After a nice long drought of not buying any new board games, last week I snagged a copy of PARKS on sale. PARKS has been on my board game wishlist since last year. Its incredible artwork drew me in, for sure! Over the weekend HB and I tried out this new game and here are my first impressions.
In PARKS, players will take on the role of two hikers as they trek through different trails across four seasons of the year. While on the trail, these hikers will take actions and collect memories of the places your hikers visit. These memories are represented by various resource tokens like mountains and forests. Collecting these memories in sets will allow players to trade them in to visit a National Park at the end of each hike.
—description from the publisher
The publisher also made a helpful video on how to play:
Visiting national parks, taking photos, and achieving (hidden) personal goals is how you accumulate points. The player with the most points wins!
The game has a worker placement element. You have two hikers that can go down a “trail.” Each trail segment contains an action. Taking these actions help you accumulate resources so that you can visit national parks at the end of the trail.
The “trade in resources to pay for a park = points” mechanic felt extremely similar to Century Spice Road (another simple but great game). The cost to visit each park varies, and along with that, the number of points.
When moving down the trail, you cannot go backwards, and you cannot go on a place that is occupied by another player (with one exception). This “leap frog” mechanic also reminded me a lot of Tokaido. In that game, you’re going down Tokaido road, also accumulating memories + experiences that give you end game points. Personally, I liked PARKS a bit more than Tokaido. I enjoyed the added challenge of accumulating enough/the right resources to pay for parks (as described above).
I think every board gamer appreciates quality tokens and a logical token organizer that comes with the game!
everything fits perfectly in the organizer
The artwork didn’t disappoint. Every single parks card is gorgeous and gives you a small description of the park. Tokens were made of wood, the cardboard punch outs were nice and thick, and all cards were printed on nice thick paper (like those of Wingspan). And why wouldn’t every game come with an organizer?! Looking at you, Gloomhaven.
Quality is a 5/5.
Over all, I really enjoyed this game. It was simple and played under an hour, which means it’d be a good weeknight game to play after work. It can also play up to 5 players, so I am looking forward to the day when we can play board games with other people again!
Have you played this game before? What did you think?
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