Barnyard Roundup: Fill Your Farm by Fibbing
Oh no! All the animals have escaped the barn and are hiding out. Can you fill your pen with the most valuable animals and avoid the sneaky crows?
Barnyard Roundup is a simple bluffing game for 2-6 players designed by James Hudson and published by Druid City Games.
Each player begins with a hand of 6 cards (5 for a 5+ player game) and one Action token. On a player’s turn, they choose some number of matching animal cards from their hands, and offer them to another player. While making the offer, the player declares what the cards are (ie. “Here are 3 sheep”). The player receiving the cards must then decide if the declaration was true or a bluff. If they guess correctly, they get the cards! If they guess incorrectly, the first player gets to keep their cards for their own pen.
So far, so good. Barnyard Roundup also contains wild cards (Copy Cat) and negative cards (Crows), making it harder to guess what is in another player’s hand. The Crow cards work oppositely from the rest – if the receiving player guesses incorrectly, they must take the Crows and add them to their pen. However, it’s not all bad: any time a player reaches a multiple of 3 Crows, they get a new Action token.
There are three types of Action tokens: A Burglar allows you an opportunity to steal animals from another player, an “Excuse me!” allows you to step into the role of receiving player, and the (rare) Scarecrow immediately scares away three Crows from your pen.
A game of Barnyard Roundup ends immediately when the draw pile runs out. Bonus points are awarded for having the most of any type of farm animal, and for having complete sets of farm animals (1 each of Cow, Pig, Sheep, Goat, and Chicken). Each player gains points for the animals in their pen and loses points for their Crows.
After all the adding and subtracting, the player with the most points wins. If two players tie, the one with more animals wins. If there’s STILL a tie, the player with the least Crows wins.
Barnyard Roundup has a strong theme and cute illustrations. Unlike many other bluffing games, there’s very little reading needed, and the basic strategy is simple enough for a kindergartner to understand. The rules are clear, and include illustrated examples. I really liked that only a slight variation was needed for a balanced 2-player game.
Although there was a lot of arithmetic at the end of a game, my younger children could easily grasp the overall feel: Cows are worth the most, Chickens are worth the least, each Crow (-5) negates the score from a Cow (5). These youngest ages might need some help with the final scoring, but that is the only reason I can think of for the 7+ suggested age.
The only downside I noticed related to the simple mechanics. The “offering” player decides who to offer their cards to on each turn. In a game with four or more players, it becomes very easy to shut out a player from receiving cards – which is the only way to earn points. Other than this minor hiccup, it is a great game. I think Barnyard Roundup will get a lot of play in our family.
Get your own copy of Barnyard Roundup from Amazon or your friendly local game store.
The Family Gamers received a review copy of Barnyard Roundup from Druid City Games.
Age Range: 7+
Playtime: 10-20 minutes
Number of Players: 2-6