Quick! The animals are out and the race is on! It’s a super fast and fun dash to the barn in Farm & Furious by LOKI KIDS and Coiledspring!
*Set Collection * Action Retrieval * Hand Management * Pattern Matching * Fast * Family * Race * Small Box * Card Laying *
I don’t know why, but playing games that have an element of push-your-luck with little gamers is always a blast! Maybe it’s their disregard for risk. Maybe it’s the pure joy on their face when their gamble plays off. Either way, Farm & Furious by LOKI KIDS and Coiledspring games is a great small box game that combines a little luck, strategy, action retrieval, and a good old fashioned race!
In Farm & Furious, ducks, roosters, dogs, bunnies, and chicks are in a race to reach the barn! Whoever reaches the finish line first gets the trophy and the glory of being the finest farmyard racer there ever was!
Straight out (and into) the box!
Set up is super simple. Place the starting line card and racetrack cards on the table and put the game box at the end so that everybody can see inside (as this acts as the finish line). The racetrack cards are double sided (blue flags for easier and orange for a more challenging race), so pick your side and lay out as many of the three as you want to use. Then give each player a deck of creature cards and a matching veggie baton token which goes on the starting line. And that’s it!
Turns in Farm & Furious are played simultaneously. So after somebody shouts “3,2,1, go”, everybody reveals a card from their hand. Each animal card has a different ability when it comes to moving the veggie baton closer to the finish line:
Ducks: your baton moves one spot along the race for every duckling played this round
Chicks: your baton moves 3 spaces but only if no player laid a Dog card this round,
Bunnies: your baton moves 4 spaces but only if no player laid and Dog card and only you laid a Bunny this round
Dog: this card cancels the effects of any Chicks and Bunnies laid this round and your baton moves the same number of spaces as cards cancelled.
Whistle: you can collect all previously played cards back into your hand (but your baton doesn’t move)
(Rooster: If being used this game, you repeat the effect of your last played card).
When the first player crosses the line, they win!
If you play with the orange flag racetrack cards:
Muddy Puddles; these force you to “stick” on that spot for one turn – even if you could have moved more spaces otherwise)
Dog House: once you land on or pass this space, you have to discard your Dog card for the rest of the game
Straw Bale: You have to have enough moves to leap over the bale – you cannot land on it. If you do, you move back one space!
Fast, Farm & Furious!
Farm & Furious has some cool mechanics distilled into a colourful, fun, easy to play game. Managing your hand and deciding which card to play each round is some big think for little gamers, but it doesn’t feel too much. The moves are small, but the consequences could be bigger.
Gambling against what other players might or might not do is also a really fun rollercoaster ride. There’s even a solo mode where you shuffle and play a card from another deck each round and apply the effects as normal – probably the simplest but most effective AI I have seen in a game in a while!
What’s also great for holding developing attention spans is that player interaction is high throughout and the effects of each card laid down are immediate. Almost every card offers you an ability to benefit (or take a hit!) from what other players lay down.
With only 6 cards in your hand (5 without the Rooster variant), the choices aren’t overwhelming, but players quickly realise they need to play smart. And little gamers will feel smart when the card they chose rearranges the baton order in front of them. Memory also comes into it. Knowing which cards each player has left helps narrow down what they might be playing next. So, unless they have only one card left (which would have to be the whistle), there’s still a gamble. But the potential effects are narrowed down. And if you only have a Bunny or a Chick and there are still some Dogs loose, then your baton is going to be on pause or even passed! Very young gamers probably won’t grasp all of the subtle strategy straight off. But it is a game that they will quickly become familiar with and will no doubt want to beat us oldies at whenever they get the chance!
Of course, having the chance to blow your Whistle means that you can regroup your racers and get all options back into your hand. However, that could open up the lead as you won’t be gaining or stopping any other baton progress that round!
Farm & Furious is a lovely, colourful fun box of light decision dilemmas for 1-5 players. Muttering “What to do, What to do” followed by some narrowed-eye glances at our opponents and their discard piles is our modus operandi here. Being able to shorten the race by using fewer racetrack cards is great for youngest gamers or when time is tight. But having the added restrictions on the orange flag sides really helps to keep older gamers engaged in the race. Of course more experienced players are going to be better at forward planning moves. But this is a game aimed at 7+ years, and I think it does an excellent job of introducing our next generation to action retrieval hand management, whilst being really colourful and fun.
This is a high quality, easy to learn, little game and is a really excellent part of Loki Kids’ new small box range!
If you’re looking for a fun, colourful, budget friendly card game for young gamers then I would definitely recommend Farm & Furious. And if you like this one, Loki Kids have another two new games in their small box range to check out Hāpy Families and Tentacolor
Please note that a copy of this game was kindly provided by the publishers for review. I am not paid for my comments, however, and all opinions are my own]. I am also not affiliated to or sponsored by any retail store.