The Sylvanian Families Board Game was an exciting ebay find. I hadn’t even know it existed! The game was produced in the UK in 1985 and the box has become a bit tatty since then. Someone has made some markings on the front of the box, but otherwise it is mostly in good condition. When originally purchased, the game came with a Sylvanian (Bubba Babblebrook). Bubba wasn’t included in the ebay purchase, so he must have since gone on to other adventures.
The back of the box explains the rules and provides the instructions, plus lists the contents. Happily, nothing was missing.
Here is an enlarged photo the gameplay instructions that may be a little easier to read.
The game board is lovely! They’ve done a very nice job of illustrating the game materials. I love how the Sylvanians themselves are drawn. It’s easy to imagine the game being created by Sylvanians, with toymaker Edward Mulberry working away on it at his workbench.
To play the game, you begin by choosing a Sylvanian to be your token to move about the board. Because the game is from 1985, when Sylvanians first were introduced, you get to chose from a selection of the original families. The goal is to move about the Sylvanian Woods (aka the game board) and land on spaces that allow you to draw cards from a specific pile. Each card has a picture of a Sylvanian on it. The objective is to collect all the members of your Sylvanian’s family.
When you draw a card that shows a member of your family, you place it on the appropriate card. Each card has room for six family members. Whoever is first to collect all their family members is the winner. The families available are the Timbertop Bears, Waters Beavers, Thistlethorn Mice, Wildwood Rabbits, Babblebrook Rabbits, and Evergreen Bears.
These are the draw piles. If you land on a space that specifies tree, you draw from the tree pile, and so on.
When Bill and I play, we tend to just circle around the board and collect the family members in a cooperative fashion. It’s just fun to gather up all the Sylvanians! And, you get to shout out the name of whatever Sylvanian you pick up, which is also fun. The artwork was definitely one of the highlights for me as well.
You might find the gameplay a little simplistic, but the game could easily be played with smaller children. I enjoy the Sylvanian aspect so much that the simplicity did not detract from the fun for me.
The board game is no longer sold in stores, but does sometimes become available on eBay or other online auction sites. It’s a worthwhile purchase, as it is very collectible, contains wonderful artwork, and is a fun way to spend some extra time in Sylvania!