First of the Essen games reviewed! A Finnish review of Fettnapf is up on the Finnish site.

I went to the fair looking for a good Amigo card game. I had tagged Fettnapf and played it the first chance I got. It wasn’t a disappointment, but a rather pleasing little game.

It’s basically a game of counting and memory. Players play cards with values from 0 to 9 and add up the sum and say it out loud. Once they pass 30, they start to subtract until they go under 10, then it goes back up again. That’s how it goes, over and over again.

Each player starts with two island cards, with a number from 10 to 30. If a sum is announced that a player holds in his hand, he can show the card and boom, the victim gets a Fettnapf card (Fettnapf, literally a cup of grease, means pitfall). Four cards, and the game is over — the player with the least penalty cards wins.

That’s not all. When someone crosses the line at 10 or 30, the player on their right gets an island card. So you’re constantly trying to set your left-hand neighbour so that he or she would cross the line. That’s, of course, dangerous, as going out of the 10-30 area means you can’t be harmed.

Fettnapf is quite clever and funny little game. There’s some good “take that” spirit to it, but it’s not a mean game, because if you step on a Fettnapf, it’s either a) bad luck or b) your own stupidity, depending on whether you’ve seen the card before or not. So, here’s the memory aspect!

Of course, you can try to hit your own numbers (which are safe), but then nobody else will step on them. So, it’s a fine balance and there’s some actual play and substance in this game, even though it’s very light filler otherwise.

Fettnapf isn’t quite as sharp as Geschenkt, but certainly worth it’s low price (I paid six euros in Essen, only to find out it was five euros the next day).

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2 responses to “Fettnapf”

  1. Nice meeting you at Essen. Nice blog too. Question, and maybe this is because we couldn’t read the German rules, but when I came back and played a quick round, we made it through the deck without hitting the end condition… it seems for adults with good memories, the game may not be so much fun.

  2. I think the players suck if they can’t make through the deck at least once! Then you just shuffle and go again, and I’ve never seen it go through the deck twice. Remember, it’s getting more and more dangerous all the time! It’s great fun, and I’ve yet to see adults with really good memory… Like my mom, who hit the same number three times after hitting it the first time…