Family Review: Rainforest City Boardgame By Origame

Family Review: Rainforest City Boardgame By Origame
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Want to nurture a love for the environment and a better appreciation for biodiversity in your child?

Origame’s latest boardgame – Rainforest City will be the go-to game as it is all about recreating the natural landscape in Singapore.

Did you know that Singapore used to be covered in forests and mangroves? Since then 97% of that have been removed for development and logging. Over the last 150 years, Singapore’s primary forest has been reduced to less than 0.2% of the original size and resulted in extinctions of native flora and fauna.

Origame’s latest boardgame – Rainforest City

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In Rainforest City, players will recreate the landscape – rainforests, mangroves, ocean terrain and piece them together to allow flora and faunt to repopulate the landscape thereby restoring food chains.

The game is designed in collaboration with Forest School Singapore as well as Animals & Us Academy.

How to play Rainforest City by Origame

How to play Rainforest City by Origame

The objective is simple, to expand your landscapes so they can have more flora and fauna!

First setup the game. Since there are quite a lot of elements to arrange, get your little one to help.

The fruit dial is in the middle of the playing area, shuffle the Flora and Fauna cards as well as Terrain cards and place them in neat deck. The playing area should ideally be a bigger space such as a large table so there’s sufficient space for players to expand their terrain.

Check the manual for more detailed setup instructions.

This video provides clear instructions on playing the game.

Each player should have a fruit marker, 1 player aid card and 2 starting terrain cards. Terrain cards should be flipped face-up and places side by side  to form a starting area.

A turn goes like this. There are 12 turns and players take turns to choose Terrain or Flora/Fauna cards to place into their landscape.

  1. Starting player rotates fruit dial to the direction of choice of cards. Player takes both cards where the fruit is pointing towards and the other players take one card each where their fruit arrow is pointing to.
  2. Place the cards and add them to the existing terrain. Ideally, you should expand each type of habitat and connect them. You can rotate the terrain cards as you wish. Add on the tokens if any.
  3. For Flora and Fauna cards, you may use them to place the formation shown on the card. The tokens placed should match the terrain.
  4. First player then hands the globe tokens to the next player, and repeats the steps 1 to 3. When the globe tokens get handed back to the first player, that is the end of round 1. The first player then flips the globe to 2 and so on everytime the globe comes back to the player.
  5. If Flora and Fauna cards are used, they will be discarded. Tokens cannot be stacked, new ones will go on to the terrain while old ones go to the compost heap. The compost heap also means the points deducted from the player’s points at the end of the game.
  6. Otters can be placed on any terrain square.

Point System for Rainforest City

Point System for Rainforest City

Do remember that fauna has to be paired with flora in order to survive.

For instance, termites need 2 trees in the same habitat. And dolphins need three corals in the habitat.

Otters are special, and will need a combination of three flora tokens in the habitats surrounding it to survive.

Gain extra points with houses! Do note that houses should not have Flora and Fauna tokens next to it.

The tokens at the Compost Heap means deduction of points, each worth -1.

The player with the most points win!

Our Experience Playing Rainforest City

While the learning curve is a little steep given the variety of cards, it was rewarding as they were good lessons in planning the terrain and also knowing where and how to expand the landscape. This was a good way to hone strategy skills.

Rainforest City was also very effective in reminding the younger ones why destroying habitats lead to a devastating impact on wildlife. Apart from bonding with family, it was good fun putting the lessons into action.

For those who prefer not competing, you can play in the co-operative variant. Player can work together and use the Objective cards. We have not tried this variant but fully welcome a game that would not pit one against the other!

The game is suitable for children 8 and above and will take approximately 30-40 minutes to complete.

A Sustainable Future starts with Us

Games are a great way to impart lifelong lessons and Rainforest City is one of them. Get your copy from Origame here.

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