In the season of in-laws, out-laws, and extended family—also known as “the holidays”—I present to you, Dearest Romance Readers, another board game perfect for date night: “Fairy Tile.” As you cook, clean, decorate, and cook some more, I offer you some alone time with your significant other in the form of a quickie. A quick board game, that is. Fairy Tile, by IELLO USA LLC, takes only about thirty-minutes to play and it’s easy to learn, which is perfect for your busy holiday schedules.
For starters, let me tell you about my Fairy-Tile book: Princess Flora leaves her father’s castle against his better judgement and wishes. She gets lost in the forest, only to meet the Knight Ulric. He immediately falls for her many charms, and he escorts her to what he thinks is safety. There, she is captured and whisked away by Dragon Draxor—right in front of Knight Ulric. He pursues the dragon, and a battle ensues for the princess. Knight Ulric wins, but I believe he is hiding a dark secret…
Escape into this gorgeous stained-glass, art-filled world (illustrated by Miguel Coimbra). There are thirty-six cards—pages of the story—that are jewel-toned, surrounded by gold filigree, and seemingly back lit. All of the cards are dealt out evenly to all players (2-4) at the beginning of the game. These are the pages of your fairytale book, but you may only look at the top card.
Fairy Tile, is another story-telling, book-building game, but not as role-playing as “Fog of Love” as there is no need for character creation. This is a competitive game; there is only one winner. As you build the Kingdom, you move the “daring Princess,” “devoted Knight,” and “dreadful Dragon” around the Kingdom.
The bored, rebellious Princess Flora—my kind of princess—begins the game at her castle, and she may move one space at a time. However, she has the special ability to portal from one castle to another in the kingdom. Keep this in mind while you are building and strategizing.
The devoted, tenacious Knight Ulric, begins the game in the forest. He may move two spaces at a time, but always forward and away from his starting point—never back to where he started. And the dreadful, awfully human-like Dragon Draxor begins the game in the mountains. Draxor must move in a straight line, flying from one edge of the kingdom to the other.
Your opponent will also be moving these characters around, so some strategy is required. Your move will consist of either lying down tiles (building the Kingdom), moving one of the three characters on the board around to fulfill your page’s scene, or turning the page.
As a move, you could choose to lie down tiles to help you fulfill future strategies. Another option is you move characters to satisfy the conditions of that page, and you read your justification for your movements out loud. Save the story part for the end of the game, if you win. (more on that later) Once the pages are laid, they’re laid. Future movements or pages have no bearing on your current pages.
If you turn the page, you place your seen top card of your deck to the bottom and work toward the objective of the next card down. Although this may seem like losing your turn, you receive a magical token, and can cash it in later for another move for free (your recuperated skipped move).
Your story unfolds as you lay down the pages of your book. Whichever player satisfies the requirements of all their cards first (lays down all the pages of their book), wins. Now the winning player then puts their cards in numerical order, and then reads the bottom half of the cards out loud—the story half.
Fairy Tile is a fast-moving game that is faster with only two people playing, because then it’s not as hard to reach your page objectives if only one other person is moving the characters about the kingdom and interrupting your strategy. See? A quickie!
Now, as a Romance Author, I will tell you that I have personally embellished some back story into these beautifully illustrated cards. Draxor is a very crimson-red dragon. And if you look closely at Knight Ulric’s eyes they are, in every card, crimson-red. I might have added into my book (yes, I won) the knowledge that Knight Ulric and Dragon Draxor are actually shape-shifting twin brothers who are vying for Princess Flora’s affections. Would you trust me as a Romance Author if I did not?
Lastly, this is a great gift idea if you are looking for recommendations. I have a small pack of alternate endings from GenCon, and they are glorious. The only other thing I would say to IELLO USA LLC is that I am begging for expansion packs with more story lines! This game is adorable, and it deserves to be played often. I will help with story expansion. (see paragraph above) Call me.