Fortune: Fast Forward into Slot Machine Fun

Fortune game

Transport yourself to the hottest casino in Las Vegas. As your crew enters, you take in the sights of bright flashing lights and the sounds of machines binging away as patrons try to amass small fortunes. The group finds a bank of slot machines that’s giving off good vibes and you start pulling levers to see who can win big. Will today be your lucky day?

Fortune is the 4th installment of  Friedemann Friese’s Fast Forward series, in which players open the box and just begin playing. No rulebooks are included because the game teaches you how to play as cards are drawn from the deck. As the game progresses, new rules and new card types are introduced to change up the game. Fortune is also based on Friese’s “Fable Game” system first introduced in Fabled Fruit. You will explore more and more of the game as you play, and pick up where you left off with your last game.

Fortune plays 3-5 players ages ten and up and is published by Stronghold Games.

Gameplay

Warning: minor spoilers ahead, I’m covering just enough to give you a feel for the game without ruining the surprises in store.

Fortune: Do not shuffle the cards! This is the top of the draw stack and the first card of the game. Find 3-5 players and place all cards facedown on the table as a draw stack, without peeking at the cards. Select a start player to read the text on the back of this card.
Ready to go!

Place the unshuffled deck in the center of the play area, choose a first player, and draw the first card.

A hand in Fortune: 7, 3, 3

The first player reads the Rules Card aloud. Anytime a new rules card shows up, the game stops. Read the card and set it to the side of the play area.

Players continue drawing (in turn) up to a hand of three cards. Once a fourth card is drawn, a card must be discarded to the center of the table. From now on, a new card can be drawn from the deck or from the face up cards on the table. The first time a sixth card is played to the center, the player to the right of the player who played the sixth card gets the Last Player card. Play continues until the last player completes their turn.

Scoring

Scoring now takes place. To win the round you must have the highest total score in your hand. Sum the number value on the cards and any bonus points.

scoring: 3, 3, 7

In the example above, you have 3 + 3 + 7 = 13. The number three card’s Bonus states: “If you only have odd numbered Card Values, receive 6 Bonus Points.” You crushed it with a total of 19 points in round one!

The person with the lowest total loses the round. Should there be a tie for the bottom, the player who played later in turn order loses. Scrawl scores on a piece of paper if you’d like to track them.

To begin the next round, the loser tosses their cards into the box and prepares the draw deck. The Last Player Card and Rules Cards are left on the table while all other cards are shuffled together with the top three cards of the draw deck. Note if any of the cards from the deck are have text on the back, stop read them then continue to draw, then shuffle.

Now deal three cards to each player and start again with the current rules.

Game End

The game ends when the group decides to conclude their session (technically there are no set rounds of play). To resume later, simply prep for next round and place Rule Cards face up on the draw deck. Use the included plastic bag to keep cards no longer in use separate from the draw stack.

Last Player: after your turn, the current round ends

Impressions

Hopefully you’ve got some semblance for what this card-based slot machine adaptation is like. This was my first foray into the Fast Forward series and I didn’t know what to expect going in. A game that you discover along the way? This was a first, a neat first. It kept me on edge with anticipation for what was going to be drawn next. Was it a new Bonus Card, special rule or scoring twist? I didn’t want to quit, I wanted to explore more.

Hand: 5, 1, 1

The fun for me was the exploration into new mechanics when drawn, the ever-changing scoring and new Bonus Cards. My favorites are Bonus Cards that score for sets, odd numbers, or having certain numbers.

I mentioned earlier that Fortune is based on the “Fabled Game” system introduced in Fabled Fruit. In short, a Fabled game is one in which you’ll discover new things as you go and can pick up where you left off, next game. Replaybility is high, because after playing through the full deck you’ll shuffle all cards to completely mix things for the next game. Fortune works well at all player counts, but I found its sweet spot the four to five players; more cards in play mean more options.

Who is Fortune for?

Fortune is a splendid option for families and folks who enjoy a fun, fast card game with unique scoring options that change almost every round. Its casual nature and the lack of a rulebook allows people jump right in and learn as you go.

There are no earth-shattering decisions that affect the overall outcome of endgame. In another words, no stress. The slot machine motif fits perfectly; just be wary of bananas!

I’d recommend this as a replacement to any traditional 52 card style game and I’ll always pack it for a family game night with more than 3 players. Get it on Amazon for about $15 or ask for it at your local game store.

Highlights

  • Discover the game as you play, NO RULEBOOK!
  • Save game state and pick up again anytime
  • Have the most fun at higher player counts
  • Great for casual gamers who enjoy simple card games
Interrupt Play: Immediately place aside! Read only after scoring!

The Family Gamers received a copy of Fortune from Stronghold Games for this review.

Fast Forward: Fortune
  • 5/10
    Art - 5/10
  • 8/10
    Mechanics - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Family Fun - 8/10
7/10

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