Sometimes for dinner you just want a big, juicy steak grilled to perfection with a mashed potato, something that you can savor for a long time while you’re enjoying good company and a glass of wine.
And sometimes you just want a few White Castle sliders that you can shove into your mouth that you can enjoy like the typical college student.
Both are enjoyable, in their own way and at their own time.
(Sorry, I don’t have enough knowledge to make a similar vegetarian analogy, but I’m sure you can think of one!)
While your typical Vital Lacerda game can be an example of the former, Fantasy Realms is a perfect example of the latter.
Quick, not very filling but yet incredibly delicious to
eat play two or three times in quick succession.
Fantasy Realms is a card game designed by Bruce Glassco with art by Octographics. It’s published by Wizkids in North America and plays 3-6 players. It was published in 2017.
In the game, each player is dealt seven cards and they are trying to make the maximum number of points from those seven cards.
On your turn, you’ll draw a card either from the stack or from the discards on the table. You then have to discard a card.
The trick is that the game ends the moment there are ten cards discarded, so you’d better get cracking!
The cards (and the scoring) are tricky in this one, so you have a lot to pay attention to.
It’s like a moody teenager sometimes.
“Oh, this card will score 50 points if it’s paired with that babe Allison, but if that jerk Alan is in your hand too, it doesn’t score any points because the sight of Alan makes me forget even beautiful what’s-her-name. But if my BFF is also in my hand, then I do get 25 points because at least that’s something. Besides, you all hate me and I’m just going to go to my room, slam the door and PLAY DIABLO ANYWAY!!!!!!”
(No, I’m not having flashbacks, why do you ask?)
Anyway, you get the point. Each card can be dependent on the other cards in your hand, and can even be completely wiped out by other other cards in your hand unless you have protection. (that’s a lot of others)
Thus, you’re trying to find the perfect matches to score your points. Having these four cards in your hand can get you a lot of points just by themselves (136 by my calculation) and you would have three more cards in your hand still!
Of course, that would be completely negated by the Wildfire, which means only the Sword and Shield would score 11 points total.
There is one card (not pictured) that eliminates all PENALTY attributes, and if you can get that, you can really go hog wild with the rest of your hand. No Wildfire effects! (the designer has stated that there should be a PENALTY on Wildfire).
As soon as there are 10 cards discarded, add up all the points and see who wins!
Hope you’re good at Math.
Or you could use the really helpful app that Wizkids produced.
Is Fantasy Realms a nice bit of fluffy chocolate or is it a super-hard piece of candy corn?
I really love Fantasy Realms for what it is. A really quick filler card game that is easy to carry around and will be a delightful way to spend 10-30 minutes (depending on how many games you play, as the five games I’ve played so far all took about 10 minutes each).
It’s a perfect capper for a game day, or if you need to fill a bit of time while waiting for the other game(s) to finish.
The cards are pretty good quality from what I can tell (my friend’s copy was sleeved, but taking them out and feeling them shows that they aren’t cheap). The artwork is really nicely done as well. It’s bright and colourful, and you can easily tell the different “suits” (Weather, Beast, Army, etc) apart based on colour (except Army and Land are bit too similar).
I just love the chaos of the game as you’re trying to piece together that perfect hand.
As I said in my “New to Me – July 2019” post when I first played this game, it is very luck-dependent. In my very first game, I received 6 of the 7 cards in my game-winning hand in my initial deal. I just kept drawing and discarding to get that 7th card.
If you hate luck, you will hate this game.
However, it’s 10 minutes out of your life. Do you really hate luck that much?
Yes, the math can be a bit heavy, and the scoring app only works for your final score. You have a lot of variables to keep in your head. That may not be to everybody’s taste, but I didn’t mind it.
The most important things to look for are the cards with PENALTY on them, and then make sure you either don’t have anything that they penalize or to decide whether it’s worth it (usually it isn’t).
Some might say there is a bit too much to keep track of for such a light game, and while there is some validity to that, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. It’s only seven cards, and usually the best option is obvious.
You do have to decide how to make the best of what you have, though.
The other kind of negative about the game is the name. Fantasy Realms is so generic that it doesn’t pop out at you at all.
“What was that really quick card game that we played the other day?” “Star Realms?” “No, the other one. This was more than two players.” “Oh, I don’t remember. But I do remember it was fun!”
There’s really not a lot to say about Fantasy Realms, so I’ll try not to babble on.
It’s like trying to analyze a piece of chocolate cake.
You don’t analyze it. You just eat it and love it.
eat try Fantasy Realms and love it just like I did.
(Editor – Great, you just managed to turn away vegans, Math-phobes and chocolate-haters. No wonder you don’t have any readers)
What can I say? It’s a gift.
(This review was written after 5 plays)