Dream Home Is Fun for All Ages
Finding board games to play with my kids is an incredibly difficult task, so when we do find something that provides equal amounts of entertainment for my wife and I, and the kids, we jump at the opportunity. Dream Home gives us that opportunity. Building a home has never been so much fun, and with multiple scoring options that are simple yet expansive, there is definitely fun for all ages! Who is ready to build their Dream Home?
Goal of the Game
Ultimately, the goal of the game is to outscore your opponents by having more points than them at the end of the game. Points are rewarded for the types and sizes of rooms in your home, the size and material of your roof, building bonuses – such as having a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen in your home – and having special decor. With multiple ways to score points, the entire game comes down to planning and thinking ahead.
How to Play
At the beginning of the game, both decks are shuffled and placed on their designated spots on the game board (shared by all players) in the middle of the table. The resources, tools, decor, and helper cards go on the top row, and the rooms go on the bottom row.
The game is played over 12 rounds, which will completely exhaust the number of cards in the piles when completed. At the beginning of each turn, 4 resources/tool/helper cards are turned over and placed on the 4 spaces available. The 5th space is designated for the first player token. On the rooms row, 5 cards are turned over and placed in their designated spots.
- A room must be supported! You cannot build a room unless there is another room (or solid, unplayable areas) below it. Therefore, a room cannot be placed on the second floor, unless there is a room beneath it on the first floor.
- A room can only be expanded as many times as indicated on the card. For example, you can build a 2 room kitchen. You cannot expand your kitchen to 3 rooms.
- You cannot build the same type of room next to each other. Once a room is completed, there must be another room next to it prior to building another type of that original room.
- Once a decor token is placed on a room, that room is considered complete and cannot be expanded.
There are also a number of others cards in the deck players will want to be aware of. Tools allow you to modify your home or make changes to the communal game board, while helpers will allow you to score extra points, or perhaps move things. These cards will become important, especially those that can be used at the end of the game.
Scoring the Winner
Scoring is broken down into 4 categories: Rooms, Roofs, Decor, and Functionality.
Rooms – Players score their rooms based on how big they are. The number of points scored is represented on the card, based on the size of the room (1, 2 or 3 cards large).
Roofs – Roofs are scored based on two values. 3 points are awarded for a 4 card roof, regardless of colour. An aditional 5 points can be earned if the roof is uniform (all the same colour). If you have more than 5 roof cards in your pile, you may choose which form your roof.
Functionality – Players can earn 3 points for having a bathroom on each floor, as well as an additional 3 points for having a bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom in their home.
Does the Game Play Well?
The best part about Dream Home is the accessibility of the game. While my wife and I can enjoy a competitive and fun game together, throwing in my 8 year old son does little to effect the enjoyment my wife and I get. Essentially, the ability to play this with adults and kids, and for all to have a great time, is something rarely found in board games today. Often times, parents play kids games to appease their children. It’s rare that parents will find a challenge or entertainment value in ‘kiddy’ games.
There is a good amount of thinking required to truly excel at this game, as well as some risk factors as well. For example, you might build a room somewhere you wouldn’t normally because of a necessity – perhaps you don’t have the supports you need to expand a room, and are therefore required to start a new room. Taking this risk could pay off long term if you also draft the helper card which allows you to swap rooms in your home!
What you have here is actually a very unique experience: a game that can be enjoyed by both kids and adults. This is so abnormal in my opinion, that when I find a game like this, I cannot sing it’s praises enough. There really isn’t anything to hate about Dream Home. Some may find it a bit simple – and it really is, although full of choices and decisions – but that’s what makes it so great. I can enjoy myself, while enjoying some time with my kids. That is a win-win in my books!