Skip to content

Fox in the Forest Review

Important Note:

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.


This post may contain affiliate links so we might receive compensation if you sign up for or purchase products linked to below. As an Amazon Associate, we can earn from qualifying purchases.

This cute trick taking game for two might be perfect for you and your gaming partner, as long as you’re willing to accept it for what it truly is. 

Fox in the Forest Review

5.5 out of 10
Fox in the Forest Review A Pair of Meeples

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 is a very well designed two player card game, but one that is almost over designed to the point that it’s missing that “something special” that makes great games great.  It has perfectly taken a favorite and classic genre of card game and made it work for just two players, while still adding some modern touches and surprises.  Fox in the Forest is truly a classic card game trying to have a place in the modern board game world, but in the end, it’s still a classic trick taking card game. 

Theme: 5/10
Replayability: 5/10
Components: 5/10
Conflict: 5/10
Fun: 4/10

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

Pros

One of the first modern gaming implementations of trick taking for two players.

Fairly simple and easy to learn for those who are already comfortable with trick taking

Nice artwork that matches the casual and classic nature of a game of this type

Unique scoring is interesting and what makes this game work for just two players

Very Portable

Cons

The early round is a bit slow

This is a game that you have to play a lot to truly enjoy, but it does not provide enough to pull you back in game after game

Players need to be fairly equal in skill level to avoid one losing terribly, but when they are, the rounds become less exciting as both players end up in the lower scoring brackets together the majority of the time.

Gameplay Experience:

Fox in the Forest is a game that is recommended so much when people ask for good two player board games so it made it into our collection quite quickly.  No exaggeration, I think this might be the most recommended two player game to date, and while it is a good game, we believe it is over recommended.

Fox in the Forest Two Player Review

There’s no denying it has done something special, take trick-taking, and make it work fairly well with just two players without losing the feel of these types of games.  There are of course a few other two player trick taking games such as Schnapsen, but very few that many would consider in the modern board gaming hobby.

So when people got their hands on this new shiny trick taking game for two, it was exciting and something new and unique. Now, modern trick taking games are becoming a dime a dozen though and this game may have been overpraised and over recommended in its early days just because it was one of the first of its kind.

On top of its narrow niche, it uses one of the most popular game mechanics of all time, one that many have grown up with or have been playing for years if not decades.  And as we have said there are very few games that have implemented trick taking in a satisfying way for two players, so many fans of this type of game have probably been itching for one they could play when their player count was limited.

Anyway, theoretical detour out of the way, Fox in the Forest was sure to be a hit at our table due to its countless recommendations of it being a great game for two.  We played it one night and put it back on the shelf feeling a little underwhelmed and wondering why so many people suggest adding it to your collection.

We pulled it out again on a date night and played one round again, and decided that was enough, putting it back on the shelf again to maybe give it another go in the future.  It just never happened though, the urge to pull out this card game that was actually designed for two just never came.

It wasn’t until we decided it was time to review The Fox in the Forest that we pulled it out again and gave it another really good attempt at trying to see why so many liked this game.  We gave it many tries, but our feelings for the game still didn’t change.  Fox in the Forest doesn’t draw us in and give us the urge to play again and we kind of just feel empty after a round.  

That’s us though, there’s no denying it’s a well designed game that will be great for some people, but in our honest opinion it’s broadly over recommended when this is a game that truly fits in a much smaller niche than people give it credit for. 

Fox in the Forest Rules Summary:

Fox in the Forest is a trick-taking game that uses a lot of familiar concepts while adding a few new aspects to make this type of game work for just two players. If you’re unfamiliar with trick taking you can read more about this type of game here: Trick-taking game – Wikipedia

Fox in the Forest Suits

The goal of the game is to win tricks, or don’t, which is where the first interesting twist of this game comes into play.  Players will need to try and win just the right amount of tricks.  If a player wins 10-13 tricks out of the total 13 they will be considered greedy, and receive zero points for that round.  

Alternatively, if a player wins 0-3 (humble) or 7-9 tricks (victorious) they will score the maximum points for that round, with all other ranges giving fewer points.  This means players will need to pick a goal based on their starting hand but be willing to change strategies if the round isn’t going their way.

This scoring mechanism is what makes Fox in the Forest’s trick taking work for two players, as it is a tug of war battle to see who will succeed at achieving those high scoring trick amounts.

The odd numbered cards in this game add a little bit more depth on top of its unique scoring.  Each of these cards has a special ability that players can use to their advantage.  These can change the decree suit (trump card), allow players to swap cards, decide who leads the next suit, or even grant players another bonus point.  

Fox in the Forest Cards and Abilities and Powers
  • 1 (Swan): If you play this card and lose the trick, you lead the next trick.
  • 3 (Fox): When you play this card, you may exchange the decree card (trump suit) with a card from your hand.
  • 5 (Woodcutter): When you play this card, draw 1 card, and then discard any 1 card from your hand to the bottom of the deck (face down).
  • 7 (Treasure): After each trick, the winner receives 1 point for each 7 (Treasure) card in the trick.
  • 9 (Witch): When determining the winner of a trick with only one 9, treat that 9 as if it were in the trump suit. If there are two 9 cards in a trick, they neutralize each other’s magic.
  • 11 (Monarch): When you lead with this card, if your opponent has a card of the same suit, they must play either the 1 of that suit or their highest valued card of that suit.

Play continues until a player has reached 21 points making them the winner.  That’s the basics to playing Fox in the Forest but if you’re not familiar with trick taking games, it may take a while to get used to how this one works.

Conclusion:

Fox in the Forest is a very well designed two player card game, but one that is almost over designed to the point that it’s missing that “something special” that makes great games great.  It has perfectly taken a favorite and classic genre of card game and made it work for just two players, while still adding some modern touches and surprises.  But…

It just doesn’t grab you.  After a game of Fox in the Forest there’s no satisfaction, no dopamine hit, no internal drive to play another game.  Everything is well thought out from the scoring to the card powers but it’s not enough, but that may just be us as we are likely comparing apples to oranges.

Fox in the Forest is truly a classic card game trying to have a place in the modern board game world, but in the end, it’s still a classic trick taking card game.  So for us, when we are deciding what to play, there are so many more engaging, exciting, and fun games for two players in the hobby, which may be why Fox in the Forest isn’t for us and fell flat at our table.

That’s us though, for many who grew up with these classic card games, just the nostalgia alone of playing Fox in the Forest is probably 10 times the joy we got from playing a round of it.  Those who still enjoy the casual and classic games will still probably have a lot of fun with this one, but when you prefer the modern and more intricate it is a little difficult to appreciate the Fox in the Forest for what it is.

So, while it’s not for us, who is the Fox in the Forest for?  Well, if you like trick taking games, you will probably like this but go into it with expectations of this being a classic card game and you will not be disappointed.  It really is a great game to bring with you camping and play often with your partner, just like you would play Euchre with family, but that’s the key, you have to play it often to enjoy it, and when there are so many great games out there (especially when your a board game reviewer) it’s hard to play this one enough to fall in love with it when so many others have been pure joy their first play.

Is Fox in the Forest Good For 2 Players?

Even though we don’t like this one, Fox in the Forest is technically great for two players as it’s well designed and balanced to work at this player count.  It is impressive that it has been able to make trick taking work for two and still feel true to that style of game.

In reality though, trick taking is just something much better suited for more players and often a lot more fun, so it’s hard to play a game like Fox in the Forest and not compare the experience to playing something like Skull King or The Crew with more friends.  But, if you just love this category of game, it’s perfect to get your fix when you only have one other person to play with.

The balance and skill required of both players is where some weaknesses of the game can start to appear though.  When first playing the scoring works well and players can get in the higher point (winning) brackets, but as they both get better and more equal in skill rounds get less and less exciting as they both do a good job of stopping each other from achieving this.

If players continue playing though, they probably can reach a point where they get good enough to plan and execute some actions that bring them back to those exciting first few plays of the game, but this takes time and consistency of playing this one game and getting better and better.

So, Fox in the Forest is good for two players in terms of design and gameplay, but in the broader sense very dependent on who those two players are.  So in our opinion, we think others should quit recommending this game every single time someone asks for good two player games because it won’t appeal to everyone and is much more niche than most think. If you like trick taking games though and are willing to pull this game out very very casually or play it a lot then it’s a good choice for two players. 

Pros:

  • One of the first modern gaming implementations of trick taking for two players.
  • Fairly simple and easy to learn for those who are already comfortable with trick taking, but those who aren’t might struggle initially.
  • Nice artwork that matches the casual and classic nature of a game of this type
  • Unique scoring is interesting and what makes this game work for just two players
  • Very Portable

Cons:

  • Early rounds are slow to start
  • This is a game that you have to play a lot to truly enjoy, but it does not provide enough to pull you back in game after game
  • Players need to be fairly equal in skill level to avoid one losing terribly, but when they are, the rounds become less exciting as both players end up in the lower scoring brackets together the majority of the time.

Renegade Game Studios The Fox in The Forest Card Game
Renegade Game Studios The Fox in The Forest Card Game
Renegade Game Studios The Fox in The Forest Card Game

We hope this Fox in the Forest 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.


If you would like, you can help others by sharing this Fox in the Forest review.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *