Fun Farm – Don’t judge a book by it’s squishy farm animals
Sometimes I want a nice meaty euro game. The kind that makes your head spin with the choices available to you. Where if you’re not planning out your moves in advance, you won’t have a chance at winning. The ones that have mechanism after mechanism with a theme only a euro gamer could love. Fun Farm is the epitome of that kind of game.
What’s that? I’m being told that I’m full of shit and to be honest with you guys. Ok, Fun Farm is nothing like anything I described above. Read on to find out what Fun Farm actually is!
Fun Farm is a game from Iello, designed by Luca Bellini. It plays between 2-10 players, ages 6+. Also, it will make you look like a complete idiot while you’re playing it.
At some point during Origins 2014, I was walking around carrying my copy of Fun Farm, showing it to people, and telling them it was the “Game of the Con”. No, I hadn’t been drinking, and I wasn’t entirely sleep deprived either. By the end of the week, it was unseated as “Game of the Con” by another game which I’ll give impressions of later. But by no means does that diminish the crazy amounts of fun I had playing this game.
The basic premise of fun farm is that the animals have escaped the farm and you have been tasked with catching them and bringing them back to the farm. Why Mr. Lazy Pants farmer isn’t out getting them himself is not addressed in the rules.
The game comes with 6 “stress ball”-esque squishy animals. You’ve got your classic pink pig, your black and white cow, and your yellow chicken. Then they let the hippy designer get a hold of the other three animals and you get a red horse, a green goat, and a blue sheep. Along with the squishy animals, you get a deck of 24 cards, and two custom dice.
The cards have the picture of one of the six animals, and two dice faces in the corners (one for the black die and the other for the white die). The faces of the die are one of six colors.
To complete your task assigned to you by Farmer McLetsAllHisAnimalsLoose, you set the animals around the table, within easy reach of all players. Then the “Farmer”, i.e. start player, flips over a card in the middle and rolls the two dice. What happens next is one of two things:
- A violent explosion of limbs and squishy animals, as the players race to grab the animal pictured on the card that is also displaying a die face that matches what the “Farmer” rolled
- Or a tense, pregnant pause as the players scan the table looking for a match only to find there isn’t one.
If there was a match, and no one was seriously injured, the victorious animal catcher takes the card representing a point. If there was no match, the farmer turns over another card, rolls the dice again, and unbridled chaos ensues or further agonizing tension continues to build as now there are additional animals and die faces to keep track of. If a player inadvertently grabs the wrong animal, they must sacrifice one of their score cards back into the center, adding further confusion to the mix.
Once a player successfully grabs the matching animal(s) from the table, the animals are reset, and the deck and dice are passed to the next player. Play continues until the deck runs out, at which point, score pilesare compared, wounds are bandaged, and replacement tables are ordered from IKEA.
This game is a great mix of stupid dumb fun (ooh! SQUISHY AMINALS!!) and tension the likes of which I haven’t felt since playing Ghost Blitz. The box clearly states it’s for ages 6 and up, but in my experience, many adults will find it challenging to keep track of all the cards.
Sure, you don’t get much for your $30 U.S. Dollars component-wise. But I know for a fact (ok, it’s still an opinion, whatever, shut up) that this game will get played many times in the future and provide more than it’s $30 in sheer fun. I mean, hell, it’s got fun right there in the name. It’s extremely portable once you forego the box, and I know I’ll be bringing this to every family occasion for the rest of the year.
Some people will be turned away by the cutesy, child-like design or the manic dexerity-based gameplay. But I believe that everybody ought to give Fun Farm a try at least once.