It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village


The other day I was playing a board game and thought to myself, “You know what would be fun? If I could kill off all my pawns and still win the game!” I kid, that didn’t happen. But you have to wonder exactly what does go through the minds of game designers when they are able to come up with a theme that has exactly this requirement – let your meeples die and receive bonus points for doing so.

But first, “meeple”? It’s a term we’ve picked up over the last year and is used in the hobby game community to denote the human-shaped pawns used to track movement or placement in a game. Believed to be a shortened version of “my people”, it has become a generic term used by board game players all over the world. Village by Tasty Minstrel Games requires you to take your meeples from birth to death, but The Game of Life this isn’t.

Who knew a game about killing off your pawns could be so much fun?! We're dying to play it Village again! - SahmReviews.comWinner of the Kennerspiel des Jahres in 2012 (Connoisseur’s Game of the Year and the most coveted award from the game industry), Village is both a worker-placement and resource-management game all rolled into one. With crafting, travelling, religion and politics. And death.

Who knew a game about killing off your pawns could be so much fun?! We're dying to play it Village again! - SahmReviews.comYour meeples always start in your farm and have numbers on them denoting their generation. Older generations die first (whew, no infant deaths!) and you get to play the Grim Reaper in deciding which person to kill. Like in life, we have only one real currency – time. In Village you ‘spend’ time making things, going to the seminary or even politicking and move your round token around your farm to mark the passage of time. Complete a full rotation and cross the bridge (nice metaphor) and it is time to bury a loved family member.

You’d think this would be a tragic event, but that’s the major theme of Village. In the first photo you’ll see a book, which is the village chronicle. Think of it like the town’s Hall of Fame. You receive bonus points at the end of the game for how many of your meeples make it into the book which is divided by profession. Each person in your family will follow a profession of crafting, travelling, politics, farming, etc. and each one has a limited number of available burial plots. The more spots your family possess, the more bonus points you will receive.

Who knew a game about killing off your pawns could be so much fun?! We're dying to play it Village again! -

In order to be able to perform your profession tasks, you must collect resources called “influence cubes” that represent skill, persuasiveness, faith and knowledge. There is also a black cube for plague. Yes, not only do your meeples die, they get sick too!

Who knew a game about killing off your pawns could be so much fun?! We're dying to play it Village again! - SahmReviews.comWho knew a game about killing off your pawns could be so much fun?! We're dying to play it Village again! -  Who knew a game about killing off your pawns could be so much fun?! We're dying to play it Village again! -
We’ve already played this game a half-dozen times at home and with our local board game group and have yet to find a strategy that wins every time. That’s the sign of a well-balanced game and one that we find ourselves wanting to get in “just one more time”! Each game will take right around 90 minutes and is designed for 2-4 players. We found the instructions complete, but resorted to watching a couple gameplay videos to really familiarize ourselves with all of the options.

There is also an expansion that adds an Inn and distillery to the profession choices (town drunk?) and expands the game to up to five players. Tasty Minstrel Games has also announced a second expansion that should be available this year that further enlarges your village to include a port! You have the option of boarding you own ship and travelling the seven seas. Hire captains, sell domestic goods, and pick up foreign commodities. Send family members as missionaries to far away islands and dig up treasure chests. In addition, this expansion includes life goal cards that let you pursue your very own career, such as becoming a writer, a historian or even a knight. We cannot wait for its US release!

You can find your copy of Village on Amazon for under $40, a bargain for a game with such a high level of replay-ability. Like what you see from Tasty Minstrel Games? Follow them on Facebook and Twitter to see what’s coming next!


About Scott

A former manufacturing executive, Scott now balances his family life with ownership and backend administration of websites such as, and a number of other online properties. He also is an occasional writer and full-time board game fanatic.

25 comments on «It Takes a Village»

  1. vickie couturier says:

    interesting game,,probably a bit too hard for my grandkids,,they are all under the age of 9

  2. Patty says:

    I can’t tell you how much I love the concept of this game. It’s fun yet teaches so many important skills. I agree that it’s a little dark but life can be a little dark.

  3. Mel says:

    This looks like a really interesting game. My whole family would love it.

  4. Mel says:

    And a great price too!

  5. Rebecca Swenor says:

    I have never heard of the game Village before but it sounds like a great family indeed. I will have to check it out. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Sounds like loads of fun. Definitely a game everyone would enjoy playing.

  7. Carlee C says:

    I love to commentary by the 2 gentlemen in the video. They were quite entertaining with a very good sense of humor.

  8. Daisy says:

    I have a little boy that would LOVE this. It looks like a lot of fun!

  9. Brandy M says:

    Maybe family loves games. This game looks like a really fun game. As my son gets older I will have to check this out as a fun family game night.

  10. Jenna Wood says:

    An expansion for a board game, now that’s my type of board game! At first I got a little lost in the breakdown, but it feels very much like the resource management applications I play. I could see my friends and I really digging into a night of this!

  11. Michele says:

    What a fun game!! I love family game night, its also one of my kids favorite memories.

  12. Interesting game – we love board games for family game night. Great bonding time 🙂

  13. Michele says:

    This certainly sounds like an intriguing game. I can see why it won that award–it definitely deserves it from the way you described it.

  14. laura gifford says:

    One of my favorite worker placement games!

  15. That certainly an interesting game. Our family enjoys playing games together so I think I’ll follow your link to see about getting one. Thanks!

  16. Debbie says:

    Rgat is a great game. Sounds like so much fun.

  17. That is certainly different! I would need a bigger table to play that game! It intrigues me, I’d love to play it some time.

  18. Eden Hansen says:

    I have heard a lot of great things about this game. I think I would really enjoy it.

  19. Eden Hansen says:

    This looks like. Great game.

  20. James says:

    Tasty Minstrel has fun games!

  21. David Gabriel Luchetti says:

    Love this game!

  22. Scott Payne says:

    The first thing I think about when I heard the word village is probably farm. They surround a village. This looks like a great game.

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