Send your fairies out into the woods to see how many you can catch in your stash to win the game.  Do you have what it takes to beat the other Goblins and win Fairy Season?

 Fairy Season Cover

Fairy Season (2019)
Designer(s) Dan Fisher, Gavin Jenkins Artist(s) Sean Andrew "Muttonhead" Murray Publisher

Good Games Publishing

3-5 8+ 15-25m

In Fairy Season, you play as a Goblin Chief that is sending out your workers or "Flunkies" to try and capture fairies (tricks) either by playing other fairies, goblins fairy royalty or traps.  If you win the trick, you claim it into your swarm but watch out cause your opponents can play cards to steal from your swarm.  Do you have what it takes to catch the most fairies to win, Fairy Season?  

Box and Components

122889097 3741707562562244 6187715954904598616 nThe box is a square and is 6 inches by 6 inches in size and 2 inches deep.  The box is made of sturdy material and really have to apply pressure to get some bend in it. I really like the artwork on the box.  For the most part the artwork is flat finish; however, the characters on the box itself are very glossy and appear to come off the box almost giving it a 3D feel. The box is a little big for my taste for what components come in the box.  The game comes with 90 cards in total so the box has a lot of access space so the cards slide around in the box when you travel around with it or place it on the shelf.  I like the the inside of the box looks like a forest to tie in the theme of the game.  

The 90 cards break down into a variety of different cards that will be used over the course of the game.  

  • 64 Season Fairies-2 of each number 1-8 for each of the 4 seasons (spring, summer, fall, winter)
  • 4 Royal Fairies- King, Queen, Prince, Princess
  • 16 Goblins- 2 each of the 8 different Goblins
  • 6 Traps


The game play is relatively simple, even if you have never played a trick taking card game before; it does play a little different than your traditional trick taking game though. 

Game Setup

  1. To begin, shuffle all the cards into one stack. 
  2. Deal five cards to each player; players may look at their own hand just don't show the other Goblin Chiefs (opponents). 
  3. Place the remaining cards in the center of the table within reach of all players, this will be the draw pile. 

First player in the instruction book is indicated as "the player that most recently ate a mushroom goes first."  However, in our household that wouldn't work as Brian is allergic to them.  So if that happens, use whatever fashion you would like to come up with your first player. 

Player Turns

122964859 366420978020196 6296714851786004851 nPlayers take turns playing cards in an escalating sequence of the numbered Fairy Season cards, Goblins, Traps and rare Royal Fairies; these sets of cards will be the swarm (trick) that is captured at the end of the round. Most cards have a special ability written on them; once you play the card, you use the ability.  Some of these abilities allow you to draw more cards, allow you to draw a card and stash a card, and stash a card; to stash a card, select a card from your hand place it on top of your stash. The goblins will be played against your opponents that can benefit you. 

If a player cannot play a valid card on the previous played card, that player has Flunked, and if no player can play a Royal Fairy from their hand then this round is complete. Any player can play a Royal Fairy out of turn to save the swarm.  The previous player wins the Swarm and puts it into their stash face up and may not change the order of the cards.  The Goblin cards have abilities that can affect opponents stash in a particular order. Once a swarm has been won, players will draw back up to a hand size of 5; if you have 5 or more than you do not draw anymore cards.  There is no hand limit in the game, so you don't have to discard down to 5 cards.

The next round begins with the player that Flunked. This continues until the draw stack is empty, and this begins the Final Swarm.  When this Swarm is won, the game is over.

Alternatively, if one player collects all 4 Royal Fairies, the game is over immediately and that player wins!

The Rules of the Hunt is how the rulebook breaks down how the card types can be played.  This is explained in detail, so be sure to do so prior to playing your first game.  However, here is a quick breakdown of the different cards.

1. Season Fairies: These are the most common card in the deck.  In order to play a Season Fairy, you must play the same season that was previously played and same or higher number or any number Fairy in the next season such as Spring is played previously, then you can lay down a Summer.  However, once a Swarm is started you can not skip seasons or go backwards and the seasons don't loop.  So previously played was Winter, you can't play a Spring since it doesn't loop back around the seasons. 
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2. Goblins: These cards do not have seasons and may be played on any Season Fairy or Goblin. When you play a Goblin, it is played sideways across the swarm so all players can still see the current season underneath.  Goblins have abilities that are triggered once played. Goblins in your stash are not worth points at the end of the game. Goblins cannot be played on top of Traps Royal Fairy cards.122934873 1052307078534954 980301253862146813 n

3. Traps: This type of card will catch the whole swarm.  The only cards that can be played on top of a Trap is another Trap card or a Royal Fairy. If neither of those cards can be played by the next players, they Flunk, and any player may play a Royal Fairy to prevent the swarm from being captured; otherwise, the player that laid the Trap card collects the swarm into their stash. Traps in your stash are not worth points at the end of the game.  Trap cards cannot be played on top of Royal Fairy cards.

Fairy Season Trap

4. Royal Fairies: They are, of course, the King, Queen, Prince and Princess.  Season Fairies can still be played on top of Royal Fairies, if they follow the Stash order.  Royal Fairies can also be played on top of Royal Fairies.  When you play a Royal Fairy, you will place it sideways across the Stash so other players can see the previous played fairy cards. Goblins and Traps cannot be played on top of Royal Fairy cards.

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To Simplify what this all means...

On a player's turn, they play a valid card to the Swarm (using its ability, if applicable) or Flunk requiring someone else at the table to play a Royal Fairy to defend the swarm. Otherwise, the player before the Flunked player takes the current swarm into their Stash. Everyone draws up to 5 cards. Resume play with the Flunked player.  

Here is a quick reference of what cards can be placed on each card type. 

Card Currently On the Top of the Swarm Card Played from a Player's Hand
Season Fairies Goblins Traps Royal Fries
 Season Fairies Yes* Yes Yes Yes
 Goblins Yes Yes Yes Yes
 Traps No No Yes Yes
 Royal Fries   Yes No No Yes

*Following Season/Number Rules

Game End

Once the game is over, the cards in players hands are discarded and are not scored. Players total their points from their stash and who ever has the most wins.  Each Season Fairy card in the stash is worth 1 point and Royal Fairies are worth 2 points. Goblins and Traps aren't worth anything.  If a tie happens, the player that has the most Royal Fairies in their stash wins.

Final Thoughts

First off, I love the artwork on the cards; the fairies are so cute and represent the different seasons.  The spring fairy is blossoming into different flowers.  The summer fairy is so full of life and greenery.  Autumn Fairy is colored as the crisp crunchy leaves we are accustomed to.  The Winter Fairy is icy blue. The Fairy Royalty are bright in color and contain a purple backgrounds to symbolize their royalty.  Even the different Goblin cards have cute artwork that incorporate their abilities into them.  

When I first read the rules, I was confused by the game play.  As I sat down with the cards and the rulebook and reconstructed some of the demonstration, it finally clicked.  We initially approached the game as a typical trick taking game, but once we understood this games twist on that mechanic, it was really easy to play.  We really enjoy trick taking games here at WVGamers, and this one gives a nice spin on that type of game.  

Again, the only negative thing I have against the game, has nothing to do with the game itself, it's the box it is stored in.  I feel like there is a lot of extra space.  I feel like this game could have been placed in a box the size of Fluttering Souls and then made the rulebook smaller in size but with a few extra pages.  That is minor negative though.  

So if you enjoy trick taking games, be sure to try out Fairy Season!

Fairy Season Portrait


Fairy Season Board Game Geek Page

Publisher Product Page 

Amazon Product Page


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