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Forever Home – adopt a dog!

Forever Home
Designer: Lottie Hazell, Jack Hazell
Players: 1-5
Age: 8+
Playing Time: 20-45min.
Publisher: Birdwood Games (2023)
BGG: 7.8/10 (29 rattings)

Forever Home is another game by Lottie and Jack Hazell, the duo behind Dog Park. Dog Park was their debut and – in my humble opinion – it was quite successful. This time, however, we won’t be taking dogs for a walk. We’ll be rescuing dogs to the shelter and than training them to find their new, dream home as quickly as possible.


Setup: The table is set up for a 3-player game. We just need to do the initial draft of dogs (each player starts with two dogs in the shelter) using a method similar to what you’d find in „Sagrada” and we can start.

Pattern Building & Set Collection

On your turn, you get to perform two out of three actions (and you can do two of the same action if you like):

  • Take an available dog and place it in your shelter.
  • Take a training card and add it to your hand (with a hand limit of 5).
  • Move a dog in your shelter one space horizontally, vertically or diagonally.

At any point during your turn, if you achieve the pattern shown on a card, you can play it and perform the effect, which involves placing a certain number of dogs from that pattern in the houses you’ve chosen. There are four different types of houses and each scores slightly differently at the end of the game based on the dogs placed in them.

Cards on the top – you’ll find descriptions of scoring in the four types of houses (City, Suburbs, Countryside and Foster Home). Below – there’s a board with dogs that will inform you which advantages in houses and shelters will be scored at the end of the game. At the very bottom, you’ll find training cards and pet tokens..

In addition to all this, you’ll also be competing for majorities – whoever has the most dogs of a certain color, whether in shelters or houses, will earn 1 to 3 points. It’s not a lot, but it can sometimes tip the balance in your favor.

However, the most crucial aspect of the game is forming patterns with the dogs in your shelter, as this allows you to play training cards (which themselves provide points) and place dogs in houses (which ultimately earn you even more points).

Shelter and training cards.I just played the card with a Dalmatian (the upper-right card) because I meet the pattern shown on it (and I can even do it twice – two purple or two pink dogs. Of course, I can only fulfill one pattern). Now, I can place one dog from the pattern I formed in a house of my choice.

A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush

The game is light and fast, very fast, in fact. There’s not much time to dawdle (though decisions aren’t always obvious). However, it’s more enjoyable with two players than with four, as you’ll have less downtime and the state of the board changes less between your turns. The game ends when someone plays their seventh card, which happens much earlier than you might expect. I get the impression that the game is almost too fast, but of course, the awareness of time pressure should also influence your decisions. You might want to keep playing, but sometimes, you have to go for the sure thing rather than wait for a better opportunity, as you often won’t be able to achieve more long-term goals.

Pattern building isn’t particularly innovative. It heavily depends on the luck of the draw from the bag (or deck) onto the table. The shelter, the player board, has two sides – the basic side and the advanced side, although the advanced side isn’t all that advanced. It simply has a few spaces that trigger an effect when you place a dog on them. It allows for a bit more strategy, but it’s not groundbreaking.

Basic shelter version – all spaces are the same

Advanced shelter version – some spaces have effects – moving a chosen dog, exchanging a dog or exchanging a training card

Good Gateway

BGG rates the weight of Forever Home at 2.0, while Dog Park had a complexity rating of 2.16. This was somewhat surprising to me because, in my opinion, Dog Park was a more demanding game, more than just a sixteenth of a point on a 1-5 scale. However, Forever Home is perfect as a gateway game for new players, especially those who love dogs. Everything is simple and enjoyable and ties are resolved in a family-friendly way (i.e., all tied players receive the same number of points as if they were winners). For more experienced gamers, though, this title may be too simple and could become boring relatively quickly.



Dziękujemy firmie Birdwood Games za przekazanie gry do recenzji.


Złożoność gry (3/10):

Oprawa wizualna (8/10):

Ogólna ocena (7/10):

Co znaczy ta ocena według Games Fanatic?
Dobry, solidny produkt. Gra może nie wybitnie oryginalna, ale wciąż zapewnia satysfakcjonującą rozgrywkę. Na pewno warto ją przynajmniej wypróbować. Do ulubionych gier jednak nie będzie należała.

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