SNAP Review – Enchanted Plumes
Did you know that “peacock” is only the name for the male birds of that species? The females are called peahens. The peacocks spread out their huge, specialized tail feathers in a special display to try to attract the females.
“You mean like this?”… No, not quite.
This is a SNAP review for Enchanted Plumes.
Enchanted Plumes is a card game of building beautiful tails for peacocks.
(We love this art by Echo Chernik.)
The peacock feather cards come in 10 beautiful colors and they are quite lovely.
Because there are so many colors, it can be hard to tell certain ones apart at a glance, like white and gray or blue and teal. But there are patterns in the middle of each feather that will help.
They are pretty complex, though, so not great for colorblind players.
The peacock backs are gorgeous, too. I love that you can flip over a card to show that the peacock is showing his whole tail plume.
In fact, that plays into the mechanics of how the game works.
On your turn, you play either 1 or 2 cards from your hand into “plumes” on the table in front of you. Then you draw new cards from the deck, or swap cards from your hand with cards in a face-up central area called the “train”.
You can never have more than 6 cards in your hand, so choose wisely! You don’t want to be forced to trade away a valuable card because you have to swap it.
You’re building your plumes downward in a triangle shape. The wide top row of each plume is negative points! But all the other rows add to your points.
And if you get to the bottom of your triangle, flip over the last card to show its peacock side; if you do that, you’ll earn a bonus for each card in this completed plume.
The game immediately ends when the peahen card is drawn – there’s only one of them in the deck. It will be somewhere in the bottom 8 cards.
Then add up all your points – subtract your negative – for all the plumes in front of you on the table. You get extra points if you’ve completed a plume and put a peacock at the front.
And that’s it! That’s the game.
It’s a small box game from Calliope, we knew it was going to be a card game.
I figured with a box this small, it would probably be pretty compact. How much room could it take up, really?
We started to look at the cards when we opened it, and the feathers are just so pretty. There’s a certain classic elegance to them.
And of course, because it’s Calliope Games, we expected it would be family-friendly.
It may come in a small box, but just like our review of Mass Transit (also by Calliope Games) – this game needs a lot of table space! (Although maybe not quite as much as Mass Transit.) Every player will have multiple plumes in front of them, and it’s important to be able to keep them separate from each other.
From the first time we played this game, it immediately felt classic. Even though you’d never be able to use standard playing cards to play this (because of the distribution of numbers, and because it has 10 suits), it feels like you could. It feels like a classic game. Probably because of the simplicity of the rules, and the fact that there’s no text needed on any card – it’s just numbers.
This same simplicity means that pretty much anyone can play this game, no matter their reading level, or even what language they speak. The recommended age of 8+ is more about the math involved to calculate final scores (there’s a lot of adding and subtracting), and awareness of what numbers are already on the table in other players’ plumes.
The final surprise is that the game played equally well at every player count we tried. Higher numbers are available at higher player counts, so the deck gets a little larger, but it doesn’t make the game appreciably longer.
Do we recommend Enchanted Plumes from Calliope Games?
Absolutely! This is a great family game and I think it’s best for multigenerational play. I think this will appeal to a lot of older family members who are used to playing traditional card games, because it has such a classic feel to it.
The value of seeing grandma and your kids sitting around the table playing games together is just wonderful.
In the best interest of “attracting the females”, I think we should rate Enchanted Plumes 4 peacock feathers out of 5.
The Family Gamers received a copy of Enchanted Plumes from Calliope Games for this review.
This post contains affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.
SNAP review music is Avalanche, provided courtesy of You Bred Raptors?
Number of Players: 2-6
Age Range: 8+
Playtime: 30-40 minutes