What: A game that changes every time you play it. Oh and it’s about buying animals with fruit.
Players: 2-5
Time: 20-30 minutes
People: A couple or small group of friends that regularly play together
Available: Get it here on Amazon and support Best Play at the same time

The Gist

Why we recommend it

One of the great joys of board games is that excitement and surprise when you first open the box.

That’s not just my opinion; science says so too. Studies have shown the most satisfying part of owning a new board game is the opening.

The surprise fades of course – it has to. A game can’t keep being new every time you open it, so instead the joy comes from mastery and the comfort of familiarity.

That’s why we loved Pandemic Legacy and Mechs vs Minions, games built around great surprises and a campaign that keeps you coming back like your favourite TV shows.

But those games can be expensive,  can be complex, and do give some people who really don’t like having to tear things up a hard time. That’s where Fabled Fruits comes in.

It’s a game with surprise, with change and with something new every time you play. But you’re always in control. Kind of.

The game starts relatively simple. You have to move around these card locations, collecting fruit. You then use those fruits to buy those same locations. You win when you have 5 locations (in a 2 player game – fewer when you’re playing more peeps).

Each location does different things when you go to it, like draw 2 fruit, trade some fruit with your mates or gamble with the turtle and see how many unique fruits you can draw – hit a duplicate and you get nothing.

Every time you buy one of these locations you get closer to your victory, but you also change the game. Buying something means replacing it with a (potentially different) card from the location deck. This is a huge deck of over 50 more locations (4 of each) that you’re going to be progressing through over tens of games.

These new locations bring with them new ideas, adding variety and a little more strategy as you build. For example, there’s the Walrus location, which adds a market of 5 fruits that you can then trade with. We won’t tell you anymore ‘cos #spoilers, but there are many new and exciting locations to discover.

This seemingly simple location mechanic greatly adds to the overall metagame, meaning you’re always thinking beyond just this one round you’re playing. Because once a location runs out, it’s gone – so if someone buys that final Rhino location, you’ll never be able to simply ‘draw 2 fruits’ again.

Everything you buy is resigned to a plastic bag, sealed away (but not destroyed) until you decide to reset. Meaning the 1st and 10th game you play could have dramatically different locations and very different tactics and strategy.

I love that every game brings a new surprise. I get that rush of excitement every time we get to add something new and start to figure out how it changes things. I feel a pang of sadness when the final card of my favourite location is purchased and gone for good. What will I do with all my pineapples now?!

It’s enjoyable with any number of players and never too complicated for someone to jump in, even if they haven’t played before.

Get it here on Amazon and support Best Play at the same time