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Small World

4.7 out of 5 stars 603 customer reviews
| 15 answered questions

List Price: $49.99
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  • High Quality
  • Proprietary design
  • Exceptional performance
  • High quality European components
  • For 2-5 players
  • Takes 45-60 minutes to play
  • Vie for conquest and control
35 new from $32.99 7 collectible from $28.05

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WARNING:
CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.

Product Description

Product Description

In Small World, players vie for conquest and control of a world that is simply too small to accommodate them all. Designed by Philippe Keyaerts as a fantasy follow-up to his award-winning Vinci, Small World is inhabited by a zany cast of characters such as dwarves, wizards, amazons, giants, orcs and even humans; who use their troops to occupy territory and conquer adjacent lands in order to push the other races off the face of the earth. Picking the right combination from the 14 different fantasy races and 20 unique special powers, players rush to expand their empires - often at the expense of weaker neighbors. Yet they must also know when to push their own over-extended civilization into decline and ride a new one to victory!

From the Manufacturer

Small World is a zany, light-hearted civilization game in which 2-5 players vie for conquest and control of a board that is simply too small to accommodate them all. Picking the right combination of fantasy races and unique special powers, players must rush to expand their empires - often at the expense of weaker neighbors. Yet they must also know when to push their own over-extended civilization into decline and ride a new one to victory. Designed by Philippe Keyaerts, as the fantasy follow-up to his award-winning Vinci, Small World is inhabited by a cast of characters such as dwarves, wizards, amazons, giants, orcs and even humans; who use their troops to occupy territory and conquer adjacent lands in order to push the other races off the face of the earth. Small World marks the return of the Days of Wonder line of heavily-themed, big-box sized games featuring evocative illustrations, high-quality European components and a compelling, fun theme. Game Contents: Two double-sided game boards (One for each of four possible player configurations), 14 Fantasy Races with matching banners & tokens, 20 Special Power badges, A variety of Troll Lairs, Mountains. Fortresses, Encampments, Holes-in-the-ground, 2 Heroes, A Dragon, Along with Victory Coins, 6 Player Summary Sheets, A Reinforcement Die, Rules Booklet and A Days of Wonder Online Access Number.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 11.6 x 11.6 x 3 inches
Item Weight 2 pounds
Shipping Weight 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Domestic Shipping This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
International Shipping This item can be shipped to select countries outside of the U.S. Learn More
ASIN B0024H7OF6
Item model number DOW 7901
Manufacturer recommended age 10 - 14 years
Best Sellers Rank #2,492 in Toys & Games (See Top 100 in Toys & Games)
#144 in Toys & Games > Games > Board Games
Customer Reviews
4.7 out of 5 stars 603 customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sandor Weisz on April 15, 2010
Remember Risk? Remember how fun it was to attack your opponents' armies and take over their land? Remember how that fun lasted for a while and then, several hours later, you'd hunker down in the corner of Australia, waiting for the game to mercifully end?

Small World is the answer to that. It takes all the good parts of Risk and repackages it in a clever construct with a beautiful design. The premise here is that instead of simply having armies compete to take over territory, players control races, each with their own special set of powers. The powers give you the ability to, say, attack lands more powerfully, or defend them more toughly. What makes it fun is that these powers are embodied by various races -- e.g. Dwarves, Amazons, Giants, Tritons -- each represented by colorful, gorgeously drawn tokens, and each with a special power. Because the races and powers are randomly combined at the beginning of the game, each game is different than the last and requires a completely new strategy.

STRENGTHS:

* Variety of strategy. This is requirement number one for any game that's going to hold my interest over time. If it's too "solvable", then the challenge of playing the game quickly diminishes after just a few games. Because the possible power-race combinations number in the thousands, it's unlikely any two games will ever be the same.
Interaction. Requirement number two. So many board games these days involve four people tending to their own pieces, playing their own separate games. You can't do that in Small World and expect to win. You have to both a) be very aware of the other players' movements, and b) be ready to attack them without mercy.
* Design. Days of Wonder puts out some of the best-looking games out there.
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Plenty of people have done an admirable job of explaining the games in their reviews, so this is instead an attempt at a comparison between a number of games, the pros and cons of each and which may suit different people best. The games in question are: Carcassonne, Settlers of Catan, Castle Panic, Smallworld, and Forbidden Island.

We have had Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne (with a number of expansion packs) for quite a few years now, and only recently added the other games above. We usually either play just as two adults, or with our two older children (age 9 and 8), and so our conclusions are based on how these games work in those settings. So here's what we've found:

Settlers of Catan
We got this around the same time as Carcassonne and initially just didn't latch onto it. Partly it's that it's supposed to be 3 players or more, and we often play as just two of us. Once we found online some instructions for playing as 2 players it came out more often, and as time's gone by it's become fairly 50-50 whether we play Settlers or Carcassonne on a quiet night in. The choice will usually depend on how much we want to think. With Settlers, you're always planning and calculating; with Carcassonne, you're taking it a card at a time.

Who should get it: Settlers is well-known as one of the great modern games. I'm not as sold on it as some people, and it takes quite a while to learn and feel comfortable with, but once you get the hang of it, it is an entertaining and enjoyable addition to a games collection. There are several 2-player rule variations out there if you need them and they work well (we found one that worked for us and we've stuck to it). But this isn't a game for kids; I would suspect not until they're 16 or so.
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My husband and I bought this on a whim - we'd gone to our local game store to pick up Settler's Of Catan because we'd played that recently with friends and liked it. However, this caught our eye, and we bought it instead! I was drawn the cover art, I'll admit!
We brought it to a friend's place to play after dinner. It took a while to get a hang of the way the game is supposed to work and the dynamics of each round, but after a few turns, we were able to get it all figured out.
I really liked all aspects of this game - the 'Risk' aspect of trying to take over the map, the fantasy aspect of the characters, and the unique way the game's races are developed. Every game you play will be different due to how things are set up!
My only complaint is with the tray the Race Tokens are stored in... it was pretty hard for me (who has small fingers, even) to get the tokens in and out of the little squares they are supposed to go in. Especially when some were in use and the remaining ones would fall forward.
Overall, I'm really happy that we got this game, I'm looking forward to sharing it with other people!
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My game group played this recently and although I enjoyed my experience with Small World, I'm not aching to replay it like I do with other board games. Overall, Small World is a fun game. A little action, a little randomness, some important decision making, excellent flavor, but also a little bit on the slow side.

The game itself isn't that long of a game. Our first game, even with all of the rules lookups took only about 2 hours (which is a little big long) but I think on future plays, an average game would take about 45-70 minutes.

The gameplay is fairly simple here, but be prepared to look up a lot of rules throughout the game on your first play. A series of races with special powers are placed on the table. Players choose a race and power, and then proceed to conquer various areas on the board. At the end of their turn, each area currently occupied by that player scores a point. That player may earn additional points based on his special ability. Then the next player goes and so on. At some point, a player decides that he can progress no further with his race (generaly either because it'd be hard/impossible to expand, or because it'd be hard to defend his position), and sets them in decline. The player now chooses a new race and special ability, and as a bonus, collects points on any territories that his race still controls at the end of his next turn.

After a set number of turns, the game ends and whoever has the highest point total wins. Simple enough.

The problem with this game comes in the fact that a turn is fairly long--about 1 to 2 minutes for each player, and when it's another player's turn, there's precisely nothing for you to do, but watch.
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