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10 Tabletop Games Better Than Everdell

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Everdell, published in 2018, is a tabletop game known for its worker placement and tableau-building mechanics. Everdell is well-known and highly recommended among board game enthusiasts, with many lauding its balanced complexity. The game is intricate enough to feel challenging to seasoned gamers without being too intimidating for newcomers to enjoy.

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Despite its popularity, many who have played it found Everdell wanting in terms of one quality or another. However, deciding which games they should seek out to accommodate the improvements isn’t always easy. Depending on the areas in which they felt Everdell fell short, other games offer their own take on mechanical complexity, theming, and other tabletop elements.

10/10 On Mars Cranks Up The Difficulty

A table setup for On Mars

Taking place on the cold, red surface of Earth’s closest solar neighbor, On Mars presents the players with the enormous task of running D.O.M.E., the Department of Operations and Mars Exploration. It is their duty to settle, then run the first colony on another planet, with all its unique challenges.

On Mars has two phases, the first starting in orbit to locate precious resources and plan the structures necessary for life, and the next to focus entirely on constructing the vision of Mars they’ve planned out. On Mars features similar mechanics to Everdell while significantly increasing the difficulty for those who considered it too easy.

9/10 A Feast For Odin Replicates The Lives Of Norse Settlers

The board and elements for A Feast For Odin

A Feast For Odin is another choice for gamers who liked the elements of Everdell‘s gameplay but wanted it to be more challenging. A Feast For Odin presents the players with high-stakes missions where the risks and rewards are equally immense.

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Gamers fight to gain territory, then reap the rewards from their island colonies, long halls, and ever-important main hall locations generating precious supplies and cargo. They must also balance their resource intake with their need to provide for the feast at the end of each round.

8/10 Lost Ruins of Arnak Comes From Another Angle

The board for Lost Ruins of Arnak, mid-play

If a player’s dissatisfaction with Everdell came from its comparatively lower difficulty, but they don’t want to get too far ahead of their skills, their best choice may be to explore the Lost Ruins of Arnak. This game combines the concept of card drafting and hand management with worker placement in that the latter is an effect invoked by certain cards.

Additionally, Lost Ruins of Arnak limits the players to a single action per turn, forcing them to carefully curate their strategies. The variety of cards in the game makes each setup unique from those that came before it, encouraging gamers to adapt on the fly.

7/10 Cottage Garden Calms Things Down

A possible board setup for the game Cottage Garden

If a player enjoyed Everdell for its theming and atmosphere but found it more complex and difficult than they wanted, they may enjoy Cottage Garden more. It still has the same focus on gorgeous design, emphasizing natural elements while also involving a far less nuanced strategy to play well.

Players plot out the arrangement of their garden beds through tile drafting and placement. As they work, the gardener’s laps around the market remind them how much time remains for their botanical efforts. Cottage Garden’s final round starts after the gardener completes her final circuit.

6/10 Kodama: The Tree Spirits Maintains A Sense Of Growth

Box art for the game Kodama: The Tree Spirits

Though its mechanical elements differ from Everdell‘s, Kodama: The Tree Spirits fosters a similar environment of fantastical wonder in a natural environment. This simple but enjoyable game has players choosing from a set of cards on the table to grow their trees.

The players’ scores are determined by the elements on and around their tree additions, such as mushrooms, stars, and different kinds of critters. Once a player reaches a high enough score, they get to place one of the eponymous Kodama among their branches to help keep track.

5/10 Morels Focuses On Card Management

A still from the publisher's tutorials on playing Morels

If a player enjoyed the card-based elements of Everdell and wanted to focus on them, Morels might be the perfect alternative. Morels is a card game with open drafting focused on foraging, cooking, and selling different mushrooms.

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The players collect from the day deck, comprising fungi, cooking accouterment, and moons. The moons allow them to draw from the night deck, which contains eight special mushroom cards. Each of Morels‘ card has separate scores for selling and cooking, but cooking complete sets of mushrooms together increases their value.

4/10 Lords Of Waterdeep Is Similar, Yet Different

An in-progress game of Lords of Waterdeep DnD board game

Gamers who enjoyed Everdell but found it lacking something they can’t quite put their finger on can pursue games that share some similarities but have refreshing differences. One such option is Lords of Waterdeep, a worker-placement title with a fantasy theme.

Based in the canon world of Dungeons & Dragons,Lords of Waterdeep creates a distinct atmosphere and brings in new mechanics, such as hidden roles. Each player inhabits the role of one of the Lords struggling for power in the city of Waterdeep through quests, constructing buildings, and plans for political intrigue.

3/10 Ex Libris Keeps Fantasy And Open Drafting

A cropped image of the box for Ex Libris

Another somewhat similar game that players can try if they’re unsure what their qualms with Everdell may have been is Ex Libris. The game takes place in a gnomish village where several collectors are vying for the title of Grand Librarian. Soon the Mayor will send the Official Inspector to decide who’s worthy of the prestigious and well-paid position.

In Ex Libris, players have one week before their inspection to expand, organize, and properly shelve their collections and impress the Mayor’s Inspector. However, when drafting new books from the deck, they must take care to avoid any books the Village Council has banned.

2/10 Stardew Valley: The Board Game Has Comparable Variety

A promotional image of art and components for Stardew Valley: The Board Game.

Everdell is often lauded for the variety of tasks and projects players can accomplish on their roads to victory. If gamers enjoyed that element but were unconvinced by the game as a whole, they can try Stardew Valley: The Board Game.

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This long-anticipated tabletop version of the beloved farming simulator has equally diverse options for turn usage as Everdell. However, instead of competing, Stardew Valley: The Board Game tasks players to work cooperatively to grow their farm and complete the Community Center before the end of their first year in the valley.

1/10 Spirit Island Is Ideal For Solo Play

An in-progress round of Spirit Island board game.

While many fans enjoy Everdell‘s solo-play option, it may not be the perfect choice for every solitary gamer. Spirit Island, although it can also be a multiplayer game, is currently one of the most highly recommended games for solo play.

True to its name, Spirit Island has players embody the spirits of the island, preparing to protect its sacred elements and resources from the looming threat of incoming invaders. They then use the spirits’ abilities to combat the invaders after they arrive, forcing them to retreat and give up the territory they’ve begun to settle on.

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