WBG Score: 7.5
Player Count: 2-4
You’ll like this if you like: Hanamikoji
Published by: Radical 8 Games
Designed by: Mark Stockton-Pitt
This is a free review copy. See our review policy here.
This is the scond edition of a popular card game made by designer Mark Stockton-Pitt who also runs his own publishing company. They were the team who brought the fantastic Die of the Dead to market. The first edition used a more simple art style, whereas with this second edition that also tweaks a few rules, looks gorgous with the new Tourism theme. It is coming to Kickstarter in early 2024 but this is a finished copy of the game, hence this being a review, not preview. Let's get it to the table and see how it plays.
How To Set Up Forks Game
Setting up Forks is a straightforward process. Utilise the provided setup card to remove a specified number of cards based on your player count. For a two-player game, you must also exclude the Ten, Eleven, and Twelve cards. Next, deal the top three cards face up on the table, visible to all players. If any cards of the same suit are revealed at this point, create a cascading pile, ensuring the values of all the cards are visible while keeping them grouped by suit. Place the remaining cards in a face-down deck at the center of the table. With these steps completed, you're now prepared to start playing.
How to Play Forks Card Game
The initial player starts by drawing three cards. From these three cards, they select one to keep, a process termed as Embezzling in the game. Subsequently, they pass the remaining two cards to the player on their left. The second player then picks one card from the received two, keeping it, and places the third card into the central pile, referred to as Investing. The player performing this action then draws the top three cards from the deck, repeating the same process of choosing one to keep and passing the other two to the next player. In a two-player game, after the second player completes this sequence each time, the top card from the deck is immediately Invested before continuing with the regular game. This cycle continues until the deck is depleted. At that juncture, all card groups in the middle are tallied and arranged in order of value. The top three groups are distinguished from the bottom two, and any ties are resolved by consulting the back of the setup card, which provides clear instructions on how to handle such situations.
Participants then total the cards in their Embezzle pile derived from the three highest groups and record those as positive points. Conversely, they subtract the cards in their Embezzle pile from the two lower groups. The player amassing the highest number of points emerges as the victor.
Is It Fun? Frks Card Game Review
Forks is an exceptionally easy game to grasp, explain, and engage with, yet it falls into the category of those simple card games that prove to be incredibly addictive. A single round is seldom sufficient, and every time this little deck of joy is brought to the table I have a lot of fun.
This edition represents the second iteration of the game, with the initial version featuring a business-oriented theme. The current rendition is centered around tourism, with each of the five suits representing distinct locations. While the artwork on the cards is stunning, it remains consistent across all cards within each of the five suits which is a shame. It would be nice to see some differneces over each number.
As the game unfolds, you'll come to appreciate the captivating elements Forks constantly brings to the table. It's incredible how much strategy the straightforward "I cut, you choose" mechanism brings to such a simple decision. Each card you retain will either earn you positive or negative points when the game ends. However, keeping a card reduces the likelihood that its suit will rank among the top three suits, increasing the chances it will end up in the bottom two and yield negative points. So, avoiding this card seems like the logical choice, right? Well, yes, but then you'll have to select one of the remaining cards, putting you in the same predicament with that card. It's a delicate yet delightful dilemma.
Another delightful aspect of this finely tuned decision when you're the first player, is that the card you opt not to take presents the subsequent player with the option to select one and invest in another. What choices do you want to leave for them? Which two cards do you prefer not to embezzle, knowing that the other player will invest in one and embezzle the other? Sometimes you might want all three cards, occasionally you'll want to invest in all three, but more often than not, you'll want to pass none to the other player. It's a joyous experience every turn, offering a wealth of strategic choices consistently, throughout the entire game, approximately every twenty seconds or so. Hit after hot of endorphines. But also, fear. Did you make the right choice?
I would reccomd this game to anyone. Anyone at all. It's so simple. So quick to play. And I would imagine, universally appreciated due to its simplistic rule set but highlly enjoyable strategy. One to keep an eye on when its hits the crowd funding shlves in 2024. I will add a link here when it comes live.