This cutesy little game showed up on my door step along with a few others and while the title gave me some pause and made me giggle, I otherwise dismissed it. Surely nothing good comes in a package so small, and with such cutesy art. You would think that I would learn to stop judging books (or games) by their cover by now, but it’s hard to beat old habits out of a person some times. However, after it sitting on my shelf for a day or two, curiosity got the better of me, and I had to know what this cute little game was all about.
What I was greeted with was a rhyming card game with a bit of strategy and a lot of whimsy. The box contains a mere 20 cards, which are double sided and covered in whimsical art and cutesy rhyming titles, and a rule book with some pretty straight forward instructions. After a quick read through, we were up and running in no time.
The game is all about getting rid of your goblins and gaining faeries. This is done through an ingenious rhyming mechanic. Each turn you play one of your cards into the “Faerie Ring” and all cards in the ring that rhyme with it flip. After the flip, you claim any cards that are in the “Faerie Ring” that are of the same suit as the card you played. This allows for a bit of skill and guile because the other side of the card always has the opposite suit on it. So if a moon is the suit of one side, you know the flipped side will be a sun. In this way you can anticipate what suits will be available after the flip.
|Designer||David Luis Sanhueza|
|Artist||Mike Maihack, David Luis Sanhueza|
|Publisher||Game Salute, GAME-O-GAMI, Golden Games|
|# of Players||1 - 4|
|Mfg Suggested Ages||7 and up|
|Category||Card Game, Children's Game, Educational, Fantasy, Humor|
|Mechanic||Hand Management, Memory, Set Collection|
|Family||Crowdfunding: Kickstarter, Goblins|
However, don’t just think this is a game for little ones. There is enough strategy involved in the plays that us adults had a good time and were competitive with the game. Being able to anticipate what the best play will be due to what will rhyme and flip and what suit that will then show is a hard skill to master, and some of us were clearly better at it than others.
My second small negative is about the thoroughness of the instructions. The rules seem really straight forward, but we found a loop hole that the rules didn’t explicitly cover, and seems like it shouldn’t be allowed, but the rules don’t say otherwise… you see, you toss a card into the faerie ring, flip all of the rhyming cards, and then take the matching suits… but what if you toss in a card that doesn’t rhyme with anything? This would let you get rid of cards and possibly not taking any in return. The implication to me seems like you shouldn’t be allowed to play a card into the ring if it doesn’t rhyme with something, but the rules don’t say that.
Overall, I think this game is very cute and worth giving a try. It’s whimsical nature and unique mechanics makes up for its short falls. Personally, I’m very curious what other games will adopt this cute little mechanic. Because, as most avid gamers know, where there is a game with cool mechanics there is at least three or four copy cats in the works.