Small World is a much loved and well-reviewed game already, so this review will mostly be focused on the World of Warcraft version of the game.
Released in March of 2009, Small World has become fairly popular and a highly rated game in the board game community. It is a game of worker placement, territory control, and faction choosing. Its premise is quite simple: place armies to take over the most spaces, then count up the points players earn based on the number of places they occupy and other bonuses. The game ends after ten rounds and the player with the most points wins. It sounds very simple, and it really is in straight for gameplay, but the special powers of each faction and bonus power add huge amounts of depth and replayability.
We know that the original game is really good, so what makes the Small World of Warcraft game unique? The biggest difference is the surprising amount of details and changes to the game to fit the Warcraft theme. Obviously, all the art is really great and shows off a wide variety of the World of Warcraft characters, creatures, locations, and items unique to this particular game universe. But this isn’t a re-skin of Small World. The factions and bonuses are all particularly curated to fit the many races and their style. The locations and magical items are also very unique in their power and look to the World of Warcraft. The various races/factions also have different alignments with the Horde, Alliance, or neutral. Also, there are new game modes and the inclusion of several different maps of various sizes and patterns to keep the game fresh and unique every time it is played.
I think a lot of these new factions and race bonuses are really great and improve on the already good gameplay. Some of them are a little too complex for their own good, but it doesn’t detract from their usage and overall value. The new game modes are pretty interesting, even if they are only slight variations to the existing game. I don’t think they improve or are better than the original gameplay, but they are something fun to try out with other experienced players.
For owners of Small World, this version still might be worth getting just because there are tons of new artifacts, faction bonuses, and new maps. And for fans of Warcraft, this is a really fun game and worth it for the brand and entertainment value of the game itself. And for board game enthusiasts in general, this will be just as good if not better than any current versions of Small World because of the really great art and various new boards.