Have you, like me, ever wondered what a new home might look like? It is inevitable that we see these things happening. But have you ever looked at a prospective home on some home buying or renting website and wondered what you could do with it? Maybe you could put the front room here? What about that dingy bathroom over there, could you make it new and fresh? You could always extend that kitchen or lounge to wherever? Wait but what about some nice décor like a new sofa or even a set of delicious paintings? Well in DREAM HOME, from Rebel games, you can now build this dream location and happily provay the news of your masterpiece of interior design.


I tore the plastic off (literally) as the excitement was building! Inside is a rule book, which greets you with its tense prose and straight to the point instructions. Under that are the four house plates which are our new dream homes. Nice, simple detail for the cartoon aspects of the games visual design (target audience kids). Under this is the play board (more later) and then a set of cards which break into two types. A bit flimsy for younger kids but hey. Then you get an orange wooden house that is lovely. It looks nice and as a first player token, is a lovely touch from the Rebel guys. Finally, you have the player bonus cards, good detail and a great tool to understand objectives.


Give each player a home. This is theirs and they must make it their own. Right lay out that aforementioned play board. Here is the games location of play. Shuffle the cards (set one is for the rooms and has an empty room on the back). Lay out five cards on the board. Shuffle the cards with the tools and scheme plans on the back and draw four. Agree a first player (we choose the last person to paint anything with actual paint). Place the orange house first player token on the space with a green house on. This will always sit here. So players have to choose a set (top and bottom cards). First player, second, third and forth. Once all cards are selected , the ones left are discarded. To note with players here, if you have choose the orange house, then you are first player. If you have selected a roof, then that goes face down on your board. Place the room in the appropriate location (put simply, Basement tiles only can go in the basement, a room must be below any that are going on the first floor! Now there are a set of rules for 2-3 players and one for 4 players. We will play a three player game. So the first player removes one set of cards prior to play taking place from the board! After 12 rounds (that is all cards exhausted and the such), the game ends. Add up scores (bonuses from the card for a house that, well has all that a house needs) and doubles for connected rooms etc. There are cards that help players as they play and at the end but, well its quite simple to follow!


DREAM HOME has been called simple and uncomplex. The reviews often focused on the games abundant lack of complexity. One suggested that the game is so light that it is on the one hand, just card placement and on the other, just a cute orange house meeple. Both comments are true enough. But missing from this and the surrounding conversation is that the game is a FAMILY adventure. Kids will love the simplicity of play. From the selection process for cards that is novel to the placement of cards and décor. You have a game that is interactive, benefits from group plays and is designed to be attractive to younger players without making older, less seasoned players bored. I think that sometimes board game reviewers need to maybe review from a place outside of their own over expectations.


Two points came up. The roof cards and those décor cards. Just turning over these cards make sense and I liked it as a memory aid to the play but some of the players were not impressed and continued to point out that it did not benefit play of the game. Put simply they were so annoyed that they ignored it. It makes the games use of roof cards seem absurd. The décor cards were more the sort of unexplained element of what happens if you cant place it. The logical answer and the actual answer are the same but the booklet poorly explains this. Never good for a simple audience and players. You need to get these kind of details to be ironed out properly as they will come up!


I loved DREAM HOME. Its not for everyone and taste matters but what it delivers is a blend of easy mechanics, fast paced game play and a good game for a family. It benefits from four players most and 2 least but overall, it is a game for summer and families.





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