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Fairy Lights Review

Review of: Fairy Lights
Board Game Review by: :
Mindful Phill

Reviewed by:
On Jan 5, 2023
Last modified:Jan 5, 2023


Push Your Luck in Fairy Lights, a Card Drafting, Luck Based family game. Grab as many stars as possible, collecting beautiful fairies and bulbs to beat other players and win the game.

Fairy LightsPush Your Luck in Fairy Lights, a Card Drafting, Luck Based family game. Grab as many stars as possible, collecting beautiful fairies and bulbs to beat other players and win the game.

Fairy Lights is a card game for kids from eight years up, for two to six players, that takes much longer than the advertised twenty minutes filled with painful downtime waiting time.

Gameplay Overview

During setup, shuffle and place the cards in the center of the table. To the right of the cards pile, you will have “The Shop”. To the left, you will keep the discard pile. Each player has their own “playing area”.

Players can do two turn actions: “Reveal” or “Take” cards. Fairy Lights is a classic Push Your Luck & Card Drafting game without adding anything unique or twist to the genre. As in every other game like this one, there is a shared pool of cards (the “Shop”) where you draw cards “pushing your luck”. You can draw up to five cards, but if you draw two cards of the same color in a sequence, you miss your turn and can’t take (or “buy”) any cards from the “Shop”. Otherwise, you can buy all cards of one color (if fewer than five cards are available) or two colors (if five cards are available).

As you “take” cards, if your bulbs of a particular color are three bulbs or multiples of three, score their cards, placing them face-down on the corner outside your playing area. You can keep cards of a color in your playing area if you only have one or two bulbs in that color. Otherwise, discard all cards of that color.

Following the final card reveal, the current player completes their turn. Add the points from the cards you’ve scored (illustrated with stars), then subtract the points from the remaining cards (those in your playing area). Ultimately, the person who accumulates the most points wins!

Fairy Lights Cards
The Fairy Light Bulb Cards

Game Experience

There are almost no tactics involved in playing this game. If you draw a card, you can use it to secure end-game points immediately or in a future turn, and you better stop revealing cards and “Take” the cards you need. Otherwise, keep “pushing your luck” until you “Reveal” a useful card. This game has no more strategy than what I have just described. If not for the attractive illustrations, I would say one could play Fairy Lights with one’s eyes shut! Winning is mostly determined through sheer luck, and I refuse to admit that victory is an outcome of one’s abilities or efforts.

Fairy Lights Player Aid
Fairy Lights Player Aid

Player interaction happens through “Take That” mechanics; “Take” the cards you know your opponents need to “punish them”. Again, nothing is unique here, and we have seen this strategy used repeatedly in almost every Card Drafting game.

Replay value comes down to the player’s liking. If you enjoy playing such a basic and obvious game, then you can play it as a quick filler game if you don’t have anything better to play, which I strongly hope you do. Some may say this fits into the category of gateway games to kids, but I would think otherwise, Fairy Lights will probably put you (and your kids) off of card games when there are great options out there.

Incredibly low-quality cards wear out the first time you play and are difficult to be sleeved due to being non-standard sized. Even though the well-designed box makes it easy to place and remove cards, overall, it delivers low component quality.

If Fairy Lights does one thing right it is the artwork. It is personally not to my taste, but it is clear that much thought was put into the illustrations to make them attractive and appealing to kids. Some people may find them gorgeous; others may find them repetitive, typical, and bland.

Fairy Lights Cards
Drowning in a sea of Fairy Liights

Final Thoughts

If you are keen on light, quick, easy, and simple games, I would suggest it is time to consider looking for better and decent games to improve your game collection. There are plenty of them. Think A Love Letter Games, Exploding Kittens, Tussie-Mussie, 5211, and many others from publishers like Next Move Games, Button Shy, and Exploding Kittens. And please put Fairy Lights back on the shelf unless you want to punish yourself and your kids.

Final Score: 2 Stars – There would be no point in playing this game if it weren’t for its good looks.

2 StarsHits:
• Attractive artwork. Some players may find cards gorgeous.

• It is a Push Your Luck and Card Drafting game that adds nothing unique to the genre.
• Take That mechanics are punishing and frustrating.
• Winning is determined by luck.
• Some players may find illustrations ordinary.

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