Theme&andn’What is it?
You Remind Me of the Game
Fairy Mischief is a 2 player game where players use a deck of cards to take part in duels of magic to determine the best practitioner of the mystic arts. Aimed at young children with expandable rules designed to scale up with the players skill. Can you prove your worth as a fairy mystic?
The Game with the Power
When I first read the rules for this I was well aware of how often my siblings and I used to play these games growing up. We played War, 21, and a few other card games quite a bit growing up and I wasn’t convinced how much the 2 special cards or the inclusion of the gem stones would improve or even change the game. I also wasn’t particularly impressed with the cards in the game. That said, I was interested to see how they held up to the times I played these as a kid.
The Power of Whodo?
Fairy Mischief is a 2 player duel style card game that begins the players with simple rules and expands them with variants as they get more comfortable with the rules. The full goal of the game is get one of five different colored gems under your control. The first fairy to do this wins the game.
At the beginning of each round a player will draw a gem from the provided bag; this is the gem the players are competing for this round. The players then compete in a quick round of War. Each player takes the top card of their deck and places it face up in front of them and compares it to the card played by the other player. They play three cards against their opponent and the player that wins two of the hands gets the gem and adds it to their collection. The decks contain a few other cards, there’s the 5+ card that when played causes you to roll a dice and add it to the five for your cards total that round. Additionally, each deck include 2 Fairy Mischief cards; if one of these is played during any of the three duels then that player loses the entire round.
The player that wins the round adds the gem to their collection. If they already have that gem then the new one is added to their vault. If they ever collect 2 gems in their vault of the same color they may draw a free gem from the bag and then return the matching pair from their vault to the bag. There’s also a black gem that when drawn requires a roll on a chart to see what special rule comes into effect when won. This can be anything from one player having to put a gem back in the bag, 2 gems being pulled for the next round, or nothing at all happening.
The game includes several variant rules to expand play as the children age. Showing 2 or 3 involves drawing 3 or 4 cards and choosing one to keep. The layer with the best hand of cards revealed wins the gem, but also keeps the spare card back for future rounds. In between has a player draw 2 cards and guess if the next card is between those two or outside those two in value. Fairy 21 is a version of blackjack. The 5+ and Fairy Mischief cards have additional effects during each of these games.
The full version of the game has players rolling a dice at the beginning of the round to see what rules that round will play under when drawing the gem.
After playing with the game I felt the cards were okay quality. Since this game is aimed at children I was torn between the idea that kids won’t treat the cards well so why use high quality materials to try and protect them and kids are going to be rough on this so the game should be better quality to try and minimize the damage. For the cards I think the erred to far toward the former. They bent easy and didn’t retake their shape. They also feel very thin.
The cardboard player boards are nice quality. The gems were nice enough, though they felt small and I wish they had been closer in size to the ones pictured on the player boards. There was also a slight issue with the colors when we played due to lighting making some of the colors hard to tell apart. I’m not certain how some of the color combinations will play out for someone with colorblindness.
The rules for this game are fine and do a decent job of explain the rules of each game. Everything was clear and well laid out as far as the rules go.
I think the art is fine. The two decks, one light fairy and one dark fairy did a decent job of being pretty enough. The art wasn’t stellar but also wasn’t awful. It falls into the average, workman like quality that will be fine for the kids playing the game.
This is a game for kids to play on their own when their parents are busy. The rules are simple, easy to follow, and once you learn them I feel like they’ll do okay to play alone. As I said earlier, these are the games me and my siblings used to play all the time as kids.
If you’re going to play this with one of your kids, I don’t think you’ll be challenged by the game but it’s more about spending time with your kids at that point then not.
Remind Me of the Game
The box says 5+ and for the War variant that feels like when I was playing these as a kid. I think that’s pretty accurate.
Back at the Beginning
You probably already know if you and your kids will like War, 21, and the other games listed. It’s entirely possible that you’ve played them with your kids already. I think this comes down to whether or not the variants are enough to make the game worth buying. To answer that question I went and looked at the games in the shop, it’s currently $19.99 down from $35. Add to that, the game comes with a couple of small jigsaw puzzles of card art and I think that the 19.99 may still be a bit high.
I had fun playing this game for the review. I’ve had fun playing these games as a kid and can think back and remember spending time with my brother and sister around the table playing cards over summer break.
There are a couple of things I think improve the games. For the War variant the fact that each player gets their own deck and you’re playing for gems instead of the other players cards mad the game feel fairer over all. I liked the variant of rolling the dice to see what you’ll play next round instead of just replaying the same game over and over. The gems were a nice tactile score counter that gave weight to each win.
A few things I wish they had done differently. Half of the black gems effects were negative and I wish they had just had positive, or crazy effect; like forcing the player to switch decks. I would have enjoyed them more. I didn’t like that the player boards had the black gem chart on one side and the advanced roll rules on the other. This forced you to have to keep your gems off the board when playing the advanced game so you could flip it over to look at the other side when needing to roll the dice for a black gem. I’m also confused as to why there are only two decks in the box. They billed this as a 2 player game and this could easily have had more players. This could easily have been an excellent sleepover game with four or five included decks and I feel like it was a missed opportunity.
In the end, I think the game is a bit too expensive, needs to slightly upgrade the cards, and replace the player boards with a couple of reference cards and two to three more decks and this game would be a really good fit that I would recommend as a party style kids game. Right now, I’m not sure if I would go out of my way to get this one when Bicycle decks are so cheap. If I gave this game a score it would be a solid 7 out of 10; it’s playable and fun but not really necessary. In fact, I have a friend with very young children and I’ll be gifting this to them as I think it might just be the perfect fit for them.
Anyway, those are my thoughts. As always try before you buy if possible, but with this one I think you already know if you’ll enjoy it.
Until next time, stay safe and be well.