What is it? A brilliant update on the 15th century game Trumps
How many people? 2
How long does it take? 20-30 minutes
Who is it for? People who love playing classic card games but with a twist.
Buy it: Support Best Play and get yourself a copy from Amazon here.

The Gist

Why we recommend it

Games have been around for centuries, millenia even – card games especially. A long time ago (although not quite eons) I was a child and have very fond memories of playing simple card games with my dad. Trumps was a favourite.

Trumps is a very simple game at face value. One of you plays a card.

The other person must play a card of the same suit.

Whoever has the highest wins the hand. Whoever has won the most hands (sometimes known as “tricks”) at the end wins.

The twist though, is the Trump. If you can’t follow suit, you can play a “trump” card – the suit randomly decided as better than all the others, and which let’s you win the trick.

The real game though is figuring out what cards your opponent has, so you can lure out their better ones first and give yourself a higher chance of winning. Or perhaps you lose a hand on purpose, so that you can start trumping back.

But this isn’t a review for Trumps. It’s for The Fox in the Forest, a game heavily inspired by this old classic, but one that streamlines it and adds some new twists to bring it into the modern era.

There are only 3 suits and each only has 11 numbers. Just as in Trumps, you play a card, your opponent follows suit and the highest card wins.

But now you’ll notice some of these cards have abilities, like being able to change the trump suit to set you up for a better next turn or even flip this whole hand in your favour. Or the ‘witch’ card that acts as its own mini trump card. Or the usually pathetic 1 that now lets you start the next turn, giving you a chance to get back in the game and win more hands.

You might not want to win more hands though; the final twist in the tale is the scoring. You get points at the end of a round based on the amount of hands you have won. But if you win or lose almost all the hands you actually don’t get any points – you have to strike the perfect balance of being good, but not too greedy. So if you’re losing a game, maybe you should switch to trying really hard to lose big and deny those points to your opponent.

What I love about this game is it’s simple to understand but has the intricacy of a good puzzle. Playing your cards in the right order, reading your opponent, knowing when to hold back. It’s really brilliant and quick to play, making it a perfect 2-player game to take with you anywhere.

Treat yourself to this 2-player gem and support Best Play by getting The Fox in the Forest here from Amazon.