Dale Yu: Preview of the Fast Forward games

I had the privilege of playing the new set of games from Friedemann Friese while at the Gathering back in April.  At the time, we weren’t allowed to write about it as the games were not finished.  However, with their release at Essen coming up in the next week, It’s finally time to start talking about the games!

Friedemann has always been an innovative genius as far as game designs go – and he has been one who has been able to take ideas and re-invent them with his own take.  Foremost would be Copycat – which was a game where he challenged himself to take the main mechanisms of at least ten other games and combine them  into a working final product.


With the Fast Forward line, he has taken a piece of his own game, Fabled Fruit, and spun it into something new.  In this series of three games (so far), players are handed a pre-sorted deck – just as with the deck in Fabled Fruit.  Over the course of the games, these cards will come out in a programmed fashion, and the players together will explore the game situation.


When talking with FF at the Gathering, I remember talking to him about the rise of the escape room games and the idea that games can be consumable.  This new movement was in part the inspiration for this line of games.  While I didn’t write down his exact words – he said something to the effect of: I’d like to make a small card game that a group might have to play 15 to 20 times to get through.  So what if you can’t play it again? You’ve had a lot of play time with a game at a low cost and a small size.  And, like Fabled Fruit, even once you’ve seen all the cards – you can still play it again if you want because you haven’t destroyed anything…  The game will still work once you know all the cards, though you can really only have the “wow” of a new card/rule once.


So – back to the games – each of these games is in a small format box, each with a deck of cards within.  Don’t go looking too hard for a missing rulebook, because the rules for each game will be found on the cards!  Unwrap the cards, make sure not to shuffle them, and the start playing.  The game will unfold as you play.  The initial rules are laid out on the first card, and as you go through the game, new rules will make themselves apparent.


Each of the three games plays differently.  I had the chance to try each of them out, going through three or four plays each back in April.



Fortress is a competitive game about taking risks and out-witting and bluffing your friends to become the dominant ruler of the kingdom.

What sorts of things do you have in Fortress? Fiery!

Fear is a competitive hand management game where you play numbered ghost cards to the table – though always taking into account the constantly evolving set of rules for play.

Flee was my favorite one based on the initial session.  This one is a cooperative puzzle game where the goal is to make it through the deck to the end.  From what I recall (and looking at my scribbled notes), players start with a hand of cards, and they take turns playing them according to the current set of rules.  During the course of the game, they will hopefully draw more cards from the deck – granting them access to new secrets.  However, if there comes a time when a player cannot play a card on their turn, the team has lost, and the game must be restarted.  As you are getting ready to play again, it would be a good thing to talk about how the previous game went to figure out where the group went wrong.  Of course, given the puzzle nature of this one, I will refrain from describing it further to avoid spoilers, though I can say safely that we found the first section of the puzzle to be surprisingly challenging.

All three of the games felt different, and each had great ideas from the portion of the games that we saw.   The genius thing, for me, was the way in which each game still uses the central Fable mechanic to have constantly evolving game states though all three of them feel completely different.  I’m definitely looking forward to playing all three all the way through.


Until your next appointment

The Gaming Doctor


About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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5 Responses to Dale Yu: Preview of the Fast Forward games

  1. Do you feel the games have enough meat to be played after the wow factor of the new cards is gone?

    • Dale Yu says:

      honestly, it’s hard to say for sure not having played any to completion… But, from what i saw, the two competitive games (Fear, Fortress) would definitely be re-playable. Sure, someone who has made it all the way thru will have a small advantage as they’ll have some idea of the rules changes to come in the game – but the games should still work.

      Flee is more like an escape room game – your team has to work through the puzzle of getting through the deck. I think this would be less likely to be replayed because once you know the gist of the puzzle, you can’t even un-know it….

  2. Henning Kröpke says:

    I am biased as the editor of these games, but of course Fear and Fortress are replayable after you saw all cards.

    These games are innovative, as you learn new stuff game after game compared to “normal” card games, which you already know after a single game (reading all rules before playing and then playing once to see all cards). Still, you do not ask if such a card game can be played again. :-)

  3. gamingleet says:

    I sat down with a group “just to play a few rounds to get the feel” of Fortress. We ended up playing game after game in a row through the deck. It was great fun and alone worth the cost of a card game. I’d rank the replay ability as moderate to high. Sure, you may be missing “surprise twists” but the strategies of play and bluffing will I think be even deeper on replay.

    I can’t wait to try the other two.

  4. Pingback: Essen Day One: What was hot, and what I played… (Chris Wray) | The Opinionated Gamers

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