As the wicked Water Witch, Nimue, plots the demise of the world as we know it, it is up to you, the Heroes of Fables, to save it. Beware, the witch is crafty, and she has summoned a fearsome enemy to be her champion. It’s now your job to figure out exactly which foe you’re up against, and which mighty weapon will take them down. Adventure through the four realms to collect mana, money, and knowledge to assist you on your most important quest yet!
What Is It?
A fantasy exploration game for 2-5 players. Players roam around the board exploring various locations to gain coins, mana, seeker cubes, and scroll cards, all which will help them on their quest of trying to deduce which enemy they are up against, and which weapon must be used to stop them. There are 4 Oracles around the board, which players must stop at during their journey. Here they may get some additional information from revealed Oracle cards, and may ask their fellow heroes questions to help them deduce the information they need.
Who Is It For?
This game had a bunch of familiar elements to me, so if you’re a fan of the movement mechanic from Tokaido and deduction based on knowledge from hands of cards from Clue, this definitely might be worth checking out!
It’s not too difficult, in my opinion, so it would be a good one for families. I would also definitely say groups of 3 or more for this one. There’s a two-player variant with a dummy player, but I would prefer to play with other players for a game like this. Additionally, it does have a lot of familiar fable faces too, so if you like that fantasy theme, you may appreciate this.
Quality + Components
There are a fair amount of components in this one, so strap in as I try to get to them all! The game board is huge, and overall really nice quality. I was also provided a playmat board, which is just as big, and a little nicer so there’s no breaks where cards go. The only issue I had with the boards was that some of the colors of the spaces don’t perfectly match the ones in the rules/on the deduction sheets, so it confused me at first, but there are also building image references in the rules so you know what each spot is.
There are a variety of cards – scrolls, Oracle, truthseeker etc. – all average quality. The Water Witch envelope, for hiding the chosen enemy and weapon cards, was a little tight in my opinion, so just be careful when putting the cards in there. The cardboard pieces – coins, Hero tiles, hideouts, etc. – are average cardboard; everything on the tiles is easy to read/understand as well. The seeker cubes are just some basic plastic cubes, nothing special, and the mana crystals are the standard gems you see in a lot of games, which are pretty nice, and they’re a pretty orange color in this one.
The hero miniatures are really nice, and you can tell who everyone is clearly. There are also colored bases for these, which fit on nicely, not too tight or loose at all! The deduction sheets are just thin paper, but they do have handy reference on them. I do wish they were double sided, for more use, but you start with plenty.
The last thing to mention is the box. While everything fits in the box, the insert is not well designed for the components. The minis do not fit in their slots well and just fall out of place, and the spots for cards are too small for how many cards there are. It’s better, in my opinion, to just chuck the insert and bag everything.
- Smooth gameplay
- Variable player powers
- Nice table presence
- Spaces are tight in a higher player count game, which adds some good tension
- Nice art/aesthetics
- It’s cool how it combines a lot of little elements into a bigger game
- 2-Player Game: Immunity/Excalibur really hurts the other player, especially if the same player keeps getting immunity, because it is very hard to get more info, so it becomes frustrating. Additionally, I’m never a fan of dummy players. This one doesn’t do much, so it isn’t the worst, but I would just recommend playing with 3 players instead.
- Can be a little slow with players taking their time to consider all spot options, and then executing actions
- The Witch’s Rage card that prevents Oracle cards from being revealed at Oracles is super hurtful if it gets into the Wrath (ongoing) space – which happened to me twice! It makes it insanely hard for players to figure out the other cards at those Oracles
- There’s a lot of upkeep/steps at Oracles between the hideouts, asking questions, etc, so a reference card for everyone would have been helpful
Overall, I thought this game was pretty neat and had a lot of cool elements that came together better than I expected.
Personally, I wouldn’t recommend the 2-Player game because I wasn’t a fan of the flow and the possibilities for lack of balance between the two players. But with more players, especially fans of the games this seems to share traits with, this is a pretty fun adventure!
My Final Ratings:
Overall Game – 7/10
Aesthetics – 7/10
Replayability – 6/10
Difficulty – 4/10
Designer – Tom Butler
Artists – Nicholas Avallone, Jeff Brown (II), Ania Kryczkowska
Publisher – Green Feet Games
MSRP – $29.95 (Retail Edition); $79.98 (Collector’s Edition)
*I was provided a copy of this game to do this review*
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