If You Go Down To The Woods…Coming to BIGCON

If You Go Down to the Woods is a game I am designing with my 7 year old daughter.  It is a push your luck game with basic math.  Sophie came up with the theme and from the theme we created a simple card mechanic that allows the players to try and collect as much food as possible without waking a sleeping dragon.  The math is still being worked on and the explanation below is just a rough idea of the math involved.

If You Go Down To The Woods:




In this game you play an animal that is searching for food in the wood.  BUT BEWARE!!!  There is a dragon in the woods and if you get too close you will wake the dragon and have to run away with no food.  Also, as more and more animals enter the woods the scurrying around might get too noisy and again the dragon awakes.  Who will be the bravest animal?  Who will collect the most amount of food?


4 player hands in different colours (including a mix of pathway cards valued 1 to 8 )

Dragon figure

4 animal figures

Game Play:

The youngest player will be the start player.

All players shuffle their pathway decks and place them face down in front of themselves.

The start player may turn over a total of 7 cards creating a pathway into the woods.  The player may stop at any time.  If the total of the cards revealed is over 21 then the dragon awakes and the animal runs home and loses any food collected.  If the player stops then they potentially collect the following food counters depending on how many cards they revealed.

Cards Revealed

  1. 1 food
  2. 1 food
  3. 1 food
  4. 2 food
  5. 3 food
  6. 5 food
  7. 7 food

So, if the first player turns over the first six cards without going over 21 then they potentially collect 13 food counters at the end of the round.

After the first player has played the second player starts their turn.  However, if any step goes over 6 x the number of players then the dragon awakes from the noise and the second player loses all their food and the first player loses all their food up until the second player made too much noise.

Example – the first player plays 4, 6, 7, 4, totalling 21 and stops.  They would collect 1 + 1 +1 + 2 food (5).  The second player plays 5, 1, 7.  Because the total of the two third placed cards is above 12 then the second player runs away from the dragon but the first player manages to save the food on the first two cards.

For the third player the total noise level would be 18 and for 4 players it would be 24.

Once the dragon has awoken all cards are shuffled and the next player, clockwise, starts.

After a pre-determined number of rounds or a per-determined number of points have been reached the game is over and the animal with the most food wins.




About Clive

Just an average guy who loves board games, movies, musics, books, comic books, video games and anything else fun.
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3 Responses to If You Go Down To The Woods…Coming to BIGCON

  1. mrtopdeck says:

    Since this was the game I thumbed on your geeklist, it was nice to find additional details here. The game seems a little complicated in it’s current form, and I don’t think that losing food that was previously collected would be a good experience for kids.

    I would recommend making the goal of the game be a fixed amount of food collected, the only way to lose the food being if you wake the dragon on your own turn, and then change the food rewards to have exponential growth.

    Adding in variable player powers to each animal would allow for some added variety. Maybe the ability to look at the top card of the deck once per turn, the ability to escape the dragon waking up and keep all your food once per game, have the ability to have a card not count toward your sound level, etc.

    There is a game similar to this that you may want to check out: http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2114/duck-duck-bruce

    If you’d be interested, I wouldn’t mind working on this game with you, and it shouldn’t be a complicated project to complete. Art, of course, should be the biggest barrier.

    -shanniganz on BGG

    • Clive says:

      I replied to your comment on the GeekList. Thanks for your comments on here. This is an idea in progress and would love to work on it with you. Maybe we can chat sometime in the near future.

  2. Pingback: Revisiting “If you go down into the woods” | My Board Game Ideas

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