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Lemur Tails

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

We only recently featured Mada (Helvetiq) on Board's Eye View. Now here comes another small-box lemur-themed game; this time from Jolly Dutch in the Netherlands. Designed by Kris van der Werve, in Lemur Tails, two players go head to head (or should it be tail to tail?) to build the longest tails on their lemurs.



Ring-tailed lemurs, of course, have black & white striped tails so in this card game you're alternating black and white cards to extend the tails of your two lemurs. Aside from alternating between black and white, the cards you lay must either be equal to or one higher or lower than the value of the last card played to that tail. Players each have two lemurs and they need to grow both because, at the end of the game (when players have taken an equal number of turns after the end-game card is drawn) only the shortest of your two tails is compared with that of your opponent. Players are each dealt a hand of eight cards, and there's a face-up market display of eight cards from which players can draft if they utilise one of their 'sun worshipping lemur' (SWL) cards; players each start with two of these.


On your turn you can place out as many cards as you like, including to your opponent's lemurs. Adding to the length of an opponent's lemur might seem counterintuitive but it can be worth doing because it lets you draw two cards to add to your hand. And Lemur Tails is primarily a hand management game where you'll ideally want to be able to place out a sequence of three of more cards together. When you do this you're not only growing your lemur but you also get to add another 'sun worshipping lemur' (SWL) card to your supply, or flip to reactivate a SWL card you've previously used. SWLs can be used to take a card from the game's market display. Alternatively, you can take the end card from an opponent's lemur or you can blindly draw a card from your opponent's hand. For any of these options, the tail card you take can either go into your hand or be placed straight out on a lemur. You can also use a SWL to discard up to three cards and draw replacements from the deck.



From our Board's Eye View plays, we found that in practice we mostly used SWL cards to take a card from the market display, especially when there were wild cards in the display that could be used as any number and/or if the card we drew enabled us to place down a three-card sequence that immediately replenished the SWL. Your hand can run low so you could also find it necessary on occasion to play a card to extend the tail of one of your opponent's lemurs just so you can add to your hand.


There's an optimisation puzzle element to Lemur Tails as you always do your best to collect and lay down card sequences but it's a puzzle that seasoned adult gamers probably won't find overly taxing. With its appealing art from Zhenya Lyapina, Lemur Tails works especially well, however, as a light game that children can play and that adults can play with children. Our plays mostly took around 20 minutes.


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