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No smelly jelly though

June 12, 2012

I’m rushing this post out a bit for one reason: this is based on trying out a print & play version of Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule, a really promising game on Kickstarter which only has a few days left until it is funded. The P&P version has smaller cards than the end product and has only preview versions of the artwork. Anyway, I printed out copies, shoved them into card sleeves, and explained the game to Miss B…  (Oh, and she was generally happier than this photo would suggest!)

Basically, there are twenty cards with a goblin on one side and a fairy on the other. They all have whimsical names which rhyme with some of the others (Nervous Nelly, meet He So Smelly), and they also bear a little icon in the corner: some have a sun one side and a moon on the other, while others are a frog or mushroom. You start off with four goblins each and four fairies in the middle of the table. On your turn you put one of your cards into the middle, then flip any cards that rhyme with your card, and finally you take back any cards that have the same icon as your card. If you end your turn with either no goblins or at least six fairies, you win.

It took quite a bit of reminding Miss B of which cards she would take back on each turn, but she started getting the hang of it — and actually beat me on both games we played (though was keen to remind me that winning isn’t the best thing — going to the seaside is). I can actually imagine that playing this with adults it could turn into quite a deep and tactical game as you can see what cards other players, so can tell what their possible moves would be. With two players we didn’t really seem to have enough cards in play, but it worked very well anyway — I imagine it would be even better with more people.

This preview version gives a good hint of how lovely the final cards will look, and for such a small, compact game, it is a stunning piece of work. I’ve actually buckled and put a pledge in on Kickstarter, so we should be getting a couple of copies eventually.

Unfortunately we have to wait until December for the planned shipping date — and however much longer for the game to reach the usual retail channels. Still, if you fancy a flutter on Kickstarter in the next few days, follow the link, where you can also find a link to the P&P version (look for “update 4” in the updates tab).

The verdict from Miss B (aged 5½): “It’s good. I like turning them over to see what fairy is on the other side.”

The game: Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule (Game-O-Gami), 1 to 4 players aged 7+ or at least able to read a bit and spot rhymes.

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