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A Fool's Fortune

A Fool’s Fortune Box Top

“Come play a game of mischief, magic, mirth, and lore. Delve into the Book of Fate to reveal mysterious fortunes: realms near and far, resources wondrous and wild. Cast your lot with a crew of assorted (and sordid) characters. If you pay your dues and play your hand right, you may just win a fool’s fortune.” – Rio Grande Games

Publisher: Rio Grande Games

Game Designer: Jason D. Pilla Cannoncro, Justin A. Pilla

Players: 2-3

Ages: 13 to adult


Playing Time: 45 minutes

Contents: 1 rulebook, 77 unique cards.

Suggested Retail Price: $19.95

Parental Advisory: Safe for kids

A Fool’s Fortune is a two player Rummy style game in which both players are attempting to make sets as fast as possible. It isn’t that easy however as the game provides plenty of twists based on the 5 suits of Fortunes and Characters with special talents that either player may employ against each other. The first player to achieve 3 sets wins the game and A Fool’s Fortune!

There are 3 Acts which are basically 3 different levels of play. Each Act can be played as a stand alone game or all together. Each Act has it’s own strategies that are different as each Act has a different purpose.

Of the 77 cards in the game, 55 are Fortune cards. Each Fortune contains a Realm and a Resource. Realms are represented by 5 different colors.

Mountain – Grey

Forest – Green

Coastal – Blue

Desert – Red

City – Purple

The Resources found within the Realms are distinguished by symbols.

Folk – Theater Masks

Location – Castle

Nature – Animal Paw

Treasure – Gem

Supernatural – Air symbol

You can have Aligned Fortunes that either match by Realm or Resource type. There are Charmed-Pairs that are identical in Realm and Resource type. Sets are groups of Aligned Fortunes that are in play. Each Realm also includes 1 wild card each.

There are 22 Character cards. These Characters can be recruited into service by paying a fee to put them into play by paying 2 Aligned Fortunes underneath the Character as the Characters Fee’s.

Like many card games, Characters or Engaged (exhausted) and Readied. To use the Characters abilities you have to engage your character.

You may also Fetch a Character from the Faire to be brought into your camp.

So you can see there is some thought in this game, unfortunately, it just isn’t worth the work of learning it.

While learning A Fool’s Fortune, I had a really hard time getting into this game. The rules are badly laid out and explained which is not something I find with most Rio Grande Games. The need to learn a ton of new terminology makes this game difficult and to be honest it just isn’t worth the time for a game this style. Not for a variation of Rummy anyway. The need to constantly used new verbiage to create a theme for what should be such a simple game completely destroys anyone wanting to really sit down and learn the game. With certain games like Android: Netrunner I can see this as the game play makes it completely worth it. With this one, it was unnecessary and kills the fun factor.

The idea behind the game was good. The fact that I can see a fair amount of deep strategy potential makes it sad that trying to understand this game is more difficult than it should be. Even after watching the vides, which are horrible, didn’t help. The music choice and cheap filming actually distract you from the learning. Hint: As a video producer and music professional, publishers and designers need to be very careful in how they make their videos or hire a professional to do it for them. This was just bad period.

Unfortunately this is the first bad review I have had to write, but honestly, I just can’t find anything about this game that makes me want to play it. I usually outline the game play in my reviews but trying to do that with this game is wouldn’t be fair to the readers. I love the theme and I can see the potential, but for $20, it is way more work than learning many other games. If you know someone that has learned this game and can explain it to you through a few rounds of play, then maybe you will enjoy this game, but I wouldn’t spend your money on this game. It just falls flat from the opening of the box.

This is a time sink one of the very few games I just have no desire to play. This is the only game I have played from Rio Grande Games I haven’t pretty much loved. Don’t be a fool with this one.

I am giving this four out of 10 stars as it just is way to fiddly to learn and poorly laid out to learn.