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Fox in the Forest Duet Review

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All board game reviews and ratings from “A Pair of Meeples” are entirely based on the game at two players. You can learn more about our rating system by clicking below.


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Is this co-op version of the popular Fox in the Forest just a cash grab on a well known game or can it hold its own in the world of modern board games?

Fox in the Forest Duet Review

6 out of 10

Is it Good For Two Players? : Yes, in terms of design and gameplay, but in the broader sense very dependent on who those two players are.

Fox in the Forest Duet is technically great for two players in terms of gameplay and design which is the case for most games created specifically for this player count, but in our opinion, it still will only really strike a chord with fans of trick taking games. This category of game is just much more suited for more players in our opinion and isn’t very satisfying to play at this lower player count.  All that said though, Fox in the Forest Duet works well for two.  The cooperative nature of the game is well designed, and the back and forth teamwork required from players is great.  

Theme: 6/10
Replayability: 5/10
Components: 5/10
Conflict: 0/10
Fun: 5/10

Husband’s Rating
6 out of 10
Wife’s Rating
6 out of 10

Pros

One of the only cooperative trick-taking games specifically designed to work with two players.

Pretty simple and easy to learn for people familiar with trick taking.

Great artwork

Cons

While the coop nature of the game is well designed it almost just feels tacked on due to how similar it plays to the original

Lacks any sort of surprise or excitement.

The adjustable difficulty works well but is also fairly bland in terms of mixing things up

The difficulty and scoring scale aren't the best

Gameplay Experience:

The Fox in the Forest Duet made its way into our collection before we had played the original enough to know that we weren’t the biggest fans of it.  You can find our full review of the original here, but to sum it up it just didn’t grab us enough to make us want to play it again.  We kept giving it try after try thinking maybe it would eventually stick but it never did.

Fox in the Forest Duet Review

Well, we went through similar motions with this co-op version, playing it multiple times only to never fall in love with it.  It is very very similar to the original in terms of gameplay and mechanics so it’s not a surprise that if we didn’t like the original we probably wouldn’t like this one.  While we still don’t like the game we would say Duet has a slight edge though over the original.

The original version is fairly repetitive from game to game which is understandable considering it is more akin to a classic card game than a modern board game, while Fox in the Forest Duet’s cooperative nature and board add just that little bit extra to make each game feel at least a little bit different.

Fox in the Forest Duet Mid Game

This isn’t a huge improvement as most of the same complaints we had about the original are still there in this game, but it does make it slightly better at least in our eyes.  So, most of our criticisms with the original definitely pass down into this cooperative version.  

Those are our criticisms though, and this just is not a game for our personal tastes.  It is well designed and fills a very unique niche at this specific player count.  So if you’re a huge fan of trick taking, co-op games and only have two players to play with, Fox in the Forest Duet still might be a worthy addition to your collection.

Fox in the Forest Duet Rules Summary:

Fox in the Forest Duet is a cooperative two player trick trick taking game that has players working together to traverse the forest and collect gems.  Communication is very limited between players as they try to win and lose tricks to meet their goals.

This game relies on trick taking as its main game mechanism so if you are unfamiliar with this style of game you can read more about it here: Trick-taking game – Wikipedia

Each player is dealt 11 cards and a board is placed between the players that displays where they are and where the gems are in the forest.  Players will then attempt to win or lose tricks to move through the forest.

Fox in the Forest Duet Board

The card play works just like many other trick taking games.  A trump suit is decided at the beginning of a round.  The odd numbered cards do allow players to take some special actions that can help them a little bit.

Fox in the Forest Duet Odd Number Cards and Abilities
  • (1) Musician: Choose the direction of tracker movement.
  • (3) Foxes: Optionally exchange decree card.
  • (5) Gazelle: Ignore one card’s movement value.
  • (7) Gift: Mandatory card exchange.
  • (9) Royal Heir: Other player does not have to follow suit.

When a player wins a trick they will move the tracker as many spaces towards them as paw prints on the cards they won.  If the other player wins a trick they will do the same.  In other words, the winner of a trick will move the marker towards them as many paw prints as on the cards they win.

Fox in the Forest Duet Cards

Players will need to win and lose tricks in this back and forth tug of war style to pick up all the gems and avoid going off the path in either direction.  If players do go off the path their tracker will reset and a space on the path will be blocked with a forest token making their risk of doing it again even higher.

At the end of the round (after all cards have been played) players will add another forest token onto the path, add more gems to the board on specified spaces, and redeal back up to 11 cards. Players win once they have cleared the board of all gems.  They lose if they have used up all their forest tokens or if there are any gems left on the board at the end of the third round.

While some of the game is pure luck due to the limited communication, players will need to use their intuition to work together and win and lose tricks accordingly.  The game is less about the tricks themselves though and more about the movement value on the cards of that trick.

Players can adjust the difficulty of the game to 3 various levels by using the other side of the board, placing more initial gems, and using fewer forest tokens.  There is also a scoring system included in the rules that allows players to somewhat judge how well they do at any given difficulty level.

Conclusion:

Fox in the Forest Duet may be capitalizing on the success of its predecessor but the dramatic difference between a two player head to head card game and a cooperative one is enough to justify its existence.  It plays almost identically to the original, feels the same, and looks the same while fitting into a very different category of game.

Does all that make it a good game though?  It really depends on the players.  Since it fills a very unique spot there is no other substitute if you want a coop trick taking game for two players.  There is The Crew but that wasn’t exactly designed for two and requires an artificial player to work so that’s not a fair comparison. (Even though The Crew is much less perfect in terms of design for two players, we still much prefer this due to how much more dynamic it is due to the random nature of the missions).

Fox in the Forest Duet has got simplicity, a popular classic game mechanism, and the fact its two player going for it but at least for us, if we’re looking to play something cooperative with just two we’re likely going to reach for something a bit more involved, or if we are wanting something quick and easy we’d probably play The Mind or Hanabi.

There are just so many better and more enjoyable two player games out there in our opinion making The Fox in the Forest Duet feel a little “bottom shelf” in terms of a two player cooperative experience.  If you’re a die hard fan of the genre though, you will most likely still enjoy this one.

Is Fox in the Forest Duet Good For 2 Players?

Fox in the Forest Duet is technically great for two players in terms of gameplay and design which is the case for most games created specifically for this player count, but in our opinion, it still will only really strike a chord with fans of trick taking games.  Even for those though, it may be hard to not compare the slightly mediocre experience of two player trick taking to a higher player count game like The Crew.

This category of game is just much more suited for more players in our opinion and isn’t very satisfying to play at this lower player count.  All that said though, Fox in the Forest Duet works well for two.  The cooperative nature of the game is well designed, and the back and forth teamwork required from players is great.  

In reality, there isn’t anything we would change about the game and think it is as good as it can be, we just believe it is the best that could be done in this genre of game at this player count which necessarily doesn’t equate to a game that is all that great or enjoyable to play.  

This is just our opinion though, and if you’ve grown up with trick taking games and are very fond of them, you’ll likely enjoy Fox in the Forest Duet much more than us and have a better appreciation for what it is than we do.

Pros:

  • One of the only cooperative trick-taking games specifically designed to work with two players.
  • Pretty simple and easy to learn for people familiar with trick taking.
  • Great artwork

Cons:

  • While the coop nature of the game is well designed it almost just feels tacked on due to how similar it plays to the original
  • Lacks any sort of surprise or excitement.  Your goals are the same every game making each round feel repetitive, greatly reducing its replayability.
  • The adjustable difficulty works well but is also fairly bland in terms of mixing things up.
  • The scoring system is a nice way to keep track of how well you did but seems excessive in terms of the way it works.  A better designed difficulty scale would make either winning or losing feel like enough.

Renegade Game Studios Fox in The Forest Duet Card Game for 2 Players Aged 10 & Up, Cooperative Trick-Taking Game.
Renegade Game Studios Fox in The Forest Duet Card Game for 2 Players Aged 10 & Up, Cooperative Trick-Taking Game.
Renegade Game Studios Fox in The Forest Duet Card Game for 2 Players Aged 10 & Up, Cooperative Trick-Taking Game.

We hope this Fox in the Forest Duet two player review has helped you.

Our reviews are not paid reviews, but some games are given to us, we do not let this affect our opinions in any way. This post may contain affiliate links so we might receive compensation if you sign up for or purchase products linked to. As an Amazon Associate, we can earn from qualifying purchases. This helps cover our site's costs and allows us to continue reviewing games.


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