Wonder Book: the board game that will amaze your children

Once an idyllic paradise, the fate of the kingdom of Oniria now hangs in the balance. Save it by borrowing the Book of Wonders, the only existing portal to get there. It is the epic of Book of Wondersour board game of the week.

Ken, Lara, Tina and Sid, four preteens, find themselves projected into a parallel world, the kingdom of Oniria. The latter is in danger. The dragon of darkness, king of the lower world, has banished his brother, the dragon of light, king of the upper world. What will happen to its inhabitants if the balance is not restored? Of course, you are the only one who can save the kingdom from chaos.

Source: dv Games

Book of Wonders is a cooperative game in which each player embodies one of these children, through an adventure in six chapters. Each character has its own miniature (in chibi et kawaii) and specific skills (the hitter, the healer, etc.). Each chapter is represented by a deck of about forty cards. But the main element of the game is a book.

The first chapter, which serves as an introduction to the universe, to the scenario, but above all to the rules, is played on the back cover of the book, like a game board, we read the cards one after the other. Some tell the story, others explain where to place the different elements on the board, etc. Until you come up with an objective card, which details what players need to do to progress.

Book of Wonders
Source: dv Games

In turn, they have three actions: move, use an ability, attack a monster, interact with a card, etc. Then it is the turn of the enemies, of the bad guys Wyrm, to act. Beasts and villains, they are content to approach the heroes to hit them. The number of appearances again Wyrm and the actions they have is defined by a deck of cards.

The towers follow one another like this, the heroes act, then the enemies. If you reach a goal, read the rest of the adventure. Sometimes choices are offered (occasionally the moral: do we want to help the dragon out of sheer goodness or benefit from it?), Which lead to different branches of the plot. When a hero loses his last life points, he recovers them all, but we return an hourglass token. The game ends with victory if the last objective is reached, or with defeat if there are no more hourglasses left.

Book of Wonders
Source: dv Games

But it is the second chapter that really marks the beginning of the game and introduces its great originality Book of Wonders : his pop-up book. In fact, from now on, the games take place inside the book, which reveals a large tree in relief when you open it. We also see elements that we can extract, open, but all of this can only be manipulated when the scenario asks us to.

The parts also follow one another, following the story through the six chapters. If we lose we start over, if we win we move on to the next one.

Why play Book of Wonders ?

The pop-up book is obviously the center of attention, and it’s very successful indeed. The tree in the second chapter is already impressive, but far from the effect Oh! when we face the sixth (which we do not reveal to you in a photo so as not to spoil the surprise). It is the work of an Italian specialist of the genre, and it shows. The rest of the material need not be ashamed, especially the very cute figurines. Although, let’s face it, their base is too wide to accommodate several on the squares of the board (wooden cubes would have been more practical, but obviously less attractive).

But what about the mechanics, the story? Depends.

Book of Wonders
Source: dv Games

It depends … who you’re playing with. Mechanically, the game is very simple, very family friendly. It is never necessary to go back to the rules, everything is clear, limpid and the games flow. The scenario, very childish, however, could leave you hungry. We can’t recommend it if you’re only going to play it with adults. On the other hand, with children (between 8 and 12 years old) they will be amazed. Everything is made for hanging: heroes of their time, beautiful material, a story to follow and, of course, the pages of the book in relief.

Book of Wonders
Source: dv Games

However, the pop-up adds a significant impact on the price of the game, which rises to 60 euros (like all books in the genre, much more expensive than a classic book). Once you have reached the end of the six chapters, you can restart the game, making other choices, leading to a different conclusion. But the element of surprise has passed. It’s up to you to see if it’s worth playing with your kids. In our opinion, yes, of course, if the budget allows.

Book of Wonders it is therefore a very nice, original, family game with action, a story to follow, many possibilities and great material. If we have reservations about playing with it among adults, due to its too simplistic scenario, it is instead a nice gift idea to play with your family with your children.

  • Book of Wondersis a game by Martino Chiacchiera and Michele Piccolini
  • Illustrated by Miguel Coimbra
  • Published by dV Games
  • From 1 to 4 players from 10 years old
  • For games of about 90 minutes
  • Priced at € 62.95 at Philibert

The verdict

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