Welcome back again! This week we are going to look at a game that has been hitting our table almost every night. A little while back I was looking for a new game that the whole family could play, I popped into a FLGS and saw Fabled Fruit, designed by Friedemann Friese and published by Stronghold Games. I had seen a playthrough video on this game a while back, and loved the idea of it, but now, well now Emmy was old enough to play it. I couldn’t get to the register fast enough, and now she can’t get it to the table each night fast enough!
In Fabled Fruit you play as an animal, turtle, sheep, penguin, elephant, snake, or giraffe, trying to make the most delicious juice possible. In a three player game, like we play, the first person to make four of these delicious juices in the winner. Now what makes this game so special is that is is a “Fable” game. What is a “Fable” game? Glad you asked. This is a new concept, that I have never seen before, that bring legacy components to a game, changing the play over time, without the destructive side. At the end of each game, all the cards that were turned into juices, are removed from the game. They are not destroyed, ripped up, burned, or blown up, but merely placed in a (supplied) baggie. This allows the game to be reset at anytime, without the need of a refresh pack.
After each player has decided which animal she will be they dealt two fruit cards. Players then take turns moving their animal to one of the piles of cards laid out on the table. There should be 24 total cards on the table, same type cards are stacked together, making the number of piles, and choice varied. When a player lands on a card they do one of three things, take the action listed on the card, trade fruit cards from their hand to buy the card (turning it into juice), or draw a single card from the fruit stack, if that card has a sign post icon on it. As cards are bought and turned to juice new cards are added to the game, ensuring there are always 24 cards on the table. These new cards may add to existing stack, or may add a new option to the game.
I had concerns about Emmy playing this game because of the reading requirements and the ever changing rules. She was so excited to play that we gave it a shot anyway, explaining to her what each card does as we did. She snatched up her penguin and proceeded to wipe the floor with us. As new cards were added we would take a minute to explain its effects to her. From time to time we do offer her advice and remind her what certain cards do, but overall, she remembers her own, and shuns our advice. She likes the choices she gets to make on her own, and her “plans” that she gets to make. The theme really gets her too, she loves the little animal meeples, as well as the animals on the cards. She loves to uncover new cards to see what they can do. We have played this game about a dozen times, as of right now, and she is tied for the lead in the overall standings. She may not be able to read, but she can play this game like no one’s business.
The game plays quickly, the downtime is pretty low. When we play three and four player games Emmy can sometimes get bored between turns. In this game she is engaged the entire time, trying to see what the other players are doing, and making her “plans” ahead of time to get the juice she wants. The components are well made, and the animal meeples really make the game for her. The cards are hearty, which is important when playing with a small ones, as are the cardboard tokens that are added later in the game. Each game is different, but the same. The new cards change the rules, making strategies always changing and evolving. No two games have been the same, and that makes the replayability fresh and exciting. We all look forward to new cards to see what we can now do, and are sad when other cards leave the game, lamenting the powers that we have lost.
Fabled Fruit has spawned one expansion that adds a new fruit to the mix, limes. It also adds some new cards, and mechanics. We have not made it through the base game yet, but do have the expansion waiting for us when we do. I’m really glad that we did not dismiss this game because we thought it would be too hard or complex for Emmy. She has really shown that she may not be able to read the cards, but she can still win. I took my own advise, and did not underestimate her ability to understand and remember this game. There are times when I am reading the cards to refresh my memory as to what they do, and Emmy is explaining it to me instead.
This game is great for families, as you can see, but it is also good for adults as well. I have played this game without Emmy, and still had a really fun, satisfying time. The game is also priced to not break the budget, which was another nice feature, and can be purchased pretty much anywhere. If you’re looking for a family game that you can introduce to some of the younger gamers in your life we cannot recommend this enough!
“I like Fables Fruit because it has animals, and you buy stuff, I just love it. And I love it, and I love it, and I love it. My favorite animal is the penguin. In Fabled Fruit you are trying to buy the juices before anyone else. It’s like (the cards) banana, banana, coconut, coconut, and then you see a little smoothie? That can be anything, any fruit. There are bananas, coconut, grapes, strawberries, and there’s pineapples. Bye friends!”
Fabled Fruit gets a solid:
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