I have a couple of rules when purchasing games. One of them is to only buy pretty games (rule #6). Small World is one of the prettiest! I love the illustrations of the characters and their power chips. Makes the game fun to look at too!
My hubby and I love to play against each other (rule #5). He likes it because it has some elements from the classic "guy game" Risk. I like it because it's pretty, plays quickly, is easy to simulate and isn't that much like Risk. I also like the world of slaughter element. You gotta know when to make your races extinct and when to get new ones. Now that I think of it, it's got a little bit of a motherly touch to it too: Birthing new races and kicking them out when they get too old.
Description from BoardGameGeek.com:
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!
Little Things That Mean A Lot:
I'm a real organization freak, but I don't like to pay for extra organization stuff outside of what you get in the box. I expect to get what I pay for! I found the tray that contains the dude chips to not be user friendly and digging through the tray created some dead space within the game. A user on from the BBG forum posted these great storage try labels that I quickly printed up and glued onto the side of the storage tray that came with the game. Now it's much easier to grab your minions to fight with!
This little guy helps explain the game flow. It's nice to give this to new gamers when trying to explain how the game plays. Plus if you're anything like me, you like the extra time to reference your next move. It's also a nice thing to have when you haven't played in a while. Helps you look like you know what you are doing!