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Subject: Fantasy for kids rss

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Karin
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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Fabulantis - by selecta spiel
Ages 6+
3-6 players
20-45 minutes (information on the box)

Contents:
* A put-it-together-yourself gameboard consisting of 1 middle piece and 6 starpoints. These have turnable pieces (turntables) on top which change the route during the game. The fact that you put the gameboard together for every new game means the lay-out of the paths is different every time. This doesn't really have much impact on the game though. But it's easy for storage as it fits into the box nicely this way!
* 6 wooden figures: 3 girls and 3 boys in the colours purple, red, yellow, orange, blue and green.
* 2 dice. One green one with 1-2-3 dots and one white one going up to 6 (a normal one).
* 12 activity cards: they add some juice to the game.
* 6 target cards with a fantasy creature on it (a griffin, a butterlynx, a dragon, a seaunicorn, a catgoat and a pegasus). These creatures are also drawn on the gameboard to mark your finishing point.



Gameplay:
The gameboard shows a wood with a lake in the middle. There are paths (stepstones) leading to this lake and around the board and finally leading to the target figures (the fantasy creatures).
When it's your turn, you roll the dice (both of them). The green one allows you to turn one of the turntables as many corners as the dice shows. This will change the course of the paths on that piece and maybe make it more difficult for one of the other players (being further away from their goal or maybe even you made it impossible for them to reach their goal in that turn) or you made it easier/quicker for yourself to reach your goal.
The white dice shows you how many steps you may move.
Some stepping stones have a dot on them. This means it's an activity square and you must take an activity card. The icons on these cards tell you what you must do. They are easy to understand and children do not need to read to understand them. It may be that you can move forward a few steps, every player can move forward a few steps, or you miss a turn, you choose another player who will miss a turn, you swap position with another player or even swap target cards with another player.
Then there are also several coloured stepping stones. Each colour is shown twice on the board. If you step onto one of them, you get transported through the woods to the other one.

Targets:
You have two targets in this game.
Your first one is to reach the lake (it's enchanted) in the middle of the board as quickly as you can. Once you are here you receive your target card and you will know where to go to finish the game. These target cards have the fantasy creatures on it which I mentioned above. These creatures are also drawn on the 6 points of the starshaped gameboard. This is then your second and final target.

Game end:
The player who reaches his/her target first will win the game.

Tactical points:
Yes, there is some tactic to this game. Basically it's a regular 'roll the dice and walk the amount of steps shown'. This is an easy to grasp concept for children. But:
* In this game you can influence the route because of the turntables. You have a choice whether you want to turn them or not to make your or somebody elses path longer or shorter.
* Your target (the fantasy creature you are heading for) is a secret for the others. You can try to deceive them by taking a different path and maybe head for one of the coloured stepping stones to transport yourself.

Do I like it:
Mwah. I like the theme, I like the components. The wooden boys and girls are cute and the gameboard is beautiful. It appeals to children too.
But: the game can take too long. If you keep turning the turntables to stop the others from reaching their target, you can go on for ever.
Children can either find this funny, or very annoying. I think it's up to the parents to maybe adjust this rule according to the children playing.
I think this game can be played by younger children than 6, although this age may have been chosen because of the 'annoy the others' factor. If your child does not play/have many other games, this one will be just fine. For children who have experienced other games with a bit more 'meat', it will become boring very quickly.
Parent who will pay the money to buy this game are usually not the ones who just have one or two games for their children though. So I think it will often end up at the back of the cupboard and that's a shame of the beautiful lay-out of the game. There's a mismatch somewhere here.
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W M Shubert
United States
Lexington
Massachusetts
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Thanks for the review. I'd never heard this game, but between the look and the manufacturer (we have some other Selecta games our kids like a lot), I thought it might be a great Christmas present!

But it's too bad that the gameplay is such a drag. Adventuring around a pretty board looking for unicorns and seahorses would have made my 5 year old pass out with excitement if it had been done well!
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Karin
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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I think it depends on the children and the way you play it whether it becomes a drag or not. If your children keep turning the turntables to annoy eachother, yes, then it will slow down. If you add a rule that this may only be done, say, 3 times each game (or some other rule) then it can be fun. For a 5 year old certainly.
I prefer Mago Magino to this game though. It has a bit more spice added to it. Do you know that one?
 
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W M Shubert
United States
Lexington
Massachusetts
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I've heard of Mago Magino and it has been on my "thinking about it" pile for a while! But thanks for the recommendation. Even though this game can be OK, there are too many really good kids' games out there to get one that is just OK at best.
 
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