Four-Headed Dragon Review

Fabled Fruit

Brian's ReviewsBrian

  • Pros: Even with the amount of cards in this game, it was quick to pull out, set up, and play. The concept of an evolving game board that can be reset whenever you like is cool.  I liked seeing what new card would come up next and change the rules.
  • Cons: The first time I played this game, I only played one game using maybe the first 8-9 cards and thought I was going to love it.  The next time I played it, I started over using cards 1-6 and played several others games right after another and using the continuation rules. After getting about ⅓ of the way through the deck, the cards just didn’t add enough strategy or enough decisions. Sure, it was cool to see how some interacted, but it basically came down to always take the action that nets you a guaranteed 2 cards instead of the ones that get you 1 specific card or let you push your luck and get you 3 cards ¼ of the time. If someone took the action you wanted, paying 1 fruit wasn’t enough of a hindrance from taking it anyways as you could always ditch one of the cards you didn’t need.
  • Summary: It’s light and quick filler which can be great at times, but there are much better options out there. Perhaps I was expecting too much from it. I dunno if the game gets better in the 2nd half of the deck, but that’s asking a lot of a player to play that many games before the game actually gets some meat to it. Maybe a new game will come out using the same premise and put some actual decision making into it.
  • Rating: 4/10

Mark's ReviewsMark

  • Pros: Of all of the Friese games dropping this year, I was thoroughly looking forward to this game the most.  The theme was fun and quirky, the gaming mechanism seemed simple enough, and the promise of an ever changing, yet uncomplicated, game looked like something I could really sink my teeth into.  This game is nothing if not family oriented.  Most assuredly a “spouse-approved” game and one that is simple enough that younger kids can enjoy it so long as they can read and understand moderately complicated concepts.  The art is fun, the color scheme pleasing, and the game itself plays well.  I enjoyed the fruit collection and the growth of the rule system as more and more characters come into the shared tableau.  It is a game that I’ll be happy to get to the table with my family and one that lends itself to a ton of expansions if Friese ever desires to do any.
  • Cons: All of that being said, the game is far simpler than I originally expected it to be.  Brian (above) discussed the net gain of cards every turn being negligible and relatively even as you play with very little allowing for big plays.  I don’t see this as an overtly negative strike against the game, though it could make it boring.  That being said I have to admit that the first time we played this I kept pushing my luck (a card allowed this to happen) and would push it too far sometime giving me a net gain of zero cards that turn.  At other times I seemed to be hot on the trail of another player as I kept following their moves, forcing me to pay them one of my cards.  I never had the issue of gaining 2 or 3 cards per turn because I couldn’t gain anything through my ineptitude.  My one major negative of the game, and it’s really quite minor in the grand scheme of it all, is that if I make a sub-par move, even one, then I’ve lost the game.  If I push my luck on the card draw as the starting tableau allows and I come out of my turn with a net gain of zero then my chances of being competitive this game have just plummeted to near zero.  This is really a non-issue as the game plays quickly and the next game will start before you know it.  Another gripe would be the backs of the cards.  On the victory side of the card you get the same image of a bottle of juice with a number on the label.  At first we all thought the number represented the victory points of that juice.  Turns out all it does is indicate which card set that card belongs to.  Furthermore, there are some card sets that come out and have a considerably more expensive juice to make, yet they are the exact same value as the cheapest and easiest juice to create.  I feel like something was missing with the end game scoring or the weight of juices created.
  • Summary: In all I enjoyed the game and only managed to play through about a third of the entire massive deck available.  I liked it enough that I immediately bought it and put it on my shelf knowing full well my family would enjoy playing it some day when the kids were old enough to handle the simple gaming concept.  I hope there’s an expansion to this game in the works.  It’s a fun system that could benefit from more competitive cards or different altered rule sets weighting the juices.  Otherwise its a fun short card game with an ever changing, albeit minimal change, card and rule set.
  • Rating:  I give this game a 6.5 out of 10.  With some tweaking of the rules and cards Fabled Fruit could be outstanding.

Sten's ReviewsSten

  • Pros:  This game has a unique set up and savable play system for continued newness. I really don’t know what I just typed but it is early on a Tuesday and it’s the best I got, So Back Off!!!
  • Cons:  My biggest complaint is the back of the cards. When you make a drink you flip the card over. On the back is a bottle with a large number on it. This number is not Victory Points. This drove me crazy. I know you need to number your cards but put that crap in the corner.  Also, I hate the tie breaker of this game. It seemed that 3-4 people were able to make the required 3 drinks necessary to win the game. Tie breaker is how many fruits you have left in your hand.  Just dumb. 
  • Summary: This game has like 14,000 cards (not really) and I have now played the starting 8-10 card sets like 5 times.  If I see those cards again I might scream.  I can really take or leave this game.  If it hits the table I know it won’t take long to play.  Instead I will be thinking in the back of my head that we could be playing Fuji Flush.
  • Rating:  On a scale of Blueberries to Jackfruits. I give Fabled Fruit a solid Cantaloupe.

Lee hasn’t had a chance to play Fabled Fruit yet.  He’ll be back for another 4-Headed Dragon review shortly.

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Fabled Fruit – An I, Geek 4-Headed Dragon Review

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