How to Play
The objective is to be the first player to reach the designated number of points. The target number of points are as follows:
- 2-3 players: 50 points
- 4 players: 40 points
- 5 players: 30 points
- 6+ players: 20 points
Shuffle all of the cards in the deck and place the card face down as a draw pile. The youngest player gets to start with play moving in a clockwise manner.
How to Play
A player’s turns consists of flipping over cards from the draw deck. The player receives one point for every chicken that is flipped over. If a wolf card is flipped over, the player’s turn is over and they lose all of the points that they earned during their current turn. A player may choose to stop drawing cards at any time if they don’t want to press their luck. If the player stops drawing cards, each chicken card that was drawn adds one point to the players total.
Play continues in this manner until the sixth/final wolf card is drawn. At this point all of the cards are shuffled and the next player gets to start playing with the newly shuffled deck.
End of Game
When someone reaches the designated score total, that player wins the game.
We at Geeky Hobbies have looked at quite a few Gamewright games. We have liked some of their games while we didn’t particularly care for others. Gamewright generally makes children’s and family games. The children’s games are generally too simplistic to work for adult audiences. The family games are usually better since they provide enough challenge to keep adults interested. Unfortunately Fowl Play falls squarely in the children’s game category.
Fowl Play can be summed up with just three words, “press your luck”. Fowl Play is what I would call “your first” press your luck game since that is the only mechanic in the entire game. The whole game is about deciding whether or not you would like to press your luck. Being so simple it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that it only takes a couple minutes to read the instructions and explain how to play the game. This simplicity works well for a children’s game since most children should have no trouble understanding how to play the game. Any kid that can count up to fifteen or twenty should have no trouble playing Fowl Play.
While helpful for children, this simplicity is the reason why Fowl Play will most likely not appeal to anyone except for young children and their parents. There is just so little to the game since you only get to decide whether you want to take another card. I wouldn’t consider myself a big fan of the press your luck mechanic but it is a mechanic that works much better if it is combined with another mechanic. There is next to no strategy in the game since outside of weighing the odds of drawing a wolf card, the press your luck decision is just a random guess.
Since there isn’t much to the gameplay, Fowl Play gets boring quickly for adults. On each turn you just draw cards until you either decide to quit or your turn ends due to drawing a wolf card. Since there are much better press your luck games, I see no reason why adults should pick up Fowl Play unless they have young children to play the game with.
Since I didn’t play the game with any young children I can’t confirm this but I think younger children could enjoy the game quite a bit more than adults would. Since the game is so simple I think it would work well as a children’s game. The game provides some educational qualities since it can help children practice their counting. The game could also help teach children about risk taking.
While the game has a recommended age of 6+, I would recommend an age range of about 6-10. Towards the age of ten I think children will start to get bored with the game and it might become too simplistic for them. At that age they would probably be more interested in more complicated games.
Another thing that works in the game’s favor is the game’s short length. Fowl Play is one of the games in Gamewrights’ 12 Minute Games collection. That time estimation seems to be spot on since on average I would say that a game can be completed within 10-15 minutes.
Finally I think the cartoon theme of the game should appeal to children. While not fantastic, the artwork is well done. I kind of wish the game didn’t reuse the same artwork so often though.
Overall I wouldn’t consider Fowl Play to be a very good game. The problem with the game is that it is just too simple. The game is a very basic press your luck card game which has no other mechanics. Essentially you just decide whether you are going to draw another card or if you are going to stop. That is it. You make no strategic decisions since all you can do is guess whether the next card is going to be a wolf card. This makes the game boring for adult players. If you don’t have younger children I don’t see any reason to pick up Fowl Play.
While I didn’t play the game with any young children I think they will enjoy the game quite a bit more than I did. The simple gameplay and artwork should appeal to younger children. If the theme of the game would appeal to your child I think they would like the game.