Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

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Thursday 15 April 2021

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Fairy Tale Inn

Game: Fairy Tale Inn

Publisher: CMON 

Designer: Remo Conzadori, Paolo Mori

Year: 2021

When you think of CMON as a board game publisher, then perhaps you think of Eric Lang, big miniatures and huge games, but they also have a considerable line of abstract, or puzzly games. Fairy Tale Inn falls into that abstract game line alongside games like Potion Explosion, Gizmos and Sugar Blast, which collectively stand out for their bright colours and high quality production.

Fairy Tale Inn
is what you might expect from a gamer version of the classic Connect 4. You're dropping tokens into the vertical board that sits between two players and the only downside is that you don't have that flap at the bottom of the board that releases all of the pieces at the end of the game!

On your turn, you select one character from the market of four available, with the freshest two tiles in the market costing coins if you want to take them. Some characters have powers when they are played, whilst others give end game scoring. When you drop the tile into the board, you perform any immediate powers and take any rewards, like coins, into your supply. A few of the spots on the board have an additional bonus marking, either giving you a bonus coin, an extra turn, or there are a couple of spots that cancel the character's power. The game will end when three columns have been completely filled and your coins will be added to your end game points.

Fairy Tale Inn has a huge box for a small game experience, but since the plastic inn is a single piece, it's understandable why the box is so big. Aside from the obvious centre piece, there is very little to the game, just the character tokens and a card that explains each of their powers, making it very easy to teach the game - everyone just needs to read the five cards that have been dealt to the table.

The game comes with eight characters and five are chosen to play with in each game. The combination of characters that is chosen can really affect the quality of your game. Some characters combine well together and others want you to achieve exact opposite patterns on the board, meaning that each game can have a very different scenario to solve. It's surprisingly hard to figure out an optimal play that with outwit your opponent and I'm not quite sure if that speaks to the level of challenge in the game, or more that there isn't a very satisfying move to be found. After a few games, I'm leaning towards the latter - it's just very challenging to make a truly great move.

Fairy Tale Inn is a really nicely produced game that positions itself perfectly as a next step game for families familiar with Connect Four. Unfortunately I am struggling to enjoy it because it doesn't feel possible to make a great move, you just try your best and hope that things work out in your favour at the end of the game. I can see how the theme and the interesting scoring might be enough for a more casual two player audience, but for me there would need to be a few more powerful combinations to make this one stand out. For the Yellow Meeple, it's a 5/10.

Fairy Tale Inn was a review copy provided by Asmodee UK. It is available at your friendly local game store or can be picked up at http://www.365games.co.uk  

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