Dale Yu: Review of Fancy Feathers

Fancy Feathers

  • Designer: Friedemann Friese
  • Players: 2 per box
  • Age: 8+
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Played with review copy provided by 2F

fancy feathers

In Fancy Feathers, you are searching for the best collection of noble pheasants.  In each game, you will play with 6 animal types (there are 12 different types in the box) – using three copies of the card per player.  Each of the animal types (well, the term animal is a bit loose here, as you will also have to consider a mirror or a nest an animal…) If you have more than 2 players, you will need multiple copies of the game to have enough cards.  The deck of animal cards are shuffled, and the top 6 cards are discarded from the game.  Each player chooses a color, and takes the matching servant disc and card.  The discs are randomized into a stack, placed to the left of a 5 card path of face up animal cards.

In this game, the disc which is the furthest back on the path takes the next turn.  If multiple discs are in the same space, they are placed in a stack, and the disc on top of the stack is deemed to be the furthest behind.  Each turn is a simple thing.

First – if your disc is on a card by itself, move your disc just off this card.  Start collecting cards from the start of the Path and finish by taking the card that your disc was previously on.  Place all these cards below your servant.  (If you disc was not on a card by itself, you skip this step)


Second – Move your disc forward and place it on any space in front of its current position; whether that be an empty card or on top of another disc/stack of discs.  If you are the most forward disc, draw cards from the deck so that there are exactly 5 empty cards in front of you.

Once the deck runs out, you have the option of simply moving off the path and finishing your card collection for the game.  The final player left on the path can collect as many cards as he wants, but still must follow the general rules – that is, he must take all the cards behind his disc.  


When all players have finished collecting cards, the game is scored. Each of the six different card types in the game have their own scoring rules, and the player with the most points wins.  Ties broken in favor of the player who left the Path first.


My thoughts on the game

This is a quick little card game that reminds me a little bit of Verflixxt!  Here, you only get one pawn, but you try to place it strategically to give you the best chance of getting the cards that you want, and perhaps, more importantly, avoid the cards that you don’t want to get.  Timing is key here, and oftentimes, a decision made in the game can have recursive effects down the line.

The game can theoretically be played with any number of players – each box provides enough cards for 2 players to play, and FWIW, I have fit two sets of the game into a single box – giving me a compact package for a complete 4p game.  Each game should play out a bit differently, as there are (currently) 12 different types of cards, and you only play with 6 in each game.  Just pull out 3 copies of each card per player in setup, and you’re ready to go.


The first few games have been fun, and the different cards certainly cause you to approach the game differently each time.  I will say that in my opinion, the recommended starting set of card types was not great for our group as there were lots of negative cards and it was frustrating for us.  I might have preferred to have the Fox card in the game to allow the players to possibly negate some of the negative cards.  

However, that being said, the designer/developer have surely played the game many more times than I have, and in the end, the first game took 15 minutes.  We changed up the set of cards as we desired, and the second game (which was played right after the first) was more our style.  As I surely understand from my history with Dominion (I am one of the developers of that game) – some gamers did not like our chosen First Ten set either.  The beauty of both games is that they give you the components to play the game style you prefer.

The art on the cards is well done, especially if you like birds.  We were confused at first as some of the sets have slightly different art on the three cards in a set; but each set is united by the colored frame at the top.  Just pay attention to that, and you’ll not be confused like we were at first.  (Maybe in the next 2F game ruleset, it won’t be Ronald anymore but Dale instead!)


Fancy Feathers gives you a super quick game that can be taught in a few minutes.  The individual cards have their own rules, but those rules are pretty simple, and the iconography on the card makes most of the cards self-explanatory.   There is surely a lot of luck and card variance in play here – sometimes you just get lucky based on the cards that get flipped up – but heck, it’s a 10-15 minute game… that’s just what happens.   Enjoy the ride, collect your pheasants and hopefully you score the most points at the end.

Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers

  • I love it!
  • I like it. Dale Y, Lorna
  • Neutral. James Nathan
  • Not for me…

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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