There are plenty of examples of board games gone digital or digital games coming to tabletop. For mechanics-driven video games like Dorfromantik (“Village Romance”), porting over to physical board games is a natural fit.
This idyllic city-builder puzzle game got its start in early access in 2021 on Steam before a full release in 2022. Alongside the full release, Dorfromantik also released in board game form. And finally, in 2023, Dorfromantik was awarded the Spiel des Jahres (a special tabletop award for family-friendly games) as Game of the Year.
But what even is Dorfromantik?
Both versions of the game, have the player (or players) work to fulfill the people’s wishes for population concentration, forest composition, fields, and even rivers and tracks. Creating expansive rivers and long tracks is an important piece of succeeding in Dorfromantik. Your tiles will only continue to unlock as long as you’re generating points. If your “Village Romance” stagnates in its point-generation, you’re not going to be able to proceed to unlock the next biome.
Another important piece of Dorfromantik’s mechanics is to keep “flags” in mind to optimize points. The flags demarcate “enclosed areas” that encourage players to keep closed with tile placement. In the board game version of Dorfromantik, you can replay the campaign and unlock new tiles from “secret” boxes.
It’s a hexagonal tile-placement game in both its forms, encouraging players to optimize their tiles in relation to the game’s current objectives as well as building out Dorfromantik’s biomes. In digital, Dorfromantik is a single-player experience. In board game form, you can play it alone or with up to six players.
Dorfromantik has a gentle learning curve but gets progressively more difficult depending on how players choose to optimize their tile placements in both versions of the game.
The video game plays best on handheld. So pick it up on either Nintendo Switch or Steam (if you have a Steam Deck). The board game’s recent Spiel des Jahres win will show up on the new board game versions starting this year, but will mostly be available in brick and mortar stores (as opposed to Amazon).
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