The Fox in the Forest Duet - Dastardly Review #131
We bought The Fox in the Forest Duet (2020) while on vacation in Phoenix. My wife and I asked the FLGS for a quick, fun, 2-player co-op game. The owner recommended The Fox in the Forest Duet (FFD) by Foxtrot Games and Renegade Game Studios. And we got exactly what we asked for!
In addition to board games, we play a lot of card games also (hearts, pitch, spades etc). FFD bridges those two types of games.
You win Fox in the Forest Duet by taking tricks to move around the forest collecting all of the Gems before the end of the third Round.
FFD has good quality components.
There is a Forest Track board where Gem tokens are placed and a round wooden Team Tracker disc. Four forest tokens are used to shorten the forest track as the game progresses.
There are 30 cards with nice art.
Finally each player gets a reference card that expertly summarizes the cards and their abilities.
A bit about the cards.
The 30 cards are split into 3 suits: Roses, Doves and Stars. Each suit has cards ranked 1 - 10.
Five cards, in each suit, have powers that are triggered at various times as indicated on the cards. The powers are all optional and beneficial to the team.
Also, seven of the card values have paw prints by the card number. The paw prints represent how much movement this card contributes to the trick. Those cards have 1, 2 or 3 paw prints.
The reference card is super helpful.
Setup is easy.
Put Gems on the Forest Track locations based on the Track icons.
Place the Team Tracker disc in the middle spot.
Shuffle the cards and deal each player 11 cards.
Turn 1 card face up to be the Decree Card (Trump).
Pick a first player.
Game play is a typical trick taking game except when it isn't!!! A couple of the card powers allow you to alter the standard card/trick rules which is very cool. There is just enough powers to make the game unique without destroying the trick taking mechanic.
Instead of scoring points, the Team Tracker is moved towards the winner of the trick by the total number of paw prints on the two cards. If there are any Gems where the Team Tracker stops one Gem is removed.
The winner of the trick leads a card to start the next hand.
If you collect all the Gems your team wins!
A round ends when all cards have been played. The cards are re-shuffled and dealt to the players again. Extra Gems are added onto the board. The next round starts. If you don't collect all the Gems by the end of the third Round you lose.
The difficulty of the game is adjusted by which side of the Forest Track board is used and how many Gems are placed in the Forest.
This is a collaborative game but you can't talk about your cards or tactics. Shhhh!!!
We really enjoyed The Fox in the Forest Duet.
A couple things stand out:
This game can get really tense...and we like that. It is not easy and the different difficulty levels work well. We win about half the time.
Making the switch to play trick taking in co-op mode took a bit of time and felt great. You have to constantly consider which direction you need to move the Team Tracker to decide who you want to take the trick.
Now I want to get the original The Fox in the Forest and give that a try. That version is competitive instead of co-op with completely different scoring mechanisms.
The Good: The Fox in the Forest Duet is easily one of my top 5 two player games.
The Bad: My only complaint is the cardboard Gem tokens (which are appropriate for the game's price). I will probably replace them with some shiny plastic gems.
The Dastardly: The Fox in the Forest Duet scratches both my itch for a board game and a card game.