds one of the three numbers on the card (determined again by whether your cards are the same colour, same number or in a sequence). 

 

However, given the number of steps and the time my K2 girl takes to count, we normally don’t play more than twice in a row. The diversity of cards however, has given us a different game experience each time! It’s been months but she does still reach for it during game night.  

 

The illustrations are a bit more “adult” than other games, but they’re beautiful and intricate. She loved poring over the details of the unicorn card and the other recognisable creatures like the bunny and jaguar; and I saw it as a welcome break from all the unbearably fluffy things she normally likes to look at. Boys would appreciate the art more for sure! 

 

At her age, she does still need help from us to read the cards, but each illustration is so memorable, she’s easily able to identify them just after a few rounds. 

 

Overall, a really enjoyable game and definitely value for money. 

Read more from the official game publisher here: https://gamewright.com/product/Dragonwood

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