14+ (Author note) Appropriate due to some stronger language used on 1 or 2 of the cards
There you are a group of fantasy authors. Sat around the table talking about stories. Each one of you is desperate for the inspiration for your next story. So much so that you are willing to steal your friends-competitors ideas and try to sabotage their trains of thought. Will you be the first to tie down the three most important story components? Make no mistake each author is desperate to be the first to secure the “Plot” along with the “Protagonist” and “Antagonist” and get the use of the bestseller typewriter (win the game).
Write? I don’t write!
Do not panic you don’t need to actually write anything (phew). To achives success in Awful Fantasy you will draw cards from the “Fantasy” card deck. All the while hoping to collect the three cards needed to complete your story and secure your victory. Meanwhile you will be using cards gained from the “Awful” card deck to either help you or hinder your rivals.
60 “Awful” deck cards
40 “fantasy” deck cards
28 “Author” cards
Each player will start the game with an Author card. This is one area in which this game shines it’s brightest light. Each Author within this game is a lovingly satarised version of real world Authors. Will you choose to be?…
Anne Lice with her immortality?
J.R.R Tokin and his one peek to rule them all?
J/K Rofling and her Handicus Changus Upicus?
Or maybe you would prefer
George R U Fartin and his Stark Brutality?
In fact all 28 Authors contained in this game have a unique special ability. Which it has to be said is cleverly named in a thematic style true to that real world counterparts writings.
Then we move onto the antagonists *baddies*. Which true to all fantasy tropes include characters like
The demonic Hellhound
The wizardly Novelmancer
and the ominous Dark Lord.
But “Who will be our hero?” I hear you scream. Your protagonists will be drawn from the eclectic mix of heroes you will find in any good pulp fantasy novel.
Will “Etcher Gumfoot” (detective) Solve the case?
Can the wise “Father Darol” foil the evil plans?
Or will the country woodcutter step up and become “The Chosen One”?
Your choice of plots would have pride of place in any airport bookshop’s
pulp fantasy section.
“Avenge your Family”?
Or even “Time Travel”?
All of which come with a suitably tongue in cheek flavour text…
“The time travelor fired, missing his target. His only chance to save the future lost! Luckily he had a time machine, So he went back and did it again”
How do I do it?
On your turn you have a few options available to you. You can
Play an Awful Card.
Draw an Awful Card.
There are also some cards labelled “Interrupt” and they do exactly that. You can use them outside of your turn to hinder your opponents chances of completing their story.
HUH! Is that it?
So how does this all come together? The mechanics of this game are very basic. draw or play a card to try to complete a set of three cards. With a very small amount of “take that” sprinkled on top to mitigate to a degree the pure “luck of the draw” aspect to this game. “Does not sound like much of a game” you are saying right now! Normally I would be front and centre saying the same thing. EXCEPT for one overiding thing, The Theme.
The cards have plenty of flavour text cleverly written. The artwork has lots of very nice touches. (The Dark Lord is pictured sat on the toilet complete with evil helmet and pants down. Human skin toilet paper dangling near by) The creators have not stopped with the clever touches on the cards. Just scan the QR code on the back of the box for another. Awful Fantasy is one of those games that has two lives. On the one hand you have the very basic draw cards to complete a set with a large amount of luck involved. While on the other you have a very clever theme on top which if you are a lover of fantasy style fiction will feel familiar and fun in a gentle way.
What are you telling me?
Children, will find the gameplay easy to engage with but will struggle with a lot of the theme as the fantasy leanings are most definitely aimed at the older player.
If however (like me) You love the fantasy genre and have a group that do so as well I can see this being a little bit of fun If you are able to immerse in the theme embellishing the stories as you go.
The Short Short version!
Gameplay- very simplistic set collection. Theme- love or hate. A game to enjoy after a dinner party with a couple of bottles of wine