Reviewing board games that shed a tear.

It's a Wonderful World - Board Game Review | The Tabletop Crier

It's A Wonderful World boardgame box


a review of the board game Designed by Frédéric Guérard 

Players: 1-5 Time Investment: 30-60 min


Silent Tears

Game Aesthetic


Nothing very special here, as there are cubes and there are cardboard bits and there are cards. I would say that the common board area is fun as it splits in half to fit in the box, and clearly explains what commodities will be produced next since it is arrow shaped. But if we're simply talking about stuff you get to constantly get more of and use, it's not that exciting. 

It's A Wonderful World board game cards and cubes
Resources represented (in order from closest to farthest): 
Materials, Energy, Science, Gold and Exploration.

Artwork by Anthony Wolff

I cannot say enough about the artwork, the futuristic settings and the plays on science fiction. As with all games, I do wish there was more representation and inclusivity but at least they did put a woman on the cover. We all have to start somewhere. It's also curious thinking about what the world will be like after periods of globalization where countries start to blur together. For example, you can play the Noram Estates, which I am assuming is short for North American and looks like a glassier urban jungle you can recognize.

It's A Wonderful World boardgame development and token for Noram Estates
The art on cards and tokens is crisp and futuristic, and
the iconography is clear

The First Turn


It's going to feel a lot like clockwork, but luckily if you play with the variable player side of the civilization name cards then it gives you quite a bit of direction on what cards to draft from the original hand size of seven. After that, you'll have a chance to plan (literally called the Planning Phase) and figure out whether you want to build towards a card you drafted (slate it for Construction), or scrap it for resources (Recycle) that can feed into a new or existing build. This, in my opinion is part of the heart of the game in balancing the different states of your engine. Do you give up an intimidating project just for a few commodities to finally complete a project you started? Do you give up on that other project and start the intimidating one? Do you start completely new, scrapping the intimidating project for parts and feeding into a project you just found out about? The options are exciting!

It's A Wonderful World boardgame starting hand
Of the seven, you can only keep one
and pass on the rest to draft.

Rewards and Objectives

Different types of scoring can allow for hedging your bets or just for straight up points.
The straight up points look yummy but in the end the winning edge belongs to the multiplier, so the math is in your favor if you stack up and lean into what you have. If you want -- but I haven't tried it -- you can also try and ensure that you receive the bonuses that come with whoever has produced the most of a commodity. In this way, you're banking on both scarcity and building up towards the future. One of my favorite aspects of the way that production happens in this game is that is goes in a specific order, so if there's a way you can have those pauses in between work in your favor, do it! If you find you are producing too much of one resource and nowhere for it to go, there is at least a 5:1 ratio to turn it into a red wild resource known as Krystallium.

It's A Wonderful World main component bonus
Bonus tokens known as Financiers (blue) and Generals (red) indicated at the top
 of each resource for whoever produces the most of it!

Ability to Pivot

Very little. Since resources are dedicated, if you just didn't make it to full Constructed, you just didn't make it. There's no going back. Makes a bit of sense considering you are thematically building out a civilization. You wouldn't want your leader to change their mind willy nilly and just demolish everything you worked on would you? Well, okay. Turns out you actually can, if you want, discard a card in your Under Construction area but that Recycling bonus goes straight to working towards Krystallium. All hope is not lost though; if you're doing it early enough, you can try and accelerate a build with 2 out of 4 of the rounds available to you. You'd have one less successful round but if you build a tight tableau it can be possible to pivot at round 3. Anything further out than that and you should just choose to lean into what you have.

It's A Wonderful World boardgame Materials production
As you produce, resources can be assigned to get a project to completion
and prepare reap the short- and long-term benefits.

Game End

Four rounds. That's it, no more, no less. You'll add up gross victory points, which are the vanilla laurels with numbers, combo victory points that have a multiplier indicator "X", victory points specific to Generals (gross and combo), and then Financiers (gross and combo). Highest score wins the game. Tie breakers, in order: most cards in their Empire, most Character tokens, then after that... too bad, you share the victory. But hey, at least there are solo scenarios in case you want to just kick out your opponent and play again in peace. :)