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Master Fox

Designed by Frédéric Vuagnet, published by IELLO, Studio H and Heidelberger Spieleverlag, and distributed in the UK by Hachette Boardgames, Master Fox is a fast, fun, fox-themed family and children's game for 2-4 players. It's a touchy feely dexterity speed game.

Players are dealt three cards. These will show them the farm animal and other shapes they need to find. The wooden shapes are all scattered in the box. Players don their 'fox' masks, which wholly exclude their view, and they all simultaneously scramble in the box with one hand feeling for their target shapes. It's a free for all; there are no turns. You transfer shapes one by one to your other hand, and you're not allowed to collect more than four. Indeed, it may be unwise to take more than three since any you take that are 'wrong' will score you a negative point: so if you collect four pieces, your maximum score if they include your three correct picks will be 2 points (3-1).

The game is played over multiple rounds, with extra special effect pieces added in consecutive rounds. For example, in round 2 you add in wooden fox pieces: these will automatically be worth 1 point provided you only have one of them.

Master Fox is simple but fun, and it's surprising how difficult it can be to distinguish the different animal pieces just by touch, especially when you're up against the clock: everyone has to stop as soon as one player calls out 'stop' to say they've finished taking three (or four) pieces. You won't have time to carefully deliberate over your choices. Tho' the rules suggest that the game is for ages 7+, that lower limit is probably due to the fact that the game includes some small pieces that could constitute choke hazards. With that caveat, you could certainly, in terms of gameplay, introduce Master Fox to much younger children provided you're confident they won't attempt to chew or swallow any of the components.

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