Friday F.O.M.O. 10/11/19

At TokenCon this past weekend, I had my first opportunity to play Camel Up and it was a huge success! So many smiles and so much fun betting on camels, calculating the ways a crazy comeback could happen, cheering on favorite camels, and fists in the air when things work out just the way you need them to!

Well, as it so happens, there is a game on Kickstarter right now — with its campaign ending in the next week — that seems to have that same kind of vibe. My Friday F.O.M.O. highlight of the week is Unicorn Fever from Horrible Games.

Unicorn Fever is listed for ages 14+, 2-6 players, with a playing time of approximately 40-60 minutes.

It looks like the heart of Unicorn Fever will be the 4 races that take place each game. At the beginning of each race, the six unicorns will have odds placed on them. During the race, movement cards will be revealed showing how far each unicorn progresses in the race. Generally-speaking, higher-odds unicorns should receive greater progress from these cards.

If that was all the game was, it would be a tad boring, but there will be ways that players can try to influence the output of the unicorns during the races. By placing magic cards on unicorns, you could potentially hinder the favorite, slowing that unicorn down — or maybe provide some much-needed boosts to the underdog unicorn.

The key to “shaping” each race and maximizing your profits from the betting side occur before each race begins, when players can perform 3 actions. Generally, these actions will include placing bets (hoping to turn a little money into a whole lot more), enchanting unicorns with magic, or hiring magical beings to help impact the race.

In the end, manage your money/points wisely and finish with the biggest pot of gold after the four races.

What I like about this game and has me watching it very closely:

Racing — I am finding that I like racing games, especially those with a mix of randomness and player interaction. Camel Up leans heavy on the random side, while Downforce provides greater opportunities to influence car movement. Unicorn Fever looks like it will fall nicely in between. Movement cards and sprint dice rolls are random, but players will have the ability to use their pre-race actions to influence the competition as much as they can.

Resource Management — The goal is to finish with the most points. But if you want to earn a lot of points, you have to be willing to spend some along the way. I don’t enjoy gambling at all in real life, but find that I can appreciate the mechanism as it is utilized in some board games. Unicorn Fever looks to provide enough options to allow everyone differing strategies towards victory (loans, hiring magical creatures, placing safe bets, placing risky bets…) while not turning into a deep, crunchy economic game.

Artwork and components — This is a very colorful game and has cute, silly, fantasy artwork that helps give the game a playful vibe. And the sculpts on these unicorns is hilarious. It cracks me up that the normal vision of majestic, beautiful unicorns has been transplanted by goofy, chubby unicorns who look like they are trying extra-hard to be super cute and graceful — and just not pulling it off. If you are a miniatures painter, I believe you could have a blast coming up with colorful looks for the mini’s in this game.

The Unicorn Fever Kickstarter campaign ends at 4:59 PM CST on Tuesday, October 15th. It is already funded and has already unlocked many of its stretch goals.

Will you be backing this tactical betting game of unwitting unicorns? Any other campaigns catching your attention right now?

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