Our son goes crazy for any games where he gets to put stuff on. And MASTER FOX by Hachette Board Games and Studio H Games is no exception! It’s a light, fun, sensory based game which takes around 20 mins to play, and is a mix of push your luck and good old dexterity.
The protagonist is an overworked, bottle-brushed, livestock-napper. In truth, Master Fox wants a holiday from all his stealing shenanigans and needs to find a stand-in as chief thief! If you want to be in with a chance to taking the top spot, you need to steal the loot he specifies each round to win the game and become the next Master Fox!
How To Play
In a very neat way, this game plays inside the box! Each round, there's a selection of wooden animals and cheese (no, not Pac-Men! and three active mission cards showing which animals Master Fox wants thieving from the farm. But you can't just take them! Oh no. It's time to mask up and feel your way around the animals on offer!
So, once someone has shaken the box with the lid on, everyone masks up and dives in with their “looting hand” to try and feel for the animal shapes that match the mission cards. As soon as someone thinks they have collected the correct animals and transferred them across to their "sack" (aka their other hand) they shout "STOP!". Then it’s time to check the loot against the active mission cards.
Eggs are scored for matching animals and lost for mismatches. Any animals not in your sack at the end of the round also don't count. The player with the most points per round then chooses which mission card of the existing 3 to discard. After that a new animal (or cheese) is drafted into the mix for the next round. In future rounds, the animal tokens go back into the mix. Plus, you'll get extra egg points for looting fox cubs, and you can be sneaky with snakes and be protected by a hammer! First to 10/15 egg points wins!
As I mentioned, anything with a bit of dressing up is a hit with our son and Master Fox did not disappoint him one bit! The masks look funny with the eyes printed on them and are well made with an extra flap to stop cheaty-pants from looking!
The wooden shapes look quite distinct (although it is a different story when pawing at them with one hand without the luxury of sight to help!) and trying to reach for just one that matches each mission before someone yells STOP is a fun gamble. There’s always a bit of last minute sack dumping too, but that doesn’t always pay out because mismatches and multiples count against your score! The artwork on the mission cards and the overall quality of the components is great too.
The choice of which mission card to discard also adds a wee bit of tactical play to the push-your-luck. If you know the feel of particular shapes well, you’ll want that animal (or cheese!) in the mix when it is your turn to choose the new mission! Plus it’s sometimes worth going straight for the hammer or a fox cub if they are available.
We enjoy playing Master Fox with our son, and honestly, we have such a giggle sneaking a peek at everyone else masked up! I would say the age range is about right – he is 8 and would have no problem playing this with his friends (although how much cheating and under-mask looking would be involved I hate to think! Haha).