Friday, September 24, 2010
Cheap Game Month Continues- Fairy Tale
My copy of Fairy Tale arrived yesterday and happily it has been a big hit. Fairy Tale is a small card game that has won high marks online for its speed and ease of play. After hitting my friends and family with Eclipse Phase and Malifaux I thought it was about time to step it down a notch. Happily the result has been many quick, fun games.
In Fairy Tale each player is trying to play a set of cards which win her the most points. Each card has a points value on it. Some cards give you a bonus if you have played certain Other cards. The "bard" gives you a bonus for each "Elven Warrior" you have also played. Finally, some cards give a big bonus if you have fulfilled some requirement- playing three dragons And three fairies for example.
A game Fairy Tale has two steps. In the first the players get a hand of five cards. They choose one that they want and pass the rest to the person on their right. Then they choose again from the four just passed from the person on their left, pass the rest to their right, and so on. In this way you end up with a hand of five cards which you have had some role in picking. This is called "drafting."
In the second step of Fairy Tale each player picks a card from their hand and flips it up simultaneously. That card now lays in front of you and is worth points. Over the course of the game you'll run through four drafts and have a total of twelve cards in front of you. You add the points from your twelve and come up with a grand total.
The fun of Fairy Tale comes from several factors. For one, drafting is fun. You have some control over your hand and can try and accumulate certain cards that suit your plans. Your control isn't perfect but chances are you'll have a hand that you're at least content with. Secondly, some cards allow you to affect your opponent's cards. You can sabotage their hands and wreak some mild havok with their plans. Players may also find themselves competing to collect the same sorts of cards and then one or both may have to think quick and change their plans.
Mainly, we enjoyed Fairy Tale because it was a very speedy and simple card collecting game. There is enough card interaction to create a variety of scoring strategies but not enough to cause competitive spouses to freeze and spend the next ten minutes trying to assemble the ultimate killer hand. Fairy Tale really strikes the perfect balance between ease of play and strategy. Anyone who can perform simple math can play this game so it's a good choice for older kids and families as well. Players can influence each other to a slight degree but I don't think there is potential to really demolish anyone- another positive quality for family play.
I was personally very happy with Fairy Tale. It's a good filler, a bit deeper than Court of the Medici but still quick and simple.