Friday, June 8, 2012

Drooling over Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule!

by Randy

Wowed. That's what I was... wowed. I sat down to play a rhyming game with cutesy art with the kids, and I ended up playing a reasonably in-depth strategy game. That's how I felt after playing Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule. And I love this game.
Stretch goal already met, box will be upgraded to a collectable tin!!
Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule! is a game by David Luis Sanhueza of the Game-O-Gami game development studio. It is for 2-4 players, but also has a single-player variant for solitaire lovers out there. It consists of a deck of double-sided tarot-sized cards. Each card has a fairy on one side, and a goblin on the other, each with their own name, which rhymes with certain other fairies and goblins.

Jack is too little to read the cards, but he was rooting for the "Yucky Goblins" all the way... and laughing at the rhyming names and detailed pictures

The rules are very simple. On your turn, you play one of your cards (which are face-up in front of you). You check for a rhyme with other cards in the center (the Fairy Circle), and flip all cards that rhyme with the one you played. You then compare the symbol on the card you played with the ones in the Fairy Circle (for instance, Pixie Power rhymes with Dusty Dour,  Petal Flower, Nappy Hour and Sweet and Sour), and take all that match the card played. And then play passes to the next person, until one person either has no goblins left, or has collected six fairies. See... simple, right?

Angie wins! Boo-yaa!

The brilliance of this game is its elegance. That above is basically the gameplay in a nutshell. But with five rhyming groups, and two sets of binary suit symbols (sun/moon and mushroom/frog), it can be as strategic as you care to play. Since opponents' cards are face-up, you can plan your plays in such was as to prevent them from getting the fairies they need, or to try and make sure that they end up with a goblin. The emergent strategy should be enough to make even strategic gamers think hard... yet be able to play with young kids.

Julian and Sabine discussing various rhyming options

I played this game with my daughter, and she loved it. My daughter is an emergent reader and this game was great for her. The theme and art appealed to her, and she got a chance to practice reading skills. It was a blast watching her sound things out. She found out quickly that you couldn't just compare the last couple letters to check for rhymes.

Katie practicing her rhymes

I highly recommend this game. It is currently on Kickstarter and has met it's funding goal (and then some!) Now is your chance to get it and preorder a copy of this great game.. Some time after the Kickstarter campaign, of course, you'll be able to pick it up in stores, but there are some awesome  rewards and stretch goals available only via the Kickstarter campaign, such as an art book, stickers and double-sided puzzle. You don't want to miss this one, it's an excellent game and GORGEOUS!

Ok, maybe the grownups were getting a little too competitive with this one! But C'MON, FAIRIES RULE!!!


  1. How fast did the game play, for you?

    I've played it now a couple of times in 2-player games, and it always goes a little faster than I expect. Like, we played our first game in under 10 minutes.

  2. Around ten minutes for two players is what we were clocking. Three and four players went on a bit longer, though. Our first session with four players was about twenty minutes.

  3. Thanks for this post. I backed this on Kickstarter a few days ago based on it looking downright awesome for similar reasons to those you have given. It's great that another opinion on it is making me feel even better about the (small) investment. I'm just gutted we'll have to wait until the end of the year to play. Ho well, good things come to those who wait, right?

  4. Glad you enjoyed it, Rob! And I'm glad to hear you're backing it. :)