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Enchanted Plumes

Play cards to create rows of beautiful feathered plumes, but be careful, as each card determines which ones can be added to the rows beneath it.

Published by Calliope Games, Enchanted Plumes is light on rules but presents a number of intriguing choices each turn.

Gameplay

Each player starts the game with a hand of nine feather cards, chooses six, and returns the other three to the deck. Five cards are then drawn from the deck and spread out in a line, face-up, next to it. This is the train.

On your turn you may play one or two cards. You may play each one either to a new plume or a plume you have previously started. Each plume is made up of several rows of cards, and you start from the top and work your way down. Once you have started a new row of a plume, the previous row is locked and you may not add to it. Each row must have exactly one card less than the row before it. The top row may have as many cards as you wish in it. Also, each feather card in a row may only be of the same color as a card in the row above it. When you reach the final row, which will only be a single card, you play the card face-down.

After you have played your card(s), you then replenish your hand. You may either draw two cards from the deck (you may never have more than six cards in your hand), swap two of your cards with cards from the train, or draw one and swap one.

The game ends immediately once the Peahen card is drawn. Players score each of their plumes, completed or not. You add up the value of all the cards in a plume except for the top row, whose cards are worth negative points. You also reveal the final card of each completed plume. If a plume is completed it earns bonus points, scoring an additional point for each card in it. The player with the most points wins.

Enchanted Plumes Components

Review

Enchanted Plumes is an interesting card game that presents you with tough choices each turn. How big do you want to risk making your plumes? How high of a card value are you willing to place in that top row? Do you draw from the deck, hoping to get what you need, or swap with the train even though it won’t increase your hand size and could potentially give your opponents useful cards?

The scoring also works well and pairs quite nicely with the rules for playing cards. You want low cards in that top row, but you also need to keep an eye on their colors, which determine what you’ll be able to play in the future rows.

Aesthetically, the game is bright and pretty, as befits its theme. The copy we received did have some air bubbles on the box cover, but there weren’t any other flaws in the components.

The game takes up a lot of table space. You’re going to be building multiple plumes, and they have to stay out on the table until the end of the game. If playing with four or five players, the table can get pretty cluttered. There is also minimal player interaction, which is limited to swapping for cards that another player might want.

Enchanted Plumes is just a fascinating little card game. It is easy to learn but there’s plenty of strategy and variability in how you play.

Pros: Players are presented with interesting choices, artwork is attractive

Cons: Takes up a lot of space on the table for a card game, lack of player interaction, minor component defect in our copy

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.