OBJECTIVE OF THE RIVER: The objective of The River is to build a settlement that is more impressive than any other player.  

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 4 Players 

MATERIALS: 1 Gameboard, 4 Player Sets, 44 Resources, 65 Terrain Tiles, 20 Bonus Tokens, 1 Starter Player Marker, 33 Building Cards, and Instructions 

TYPE OF GAMETile Placement Board Game 

AUDIENCE: Ages 8 and Up 


In The River, each player will build their own settlement from the ground up. Each will compete to have a larger, more populous settlement than their opponents. As the players travel to untouched lands, they must use their workers in order to settle. Every decision will make a difference in these unknowing times, so who will make the best ones? 


To begin setup, place the board in the center of the playing area. Each player should collect pioneers, a boat, and a river board that match in color, with the river board and boat facing upwards in front of them. Four pioneers are boarded onto the boat, with the fifth one placed on the pioneer place found on the right side of the river board.  

The Terrain Tiles are then shuffled and placed facing downwards on the board in its place. A number of Terrain Tiles equal to the number of players there are plus one and placed on the spaces on the board facing up. Next, the Building cards are shuffled and placed on the island found on the right side of the board. One Building Card is drawn and placed on each space found on the island.  

The resources are then placed on the islands that correspond with them on the board, each dependent on the number of players. The bonus tokens are then collected and placed in two separate piles. The zero tokens are placed on the right pile and the others are placed in descending order on the left pile. The first player is randomly chosen and given the Starter Player marker. The game is then ready to begin!  


Before the players begin their turn, they will each choose a Terrain Tile to start with, beginning with the player found on the right side of the First Player and continuing counterclockwise around the group. Each player will collect one tile and place it at the beginning space of their River Board. Enough tiles are then drawn to cover the reset of the spots of the island that corresponds to the number of players.  

During a player’s turn, they may trade resources for food by placing three resources in the supply in order to collect one food. They must then place a pioneer from their boar to a space on the board, ensuring that they perform the required action of that space. Some areas allow for only one pioneer, whereas others allow for numerous. The players are not allowed to place a pioneer on a space if they are unable to perform the action associated with it.  

The actions that may be associated with a space are claiming a terrain tile, constructing a building, reserving a building, producing resources, swapping terrain tiles, and obtaining the starter player marker. All of these actions must be completed wholly in order for a player to move their pioneer to this location.  

When all of the player boats are emptied of pioneers, the round comes to an end. Before a new round can begin, the remaining terrain tiles must be removed, and new ones should be placed. Building cards should remain in their spaces, and the empty spaces can be filled with new cards. Each player will then return their pioneers to their boats. The first player will begin the new round. Gameplay will continue in this manner until a player places five Bonus Tokens or obtains twelve terrain tiles.  


The game comes to an end when a player has placed five Bonus Tokens on their River Board, or it may end when a player obtains 12 Terrain Tiles. The players will then complete the current round and a final Cleanup Phase. Players will then tally their scores in order to determine who has the best settlement.  

The players will earn one point for every three resources of any type they have collected, two for each column that has two matching Terrain Tiles, six for each column with three matching Terrain Tiles, and whatever points that are earned from the Meadow Tiles, as printed on them. The player with the most points, wins the game! 

Ellie Phillips
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