The River – Board Game Review

It’s the end of the month, which means I always bring you another amazing board game that we’ve tried and tested as part of the Asmodee Blogger Board Game Club. This month, I bring you The River. A family strategy and exploration game, that’s easy to learn and great for a quick game session.

The River

A new world opens before you with untouched land as far as the eye can see. Your boat glides up the river and you examine the banks, appreciating the beauty of your new home. Expand your territory, cultivate your land and exploit your resources to construct the buildings that will make your settlement the most impressive in the region. But keep an eye on your opponents! If you aren’t careful they’ll claim the richest land before you even have a chance to set foot on the bank!

This game is fast-paced and once you’ve got a grip on the rules, it’s so simple to play. We found this game quiet, as we were all sat in concentration, planning our future moves. It’s an ideal game for a quiet night in, when you just don’t fancy a complicated long game.


The initial set up took a little effort learning. But the instruction booklet is very clear, with super simple to follow illustrations. The second (and third) time that we played, set up only took a couple of minutes and we were playing straight away with no fuss.

We played The River on our coffee table, which gave us plenty of space. This is a relatively large game with quite a lot of pieces, but it doesn’t take lots of room to play and the game isn’t overwhelming.

The game consists of a double-sided main game board and each player (2-4 players) have their own board game which is used to keep track of points, resources and terrain tiles. Players each get a cardboard boat piece, to keep their meeples (game ‘people’) on. A lovely little visual touch, which I adored.

The boards, tiles and tokens are made from strong and beautifully decorated cardboard. The Meeples and resources are painted wood. I’ll be honest, I am a little bit obsessed with Meeples, and I love finding new ones. The wooden turkeys (Meekeys? Turples? Ha!) are adorable.

Game Play

Game play is very quick, lasting only 30-45 minutes. A round is super fast, where players work around the table in turn placing meeples onto actions (worker-placement). They can be placed to get resources (collected and used to purchase buildings), placed for taking terrain tiles or creating buildings (these are the main actions). A round is complete when all players have placed all of their meeples and done actions. The main board is then reset and a new round is then started. The game ends when a player has filled all token spaces or collected enough terrain tiles and are placed in the correct places on their personal boards.

And that’s it! Super simple, super fast and super fun!

The River is suitable for 2-4 players, aged 8+.

Final Thoughts

I love it when we discover a new game that’s so quick and easy to play. The River is beautifully illustrated too, making it a joy to play with and study the pieces during play.

This isn’t a game that will have you in fits of laughter or working together as a team. It’s a very quiet game, as each player will be deep in thought, planning actions ahead or working hard to gather their resources or terrain tiles. It’s a lovely relaxing game, that will be much loved in our home.

Due the size of the game’s box, this isn’t a game that you would be able to travel with. But, it’s a lovely addition for any home’s board game collection.

Where to buy

The River is available from most board game shops and Amazon online. Do shop around for the best prices. The River has an RRP of £36.99

*A copy of The River was sent to me in exchange for this post, as part of the Asmodee Blogger Board Game Club. All opinions are my own.



Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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