Home Game Reviews The Lady and the Tiger Review

The Lady and the Tiger Review

Board Game Review by: :
AnnaMaria Jackson-Phelps

Reviewed by:
On May 30, 2018
Last modified:May 30, 2018


We review The Lady and the Tiger, a portable friendly card game for 1 or more players. The Lady and the Tiger actually packs five different card games in the little box, boasting ways to play for a variety of player counts.

The Lady and the Tiger Review

The Lady and the Tiger

“The question of her decision is one not to be lightly considered, and it is not for me to presume to set myself up as the one person able to answer it. And so I leave it with all of you: Which came out of the opened door,–the lady, or the tiger?” ~ Frank R. Stockton

The Lady and the Tiger is based on Frank R. Stockton’s short story, and like the story theres something hidden behind the cover of this box. The Lady and the Tiger actually FIVE games packed into 18 beautifully illustrated cards. Game types vary from puzzle to bluffing, and player counts range from solo play to six. With hand management, deduction, set collection, drafting, mazes, and more, there’s bound to be a game in the box to suit every member of your gaming group.

The Lady and the Tiger is a 5 in 1 set of card games. Player count ranges from 1 to six players. Most games take about 10-15 mins to play.

Gameplay Overview:

The Lady in the Tiger uses 18 cards and a small bag of glass tokens as the base for five different games. It also includes player guides for each. Most games are based on card traits – lady or tiger, red or blue.

The Lady and the Tiger Doors
Doors – can you collect the most similar cards?

Hoard, a Solo Puzzle game. Treasure and traps (in the form of glass tokens) are placed on the four door cards. Using the deck, move the tokens back and forth to eliminate the traps and collect the treasure in three rounds or less.

Doors, a two player deduction game. Each player takes a door – their secret identity. Players then take turns being the collector (attempting to collect a set of four cards that share a trait with their identity) or guesser (trying to suss out the collector’s identity by what cards they’re choosing.)

Labyrinth, a two player maze game. Each player starts with five tokens at one end of a 4×4 grid of Lady and Tiger cards. Through card manipulation and token movement, each is attempting to get all their pieces to the other end of the maze before their opponent does.

Favor, a bidding game for 2 to 4. In Favor, players are given a door card representing their identity. They then take turns bidding on lots of cards in an attempt to score points by collecting the most cards that share a trait with their card.

Traps, a bluffing game for 2 to 6. Each player receives two cards. A goal card is played from the remaining cards. Going around the table, each player can lay cards from their hand on the table that either match the traits on the goal card or not. Players then bid on how many correct traits they can match up by revealing the cards all the players have laid down.

The Lady and the Tiger Game Experience
Hoard is a fantastic head scratcher

Game Experience:

Five games in a 3×5 inch box? Really?

Yes, really. As small as The Lady and the Tiger is, it packs a lot of ingenuity and fun into every component. And with variety in game mechanics, there’s something in this little box for everyone. I don’t love bluffing or bidding games, but a friend that does. She LOVED how tricksy Traps felt. It’s got elements of a basic bluffing game (really just a numbers game) but in particular, even I liked the ability to throw trap cards and then watch the bidder squirm as they tried to suss out what cards would help and who was waiting to ruin their day.

The Lady and the Tiger Cards
Only 16 cards to get through – a piece of cake, right?

Now what I really love are puzzle games and both Labyrinth and Hoard were entirely my cup of tea. As a matter of fact, Hoard is the first solo game I’ve pulled out intentionally to play – its that good. There are some elements of that little triangle shaped jumping puzzle you see on table at comfort food type restaurants, but a great twist with the random element the card flips throw in.

Labyrinth is just great head to head, cutthroat fun – you’ll start advancing your tokens, only to have your opponent move you back to the end because they need that card in an entirely different spot. It seems the simplest, but its probably one of the longer games in the box. My one small issue with Labyrinth is that sometimes moving the cards with he tokens on them can be a pain in the butt.

Doors was the only game that fell a little flat to me – it just doesn’t seem to take a monumental effort to figure out what card your opponent happens to have. Additionally, another problem I noticed with the game in general was that sometimes the translucent tokens can disappear against the background of the cards, a challenge for visually impaired players.

I can’t talk about The Lady and the Tiger without raving about the art. Tania Walker has completely nailed the theme, and creating such vibrant, detailed pieces with a limited color palette is genius. Every time I open the box with someone new, the first thing they do is flip through and rave about the card art. Additionally, the diversity of the ladies is refreshing. Many races and body types are represented here. Thoughtful art for a thoughtful game.

Final Thoughts:

The Lady and the Tiger’s tiny size holds wonders – this five in one game is a terrific addition to any game library. Beautiful artwork reinforces the theme. Little twists on some classic mechanics will make many of these games seem familiar but fresh. The Lady and the Tiger holds a little something for everyone.

Final Score: 4 Stars – There’s so much to love in this little box! With a smorgasbord of game types, everyone is sure to find something they enjoy. Gorgeous art and an easy to grab-and-go size make this a must have for your game shelf.

4 StarsHits:
• Lots of variety with five games in one box
• Interesting twists on classic games make these a quick study
• Player aids for all games prevent rule book fatigue
• Small size is great for bringing on trips or to game night

• Translucent tokens can be hard to see for visually challenged players
• Unusual size makes sleeving a challenge

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  1. I’m going to nitpick with your nitpicking about card sizes and translucent tokens. Is that really grounds for losing a star? Or is 5 a near unattainable score reserved for only the most amazing games?

  2. 4 in BGQ parlance represents a “great game, might have some minor flaws.”

    The translucent tokens are a genuine challenge for players with any type visual impairment, which is an issue when half the games in the box use the tokens on the cards. Also, these cards are going to be manipulated a lot, so sleeves would be a benefit to keep them looking nice as well as making it easier to pick up and/or move cards. I point out in the body of the review that a couple of the games aren’t terrific – Doors’ hidden role mechanic is pretty weak and Labyrinth is somewhat frustrating to manipulate, particularly so for anyone with manual dexterity challenges. Part of my overall score will always be based on accessibility for ALL gamers.

    I really like the game, but these few flaws warranted a four over a five. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to elaborate on my score.

  3. Fascinating game! I had never heard of it before, so thank you for bringing it to my attention. I am impressed at how the designer used the same components in so many different games, it seems inevitable that at least one game would be a bit flat.

  4. Thanks so much for the review! Our second print run is on the boat now; it (and all future prints) will have opaque tokens, specifically to address this concern.

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