Updated: Dec 4, 2019
A sequel game to Above and Below, this is a light ‘euro’ game by Ryan Laukat (Red Raven Games) where players collect and trade resources and followers in a town (Near) to equip their adventurers for exploration in the wider world (Far).
The easy-to-learn mechanics, graphics, look and feel of Near and Far all help to make this an appealing family game. It can be played as a series of individual games or it can be played as a campaign game, where players’ characters can advance in level over time. Both systems work, so the choice is down to whether or not this is a game you want to return to regularly with the same group of players.
A key element of the game, adding further to its charm, is its storytelling aspect. Encounters in the game’s wider world refer to numbered paragraphs in a companion book. Another player reads out the paragraph, atmospherically setting the scene and proffering a choice for the active player to make. This is a technique reminiscent of Tales of the Arabian Knights (Z-Man) but here the rewards or penalties seem less arbitrary.
I won’t go into more detail because I might otherwise risk giving away Spoilers. Suffice to say, if you are looking for an accessible storytelling game that can be played and enjoyed by all the family, then this (and its predecessor game) are titles to look out for.