Fable Fruit is a resource collection game with a legacy element. Fabled Fruit comes along around a year after the phenomenon that was Pandemic Legacy and Friedemann Friese brings his own style and spin to the idea of an evolving game system with the Fable games, the most popular of which has been the progenitor, Fabled Fruit. Unlike a Legacy style game, a Fable Game is non-destructive and can be reset and played over with minimal fuss.
In Fabled Fruit players are attempting to collect a number of Fabled Juices, based on the number of players in the game. They will do this by utilising action cards. The board will be comprised of stacks of action cards, these start out as very simple, actions like Draw 2 Cards for example. However the action cards are also the Fabled Juices that players are attempting to buy, so as the cards are purchased new action cards are revealed from the deck which bring new mechanics to the game, like adding a market of fruit cards players can trade with, or a thief character players can use to attack other players and steal their fruit.
When one player reaches the required number of juices the game will end and the remaining action cards will form your new starting board next time. In this way the game will evolve and change depending on which cards players buy because buying a card also permanently removes the associated action from the game. This will drastically alter the play experience from game to game as strategies emerge and vanish. The action deck has 59 unique action cards and will require somewhere around 20 games for players to advance through the entire deck.
The game is packed with cute art and clever mechanics, along with lots of interesting decisions. In terms of playing the campaign, it can feel nearly impossible to catch up once you fall behind. Each game in the campaign will net you 0-2 points so you can fall behind quickly. I’ve also noticed in a lot of our games the first player has a tendency to lose and the loser is the first player in the next game leading to a cascade. I don’t know if that’s a problem with the game or if it’s just coincidence.
Overall I recommend Fabled Fruit, it feels a little expensive but if you play through the entire experience then you’ll get your money's worth. Despite the constantly changing action cards the goal of the game remains the same which can make repeated plays feel stale. Still my plays have been fun and engaging and always seem to provoke table talk about what would have happened next, which action cards players are sad to have lost and speculation on what actions might be coming up next.
On the fifth day of Christmas, Santa gave to me... FIVE FABLED FRUITS