With many of our thrift store finds I’ve been known to just buy them because I liked the dice. Truth be told, I love cool looking game components. Not just dice, it could be fancy marbles, high-quality player tokens or even historically-accurate paper money. I guess my hope is that if a company puts that much effort into their quality, the level of game play will be just as high.
Yes…I’ve been burnt a couple times…
Fortunately that’s not the case with this week’s Thrift Treasure. We found this copy of Enchanted Forest by Ravensburger at a Chicago-based Savers this past Autumn for under $4. At over 30 years old, we were happy to discover all of the pieces were still in the box, right down to the slightly-faded instructions. But what caught my eye was the thirteen plastic trees, each with a different symbol on the bottom. I knew right then I must have it.
The premise of Enchanted Forest is there is a soon-to-be-retiring king who had no heirs to inherit his throne. In order to determine who would rule after him, he decided to award the honor to whomever could procure the most treasure and bring it to the castle. These treasures were hidden long ago (under the trees!) and would serve as the deciding factor in who would succeed the king.
At the beginning of the game, the 13 trees are randomly placed on the board and a card is drawn from the deck, signifying the current treasure everyone is seeking. Up to six players choose one of the men (colored pawns) and places them over one of the houses in the village. Taking turns clockwise, each player rolls both six-sided dice and moves their pawn accordingly. They may move forward or backwards, each move totaling the die results. For example, if a five and a three are thrown, you may move forward eight spaces, forward five and back three, forward three and back five or even back eight spots.
If you land on another person’s piece, you send them all the way back to the village. Land on one of the blue spaces and you may lift the tree to discover the treasure hidden underneath. Once you discover the correct treasure, you want to make your way towards the castle to report its location. You must precisely land on the “key” spot, using both (or only one) dice. If you cannot do so, you must move past the castle and attempt again on your next turn.
Once you land on the “key”, you may announce your findings. Check the tree you are reporting to verify the treasure matches the card. If it does, collect the card as your reward and put the tree back in its place. If you do not match, do not reveal the treasure under the tree, put the tree back and return your pawn to the village.
Any time you roll doubles you may elect to use magic instead of moving your pawn. You have a number of choices – you can move your piece to any unoccupied blue space and look under the tree, you can move towards the castle, to the first space beyond the stone bridge (or to the key, if you’re already beyond the bridge), or shuffle the legend cards and draw a new treasure (retiring the current one to the deck).
The first person to collect three treasure cards is declared the winner and rules the kingdom! As you might have already figured out, Enchanted Forest is more than just a race to find the matching treasure. It is a memory game that requires you to recall what treasure is hidden where, so you are ready to report its location as soon as the matching card is drawn.
Even though our copy is over 30 years old, you can still find newer versions of Enchanted Forest for sale on Amazon for around $25 shipped! Of course, you can wait to find a cheaper copy at thrift…let’s just hope you don’t have to wait 30 years!