Do you have the soul of a wolf and want to protect nature and your pack? 


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WolfWalkers: The Board Game (2020)

Grzegorz Przytarski, Maciej Rogalewicz

Artist(s) Cartoon Saloon, MarĂ­a Pareja Publisher

Value Add Games

2-4 6+ 10-30m

WolfWalkers: The Board Game is based on the animated film of the same name. WolfWalkers is a story of a tribe of people called WolfWalkers who are "humans" when they are awake, but once they go to sleep, their soul is released in the form of a wolf. I won't spoil the film, but essentially, an English girl befriends a member of this tribe. The two will end up in a tough situation that tests their friendship and the safety of those they love. The story can be viewed as a lesson telling the audience about the importance of preserving nature, much like Dr. Seuss's Lorax. It truly is a touching movie, and the only bad part is it is locked behind Apple TV+ service, but it is worth signing up for the 7-day trial to watch it. 

The board game follows a similar style story where the main characters have a mission to find a wolf's soul before the soldiers find their wolf lair. Players will take turns rolling the die, move around the board, and revealing tiles that will hopefully provide part of the soul they are looking for. The game is very straight forward and have a similar feeling mechanic to traditional children's board games while also mixing in modern board game elements. Let's take a look at what the game has to offer. 

Box and Components WolfWalkers BG 02

The box has the beautiful artwork from the film and provides plenty of details on the box to provide potential buyers a good idea of what the game is. The box is exactly the same size are the standard Carcassonne box. The insert is a standard cardboard insert, but it has artwork of the wolves and the main characters. 

The game components include:

  • One Gameboard: The game board is broken into multiple areas ranging from a city on one side of the board and the wolf lair on the opposite side. In between are forest spaces. There are paths around spaces where tiles will be placed during setup. Players will move along the path while trying to find the Wolf Soul they are looking for. 
  • 60 Tiles: These tiles are basically events that will happen throughout the game. Some are good and some are bad. 
  • 35 Rune Tokens: These act as the currency of the game. 
  • 4 WolfWalker Character Tile and Standee: These are given as a set to each player to represent their character on the game board and a marker in front of themselves as reminder for who they are. 
  • 1 WolfWalker Tile: This tile shows 3 special abilities that will be used in one of the modes in the game in exchange for Rune Tokens. 
  • 2 Wooden Soldier: These wooden pawns are moved around the board to hinder player movement and are trying to find the Wolf Lair causing the players to lose. 
  • 1 Wooden 6-Sided Die: There are unique symbols on each side of this die that either has the player moving or performing a special action on their turn. 
  • Rulebook (8 pages)

All of the components have a very good feel and great artwork; they opted for better quality cardboard and wooden pieces. I have nothing but good things to say about how the overall product turned out.  

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There are four modes in this game. Three of the modes are co-operative and the fourth is competitive. I will cover the basics of the game following the "Getting to Know the Woods" co-op mode. This should provide most of the information about how the game is played. I will touch on the other modes and briefly discuss the changes they introduce into the game. 

Setup WolfWalkers BG 09

For the first mode, you will remove the 18 tiles marked with a runic symbol in the upper right as well as putting aside the Special Ability Tile. 

  • Setup the gameboard and place the die and rune tokens nearby. 
  • Divide up the remaining tiles based on their color. Shuffle the like color tiles together and place them on their corresponding spaces. Grey tiles within the city and the rest in the 9 remaining spaces. Ensure there are an even number of tiles on each space. 
  • Each player should select a character and take their WolfWalker Tile and character standee. 
  • All players standees should be placed on the lair space at the bottom of the board. 
  • Place the two Soldier figures in the city in the upper/center rune spaces. 

The player who was last in a forest is the first player. 


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Player Turn

 Player turns are pretty straight forward and follow this sequence:

  1. Roll the dice and then move (if possible)
    • Depending on the face of the die, players will move to one of four symbols on the board. They will pick a direction to move and must stop on the first of that symbol they come across.  
      • Player can pass over other player spaces ignoring the symbol on those spaces
      • If you pass by the lair, you must stop there as it has all symbols on it
      • Cannot pass soldiers
      • It is possible for a player to be unable to move if blocked in by soldier; in this case, their turn is skipped. 
    • There are two symbols on the dice that do not correspond to a spot on the board. They may be either re-rolled or used for their ability.
      • A symbol with a circle with line coming out of it allows that player to purchase any reveal tile on the board. 
      • A symbol that looks like a sun/star allows that player to reveal any facedown tile on the board. Perform the action of the revealed tile if any; that player may not buy the reveal tile on this turn. 
  2. Take Runes as you pass by them
    • Players don't stop on Runes, but they do collect Rune Tokens as they move pass a rune space. 
  3. Reveal Tile(s) connected to the space you have moved to
    • Each tile space has multiple paths that lead into it from the path the players are on. If there is a direct connection between a tile and where a player is currently standing, the top tile is flipped faceup if not already. 
    • Move Soldiers if the reveal tile(s) are soldier movement tiles
      • These tiles will have a soldier shown on them and an arrow that matches an arrow on the game board. Players will select a soldier that can perform that movement and will proceed with the movement. There rules for soldier movement are:
        • They move Rune to Rune (skipping over all spaces in between)
        • May pass by player standees
        • Soldiers cannot share spaces together nor move pass each other
        • A Soldier must move if either have a valid movement option
    • Discard Peaceful Forest Tiles
      • Some tiles only have the players characters on them; these represent good fortunes for the players and nothing happens. These tiles are returned to the game box. 
    • Purchase One Connected Face-Up Tile
      • Tiles with a rune cost in the upper left may be purchased with Rune Tokens. Some may trigger an immediate effect such as taking an additional turn or are stored such as souls. 

Once a player has finished the above steps, the next player begins their turn.  

End Game

The players win the game if they are able to complete a matching wolf soul (all 3 unique parts) and return to the Wolf Lair before the soldier reach it. If they soldier beat the players there, the game is over, and the players have lost. 

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There are a total of four modes in this game:

  • 1. Getting to Know the Woods
    • This has already been outlined above, but this is essentially a tutorial mode for the game. It provides the basics of the game that you can continue to enjoy or you can move into one of the other modes. In this mode, all tiles purchased are placed in the shared tile pool; once a single soul is completed, the game can be completed by a single player reaching the Wolf Lair. 
  • 2. The Soldiers are Getting Closer and Closer
    • In this mode, you will include additional tiles that will introduce new tiles for the soldiers that will allow for more rapid soldier movement and a tile that allows players to trade souls' tiles. In this mode, the completed soul must end up in the hands of a single player rather than a part of the shared player tiles. Getting back to the Wolf Lair with the completed soul in one player's hands is how the players win. 
  • 3. The WolfWalkers Learn New Skills
    • This mode will use all of the tiles as well as the WolfWalker Special Abilities tile that is the same shape/size as the character tiles with three listed abilities. This will introduce new tiles that provide players new senses to look at hidden tiles and manipulate the stacks, but there is also a tile that will steal all of the players rune token (only one of these tiles though). The win condition is the same as Mode 2. 
  • 4. Healthy Competition (Competitive Mode)
    • This is a competitive mode where players are racing to be the first to complete a wolf soul and return to the Wolf Lair. In this mode, purchases tiles can be stored for later use (5 tiles per player limited). Soldiers reaching the lair is not an end game condition in this mode; they simple block player paths. The game only ends when one player completed a Wolf Soul and returns to the Wolf Lairs. Some tiles work slightly different since this mode is competitive, but they are pretty straight forward changes. 

These modes add some neat tweaks to the game that can keep the game fun even after multiple playthroughs.  

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Final Thoughts

I love touching animated films and WolfWalkers was no exception. The game really does a good job capturing the bit of the chase the movie had while keeping the game fun. It is probably a lighter game than most people would prefer, but I think people who have children will love this. Those who watched the movie will also really enjoy the game as it has the same beautiful artwork. The overall quality of the game is also very good and should hold up pretty well after many plays. Again, the game captures the beauty of the film in the game components, the rules, the game box, and even the insert within the box. 

Beyond the board game, they have even released a card game for two players, puzzles, an artwork, and a graphic novel. So, fans of WolfWalkers don't have to let the single film be all they get of this wonderful story/setting. If this board game seems like something you would enjoy, be sure to check out one of the links below to pick up a copy for yourself. 

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WolfWalkers: The Board Game Board Game Geek Page

Publisher Product Page

WolfWalkers: The Board Game Amazon Affiliate Link


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