Kodama- The Tree Spirits Game Review

Kodama- The Tree Spirits

Kodama: The Tree Spirits is an adorably illustrated card placement game where you work to keep the forest healthy for the tree spirits. Kodoma, from Indie Boards & Cards, is designed by Daniel Solis and illustrated by Kwanchai Moriya. The game is rated for 2-5 players, aged 14+ and plays in about 30 minutes. The Kodama line now includes Kodama Duo, Kodama 3D, Kokoro: Avenue of the Kodama and Kodama Forest. This review is for the original game, Kodama: The Tree Spirits.

Kodama tree cards laid our with objective cards in bottom right

Ease of Set Up and Play

One of my biggest questions when opening a new game is how quickly I can start playing once I get it out of the box. Kodama: The Tree Spirits makes it easy with just a few pieces to pop out of the cardboard. After a shuffle of the cards you are ready to go! 

In this game, you work to nurture your tree over three seasons with a mix of caterpillars, clouds, fireflies, mushrooms, and stars in order to care for your Kodama. It is best to ensure you have a bigger table space, as your trees will grow! You score points by placing different branch cards with features off of your trunk card and using seasonal Decree Cards and your Kodama Cards for additional bonuses. For example, I was granted a special bonus for stars, where the second player was seeking mushrooms.

Replayability

With the variety of Branch, Kodama and Decree Cards, you may never play the exact game twice. I love a game for my family where the base idea of the game stays the same but it will provide multiple outcomes. Given that this game was released in 2016 and still is regularly played, Kodama: The Tree Spirits will stand the test of time for Family Game Night!

Artwork

Kodama: The Tree Spirits is beautifully illustrated. The Trunk and Branch Cards have some wonderful details and each of the Kodama characters show great personality. The art is absolutely delightful in this game of the tree spirits! It is wonderful that the Komada are done in such detail, because the game is really about them after all!

Enjoyment Level

My household has really enjoyed our time with Kodama: The Tree Spirits. It is a relaxing game of card placement and the nature tie in is beautifully done. Given the number of objectives and avenues to gain points, I have played this game many times and have yet to tire of it! As long as you have a big table (and don’t let the cat walk over the cards!) I expect that you will also enjoy Kodama: The Tree Spirits.

“I believe that TTRPG players who enjoy building worlds will also enjoy Kodama: The Tree Spirits. Each playthrough will be a little different as you work to make your own kodama happy in their environment and look to add points with a variety of strategies.”

Overall

I had a wonderful time getting to play Kodama: The Tree Spirits and I hope to play it again soon. This is a wonderful game for family game nights and an excellent game to allow for several generations of players at the table. The rating is for 14+ but I don’t see why younger children couldn’t enjoy this, possibly with some help. I personally love that the game designer and artist are credited on the box. I wish more games would commemorate their creators in this way. 

I believe that TTRPG players who enjoy building worlds will also enjoy Kodama: The Tree Spirits. Each playthrough will be a little different as you work to make your own Kodama happy in their environment and look to add points with a variety of strategies. This is going to make a great game for the times when we cannot all be together as a TTRPG party or play our campaigns. I am happy to have Kodama: The Tree Spirits join my game cabinet!

Kodama Tree with Winner Social Media Card

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