Review: Ren Faire Card Game

2009 December 15
by Stupid Ranger

Last week at work, I was intrigued by a new card game we got in stock.  Ren Faire, by Atlas Games, captures that fun, quirky feeling of heading to a renaissance faire with your friends.

The Details

It’s a 2-4 player game, where you and your friends, as you’re wandering around the Ren Faire, start to feel out of place in your T-shirts and cut-offs, so you decide to buy costumes, one piece at a time.  In order to earn money for your costume purchases, you engage in performances with or against your friends.

The Performance cards are fun and entertaining.  There are physical challenges, such as arm wrestling or staring contests.  There are creative challenges, such as drawing something renaissance-y or whistling a tune.  It’s a fun combination of entertaining performances, and successful performances win you one or more coins.

With your new-found wealth, you can purchase costume cards that have one or more costume elements on them.  These cards are really the reason I wanted the game; the costume cards are clear plastic (see the promo pic here) so you can stack your cards and see your costume as it all comes together.

Dante vs Stupid Ranger

Dante & I gave Ren Faire a try.  We modified the rules a bit; instead of attempting to fill all six icons on our player cards, we decided to go for four.  Game play went pretty quick for us, and we finished in about a half an hour.  The Performances were fun, even with only two of us, but we both felt that the game as a whole would have been more fun with more players.

General Comments

There is definitely a high level of absurd and quirky fun; this is not a serious game!  The recommended age is 13 years or older, and I would agree with this; between the Performance challenges and the strategies involved in building your costume, this age frame seems appropriate.  And I recommend playing with more than two players; it’s playable with two, but it would be more entertaining with more.  If you’re looking for a fun, light-hearted game, I would recommend Ren Faire.

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