Shadows in the Forest
Overall Rating: 9/10
GLAM Age Range: 5-14
Number of Players: 2-7
Playing Time: 10-20 min
Available At: Amazon.com
Quick Take: A game you literally have to play in the dark? And it's basically hide and seek in the woods? Every child is instantly enthralled with this game concept. My 7 year old couldn't stop bouncing up and down in excitement the first few times we played. The game itself is fantastic, a good amount of strategy meets hide and seek. The board is pretty to look at and the little hiding guys called shadowlings are beyond adorable. However, unless you have a closet to play in or a blanket fort you're willing to create in order to play this game, it doesn't work as well as it should. Unless you're playing in pitch darkness you can see the shadowlings even without the little lamp. That said, if you can create a properly dark playing environment the game is a blast. Simple concept, varying difficulty levels of play, and a reasonable amount of strategy. The "cool" factor is there in spades.
How to Play: Your goal is to either play as the lantern and catch all the shadowlings, or if you're on the shadowling team your goal is to get all the shadowlings to the same spot on the board without being caught by the lantern. Essentially, it's freeze tag but in a board game. In the dark. The game starts with all the shadowlings being placed on the board while the lantern player closes their eyes. Each turn the lantern player rolls the glow in the dark die and can move in one direction the number of spots on the die. After the lantern player moves, they must close their eyes and the shadowling team can move their guys wherever they like - as long as they stay in the dark! Any move that requires a shadowling move across a spot where the lantern light is shining is not allowed. If on a turn the light from the lantern touches a shadowling, they have been tagged and must remove their little white mask and stay in the same spot until another shadowling comes over and frees them. Game length can vary quite a bit depending on how many shadowlings you play with. Whenever we play with three shadowlings it's quite easy for them to win and the games are fast. Games with all six shadowlings take quite a bit longer and are much more difficult for the shadowlings to win.
Variations: You can easily change the difficulty of the game by adjusting the number of shadowlings you play with, the minimum is 3 and the maximum is 6.