Meadow - the review: the wonders of nature

Meadow - the review: the wonders of nature

Meadow - the review

In Meadow, players will immerse themselves in a virtual journey into nature: along their path they will observe plants and animals and will be able to admire wonderful landscapes. The best observer will win the game, the one who has noted the most interesting life forms, has identified the best scenarios and collected the most original souvenirs.

The journey

The basic mechanics of the game is based on the journey into nature: the players, by choosing the path tokens, will be able to immerse themselves in the natural area at their disposal, represented by the main board, to gather information, observe animals, plants, land and landscapes. All these elements are represented by cards which, collected from the main board to enrich one's hand, can then be played to compose one's own Lawn Area and the Surrounding Area. Whenever you choose a path, it will no longer be available to other players for the rest of the round, although, as happens in reality, sometimes different paths can lead to the same place.

The personal areas of each player are those where the cards will be played: the Prato Area is where a real small ecosystem is built. You start by playing land-type cards, on which other elements, such as animals and plants, can then be placed. Each card has a series of needs, linked to the characteristics of the plant or the animal itself: it is not possible to insert an element without the ecosystem being able to support it, and therefore we cannot play, for example, cards that represent birds, if there are no insects or trees. The prerequisite mechanism is very simple and is based on about twenty symbols that characterize each card. The second personal area is the Surrounding Area, where instead cards representing landscapes or discoveries will be played (particular views, such as a well or a bridge, or simple curious objects, such as a lead soldier or colored feathers).

In addition to the standard exploration actions, players can also perform special actions, sitting around the explorers' bonfire: this not only allows them to access a series of alternative actions, but also to claim the discovery records, represented by specific objectives.

The game has a fixed duration and at the end of the defined rounds the player who, in his two areas, has the highest number of victory points reported on the played cards is proclaimed the winner.


The game shows great attention to the naturalistic aspect: not only does the regulation represent an interesting simulation of the basic principles of an ecosystem, with erizations and specific dependencies, but we also find an additional manual in the box, entitled Map Index, which provides extra information. If normally from an index of this type we expect an explanation, paper by paper, of the specific rules, here we are instead faced with a real booklet of zoology and botany: for each element the common name, the scientific name and some curiosities absolutely irrelevant to the end of the game, but very interesting for those who are curious to learn something new about plants and animals. As in Wingspan, with the information about the scientific name and area of ​​origin, the game thus becomes a vehicle for dissemination.

Game depth

The mechanics of the game are quite simple, although a bit complex to explain in writing: the result is a medium-length manual and, fortunately, full of examples and illustrations that help unravel any doubts; any player who has played even just one game, is able to explain, components in hand, the game in a few minutes.

The variety of actions, the large amount of cards with their crossings (essentially dictated by the prerequisites) and the randomness of the objectives make Meadow an extremely long-lived game. The interaction between players is very limited and is based on the simple mechanism of contesting the cards and available actions. Although at first glance this might seem a minor aspect, in reality it has an important effect on game strategies: it is difficult in fact to be able to define long-term strategies, as the dynamism with which cards and actions become available from time to time or unavailable, forces the participants to continuously adjust the planned actions, moving the game to a tactical level.

And it doesn't end here

Meadow still reserves two small surprises: the first is the solo mode. As more and more games lately, Meadow also supports the ability to play games for single players as well. The mechanism is very simple and is based on the simulation of a second virtual player, named Pellegrino.

The second are five packs, containing additional cards, small mini-expansions: almost all cards do not add mechanics to the game base and can only be opened when certain specific requirements have been met. In four out of five cases, however, these requirements do not refer to the game, but to the experiences of the players or external events: there is therefore the envelope to open if you play on Christmas Eve or after visiting a Natural Park. As the author himself says in the regulation: "... don't take them too seriously! The important thing is to have fun! ".


Meadow is a beautiful game, waiting to be discovered, which puts players of all ages together. It has a positive, relaxed atmosphere that makes the game enjoyable. Each element denotes care, attention and above all the will to create a game that is more than just a moment of leisure. The same times indicated for the duration of a match are overestimated, an implicit invitation to take your time, as happens when you relax while walking in nature, you forget the hectic pace of life.


The quality of the materials is very good; apart from the round marker, there are no wooden elements and everything is based on paper and cardboard, but always of good quality. Great emphasis must be given to the illustrations of the cards which are neat and very beautiful, with a delicate style that indicates a choice on the general tone of the game. The interior of the box is shaped and perfectly designed for each element, certainly a fully successful design element. Still on the subject of materials, there are two further very interesting elements: the first is the aforementioned Index of Cards, which even if it does not add anything to the game from the point of view of the rules, embellishes everything and emphasizes great care and passion for the theme "nature". The second element are the card holders: there are in fact four deck boxes to be built starting from shaped cardboard elements. Not only are they very beautiful to look at, but they integrate into the game (and into the box, where they can be placed in the appropriate spaces) and help to keep the table tidy during the games.

Game indicated for

Meadow is a perfect game for lovers of low interactivity and tactics-based placement games to be constantly reviewed throughout the match. It is not necessarily a game for experts, as the rules, even if they seem complex at first glance, are very simple.

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