The Fox in the Forest Duet
review by Kendra
In my opinion, The Fox in the Forest Duet is the most meditative game in the entire store. Part of the ruleset even instructs players to not talk about the game as they're playing it, which is a beautiful addition to the cooperative style. In Fox in the Forest Duet, two players engage in a gentle game of tug of war as they gently coax a party to go hither and thither through the forest to pick up gems such that they can gain the clarity to escape the forest's mist.
This is a trick taking game in which the players are, rather than trying to second guess the other person to take advantage of weakness, trying to intuit what the other player might play such that they're able to guide their party. In the game, it is literally advised that players not talk about the game while they are playing from about the third playthrough on. The win ratio without directly communicating and strategizing is about 50/50, or a little higher if folks are closer in sync, but I find that it's still extremely relaxed. It makes for a good game to play while processing a long day of work, or while on vacation and talking about the day's adventures. In fact, when I go on day trips with my partner, this is the game I will slip into my purse. It's small enough to be played at a tiny cafe table and, since we are simply playing a card and responding with a card from our hand then moving a little ruby back and forth, it allows for us to talk and really engage in a most peaceful and mutualistic manner, both on the game and on the day that led up to it.
The art is extremely peaceful with an almost watercolor finish to it. Each illustrated card, which are the odd numbered cards, portrays a character or forest scene that enables and encourages a slower, more meditative mindset. It captures the theme of wandering through a forest where every deer, hare, or fox scene is remembered as a dream, hearkening to its original form, but soft around the edges.
Moreover, this game is ideal for winding down after a day of vacationing and travel because it is so compact. The play board itself is about 6 in by 4 and ½ in wide, and lacks any kind of fold or crease. The cards themselves are smooth and easy to hold, and the entire experience lends itself to a peaceful afternoon, especially after a day of exploring a new place.
I recommend this game to couples, picnic enthusiasts, and hiking buddies. This game is very sweet and very easy to learn, but it is not a fast paced game. There isn't an adrenaline inducing hook to this game so much as a peaceful, mutualistic tug of war and a game that facilitates conversation on subjects lightly pressing on the players' restful minds.
The Fox in the Forest Duet is available now from our webstore.