You finally did it; you got the permits and funding to build your own theme park. The only problem, other theme parks are popping up nearby at the same time...Unfair!

 Unfair Cover

Unfair (2017)
Designer(s) Joel Finch Artist(s) Nicole Castles, Lina Cossette, David Forest, Philippe Poirier Publisher

Good Games Publishing

2-5 14+ 50-125 m

Unfair 4How will you deal with the others parks that are now popping up? Will you simply try to out do them by building bigger, more exciting attractions, or will you play underhandedly and try to get their park closed down? In this game, it is your choice on what type of player you want to be. 

Box and Components

The game comes in a medium size box with a nice divider that should hold 10 different themes and tokens. The exact fit is based on the tokens and how you divide them. We also have the first expansion for the game, and things do fit just barely due to all of the new tokens from the first expansion. If they keep releasing expansions, I could almost see a company like Broken Token making a custom insert or the company releasing a bigger box like AEG has done with many of their games. There should also be enough space in each section of the current insert to allow for sleeved cards, which it certainly important to some collectors. 

The game comes with a lot of pieces that I won't spell out entirely:

  • Double Sided Game Board
  • Two Player Reference Cards
  • Score Pad
  • Roller Coaster Miniature
  • Many Coin Tokens
  • Other miscellaneous tokens
  • 6 Decks of 57 cards
  • Game Changer Cards (special rules)

Unfair 1The tokens and game board are made on a nice card board that should hold up very well. The artwork on the components and cards are all very suitable for the game and unique between themes. 

There are six themes for your park in the base game; each of the themes have unique twist and set of mechanics. 

  • Gangster: Has the highest coin payout and included a casino mini-game. 
  • Jungle: Has the ability to increase the maximum size of your park. 
  • Ninja: Has the most unfairness, which is typically interactions with other players parks often closing or demolishing attractions. 
  • Pirate: Has a higher coin payout and balanced attractions. 
  • Robot: Has the ability to chain building of attractions and upgrades and some upgrades are even free. 
  • Vampire: Has a lot of staff members, higher star value, and higher quality upgrades. 

Unfair 3

I like the Roller Coaster Mini that is essentially a round tracker. There is a cardboard token that is also a round tracker, but I can't see a reason to ever not use the mini instead. 

Unfair 2Mechanics

The game isn't too hard to understand once you play through 1-2 rounds. The game will last eight rounds so you will have plenty of time to get the hang of it by mid game. It is certainly a game that is better in your second playthrough once you understand everything better. Also, you may initially think that the selection of the different themes by the players mean that is the "deck" they will personally use (much like in AEG's Smash Up), but you will actually be mixing the cards to create the mixed draw decks. So as a collective, decide on which themes you all feel will go together well. The setup below is for a typical game and may be modified depending on the Game Changer cards selected. 

Game Setup

  1.  Select a number of theme decks equal to the number of players. Each deck contains different types of cards; separate each type based on their card backs.
  2. Each player will take a Main Gate Card, Loan Card, and Round Card from one of the theme decks; they will also receive 20 coins. Each player places the Main Gate Card and Loan in front of themselves. 
  3. Take each of the unique backed cards separated in step 1 from all decks and shuffle them together. This means, you will have a Parks Deck, Events Deck, Blueprint Deck, Showcase Deck, Funfair City Deck, and Unfair City Deck. 
  4. Take four Unfair and four Funfair cards from the top of their decks. You are going to take these eight cards and the "Public Notice" cards from the box to make a single stack. You will put the four Unfair cards below the Public Notice Card and place the four Funfair cards on top of the Public Notice card. This creates the City deck that will also track the number of rounds in the game. The Public Notice card is not consider a round card; it is simply there to tell you when you have hit the Unfair cards. 
  5. Deal each player five Park Cards and two Showcase cards. Place any left over Showcase cards back in the box.
  6. Place all of the decks of cards on their respective spaces on the game board. Place a Park card on each of the Market spaces on the game board.  

Unfair 5

The first player is whoever calls "Shotgun," or you can use whatever means you want to choose the first player.  

Player Turns

Each round follows the same 6 steps. The rules consider Steps 1-3 as a single "Event Step," but I will break them out since they have a specific order to them and align with the game board steps.  I will touch on the basics of each step, but I won't go into great detail for each option players have since there is a lot of options in some steps. Also, some cards may have effects that take place during certain steps so be sure to pay attention to those. 

  1. Event Draw
    • Each player will draw one "Event" card; it won't be used until step 3. 
  2. Event City
    • The active player will draw from the City Deck and read the effects that will impact the players that round. The top four cards of the City Deck are typically good for the players and are labeled as "Funfair City." However, the last four cards in the City Deck are bad for the players and labeled "Unfair City." The City Deck is also used as a round tracker; once the last card is drawn, that is the last round of the game. 
  3. Event Play
    • Players will take turns using their Event Cards as they wish. Event cards have two sections on them. The top half is usually just a benefit that player can receive such as drawing cards, earning extra money that round, or some other perk. The bottom half is usually an offensive action that attacks other players parks closing attractions down, demolishing upgrades, or other long term impacts. Some will be discarded immediately after receiving the benefit while others will have a pushpin icon and will remain until the Cleanup step. 
    • During this phase, you can choose to use all of your events cards (one at a time of course) or you can hold onto cards for use in future rounds. Once all players pass, this phase ends. 
  4. Park 1-4
    • This is the phase where most of the players building on their park occurs. The main gate card in  your park will tell you the building limits for your park, and each attraction may only have one of each upgrade (you can have multiple upgrades with different names). All players will all have access to Park 1-3 steps, but you will need a special event card that allows for the Park 4 step to be used.
    • Each step allows players to perform one of the following actions:
      • Build: Build a card from your hand or from the face up market cards by paying its cost. Market cards are replenished immediately. Some cards provide benefits immediately after building them. Some cards are listed as Attractions and some are Upgrades. Attractions are the base card that upgrades may be played upon. There are also Staff and Resources that aren't attached directly to attractions that provide your park benefits; these are also built during this step. 
        • Loan: As a free action, you can also take a loan if you need. You will receive 5 coins in exchange for losing 10 points at the end of the game; the more loans you take, the more points you lose. 
      • Demolish: You can remove cards from your park by demolishing them, which will result in them being discarded. If you demolish an Attraction, all upgrades are also demolished with it. There is no direct reward for demolishing your attractions beyond making room for potentially better attractions. 
      • Loose Change: If you have nothing you want to build, you can gain a coin for each attraction in your park (only the attractions, not the upgrades, main gate, or staff). 
  5. Guest
    • This is the step you will earn money for your attractions and special effects from cards. Your park has a maximum capacity as shown on the main gate card, which is the max payout for the total of stars. You will count up the stars on your open attractions, upgrades, and other cards in your play area. Each star earns you one coin (unless a card says otherwise).  If your parks capacity is 15 and there are 20 guest in your park, you only receive 15 coins. Also be sure to look at Guest Step card abilities that may award additional coins.
  6. Cleanup
    • This is a straight forward step where everything is reset for the next round.
      • Discard pinned event cards.
      • Reopen closed attractions.
      • Use Cleanup Abilities.
      • Discard the market cards and refill. 
      • Discard down to five cards (park and event cards are the only cards that count as in your hand).
      • Pass the starting player token to the next player.  

Game End

 After the eight round, players will calculate their final score:

  • Each attraction will earn points based on how many icons are included on that specific attractions ribbon. There is a table in the rules and player's reference showing the range of points awarded. 
  • Blueprint Cards award (or deduct) points depending on if you were able to build attractions to meet the requirements listed on the Blueprint card. 
  • Coins can be traded out at the end of the game for points at a 2 coin for 1 point rate. 
  • If you took out a loan during the game, you will lose 10/20/30/40 points. 
  • Other cards like Staff Members may award points as well. 
  • There may be some expansions that add additional points awarding opportunities (e.q. Alien's Influence Tokens).

Whoever has the most points is the winner of Unfair!

Unfair Expansion CoverExpansion

They have released an expansion for the game that includes Alien, B-Move, Dinosaur, and Westerns themes. We should be releasing a review for that expansion in the next week.  

What is interesting about the select of theme in this game and the expansion, they all start with a different letter, and it almost seems like they may be planning to do 26 themes, one for each letter of the alphabet. So maybe 5 expansions (4 themes each) plus the 6 from the base game. That is purely speculation, but it is certainly a possibility if the game sells well. 

Final Thoughts

 It took a second playthrough for me to really like the game because initially I had a hard time seeing how everything worked, but once we started that second game, we really enjoyed it and kept playing additional games. It is a lot of fun building up a park of different sizes and seeing what works best. We scored really close to each other in one game with me only building two or three attractions, and Amanda built 5. In that game, it came down to focusing on multiple upgrades and excess money vs many completed blueprints. I feel thanks to many themes and combinations, there are a lot of approaches to playing the game that are all equally powerful. 

I would say the thing we disliked (and just barely) was the Unfair Event cards. Yes, I understand that is a huge part of the game, but we honestly had a lot of fun just building up the parks and hated when the wrong Unfair card would come along and ruin or close our attractions. Sometimes it hurt one player way worse than the other. Luckily, that extreme only really hurt in one game. The rest of the Unfair Events were pretty light on their impact on our parks.

What is interesting is I suspect this is something they have received a bit of feedback about because they recently released another game in the same universe called Funfair, which I suspect is a friendlier version of Unfair. I suspect Funfair may work better for two player games, which is what we have primarily been playing lately due to a lack of game meetups. So that will be a version I will be very interested in checking out. 

The only other minor things I can really think of is I wish the insert had a smaller section for the decks of cards and allowed more room for more decks and tokens. I think with some work, I will get everything (base game and expansion) to fit into the same box. I think with a little more planning, they probably could have gotten space for 2-4 more decks. Again, I am happy everything will fit into the base box, but if another expansion is made, it will not all fit unless they release the expansion in a "big box" like AEG has done for Smash Up. 

Overall, despite my few negatives, I really enjoy the game and the game play. I think this will be a really fun game at 4 players where you will have so many themes and cards available to build your park with. 
Unfair Port


Unfair Board Game Geek Page

Publisher Product Page

Amazon Unfair Product Page

Amazon Unfair Expansion Product Page


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