Monday, May 14, 2012

Ren Faire


Publisher: Atlas Games
Designers: Michelle Nephew and Wendy Wyman


Players: 2-4

Ages 13+

Ren Faire rules: http://www.atlas-games.com/pdf_storage/RenFaire_Rules.pdf
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Let me start by saying "Hip, Hip, Huzzah!"

On a components basis alone, this game is a beloved one at the One Zillion Games house. The recommended age is 13+, but my 5 and 9 year old played "dress up" with the clear costume cards for an hour before we ever got around to playing the game.

I think the age is put there to shield younger ones from some of the humor within the cards: "The Bawdy Bard", Ladies of Negotiable Affection", "Costume Malfunction", and "Chain mail Bikinis".  However, having been to a few ren faires as a family, I can honestly state that these cards are very tame.
The game play can be probably be described as a combination between truth or dare (without the truth) and Minute to Win It.

You and the other players are new to the festival and look pretty out of place in your civilian clothes (non-costumes). The goal of the game is to be the first to put together a worthy ren fair outfit.

Just buying the clothes outright is out of the question; each piece costs three tokens and you (foolishly) have arrived to the festival with only two tokens to your name.  How could you possibly afford to buy 4-6 pieces of garb?  Perform for the crowds!

This really is a pretty silly game with performance tasks such as:
Choose a player to thumb wrestle
Have a staring contest
Have an archery contest involving cards and tokens
Squawk like a chicken

The game is very reading intensive (each performance card has a detailed task with rewards and penalties) so our 5 year old could not play other than being on a team.  With a little patience on our end, our 9 year old was able to play - and enjoy herself. We would recommend Ren Faire for any adults (or older children) that were looking for a silly and fun way to spend an hour.

As a family that is all about empowering our daughter, we appreciated Ren Faire's use of the feminine in all of the descriptions:
"The winner is the player who keeps her opponent's thumb immobile for 3 seconds, and she gains the Reward."

OZG Grown-Ups' score: 9 points

OZG Kids' score: 7 points (they loved the durable cards, but were just too young to fully enjoy the game.  If you want to play it with your kids - like we will - then play in teams where they can pick out the clothes and participate in the challenges)

One Zillion Games was provided with a review copy of Ren Faire. The fact that a sample copy was provided, in no way influences our opinions of the game.

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