Review: Puffin Rush Card Game
This post contains gifted items. All views are our own.
Are you still looking for some Christmas gift ideas or stocking fillers? Then we have just the thing for you. We were recently sent a great wee card game for 2 to 4 players to review, and it’s become an instant family favourite.
The Aim of the Game
The aim of Puffin Rush is very simple: starting from your ice raft, be the first puffin to find a fish card and then make your way home to your burrow.
Game Set Up
To set up the game, separate the four ice raft cards from the deck. Each player received one ice raft card and a matching puffin disc. If you are playing with fewer than 4 players, the remaining ice raft cards and puffin discs go back in the box.
Now shuffle the remaining 36 deck cards and lay them out face down in a 6 x 6 grid. Each player chooses one side of the grid to start on, places their ice raft card adjacent to one off the grid cards on their side, and places their puffin disc on top with the fish side face down.
Ready to play!
How to Play
On their first turn, players flips and reveals the card next to their ice raft and place their puffin on top. Then they carry out any relevant action associated with the card (more on the below). On subsequent turns, players can choose any adjacent card to move to on the left, right, forwards or backwards, but NOT diagonally. Once a card has been revealed, any player who lands on that card has to follow that action.
Flipped cards remain revealed for the rest of the game, unless any player encounters a blizzard. Which takes us to what the different cards and their actions are.
Besides the four burrows, each of which matches the colour and symbol of one of the ice rafts and puffins, there are 12 blank cards that do nothing, and 20 action cards. The action cards are as follows:
- Snow Drift (x4): Blocks your path
- Arctic Hare (x2): Take another turn
- Beluga Whale (x2): Move to any square on the board
- Reindeer (x2): Swap a card of choice with a snow drift
- Baby Seal (x2): Lose your fish if you have one
- Snowy Owl (x2): Reveal any card on the board
- Arctic Fox (x2): Miss a turn
- Fish (x2): Flip your puffin over to the fish side
- Polar Bear (x1): Go back to your ice raft and lose your fish if you have one
- Blizzard (x1): All puffins return to their ice rafts and lose any fish they have PLUS all cards are turned face down again
Example: Player 1 (pink puffin) turns over the Arctic Hare, which gives them another turn. The next card they turn over is a blank, so their turn ends. Player 2 (green puffin) turns over the Beluga Whale, which lets them turn over an additional card of their choice anywhere on the board. They turn over a fish, which lets them flip their puffin to the fish side. Then their turn ends.
There’s an overview of all the cards and actions in the enclosed rules, but after you’ve played the game a couple of times you will start to remember what they are without having to look them up every time. The blizzard can happen at any time, so it’s a good idea to memorise what cards have been revealed already!
There’s a couple of extra rules to remember, for example you can move your ice raft, two puffins cannot occupy the same card, and you are not allowed to block a mother puffin in on all sides with snow drifts – though you can strategically put some in their way to make their life harder.
The winner is the first puffin to reach their matching burrow with a fish.
This game has been so much fun to play. It’s recommended for ages 5+ but the whole family have been enjoying playing it, including my 9 yr old, my teenager and the grown-ups. It’s easy to set up, quick to learn, and you get a new board set up every time so it never gets repetitive. We also really loved the Arctic theme and the cute illustrations.
Puffin Rush retails at £9.95 and is available to purchase from the Foul Play Games website.
Fun Fact: Puffin Rush was designed by 9 year old Mason Cooper-Muir, with help from his two dads Ben and Lee Cooper-Muir who run Foul Play Games. We’ve previously reviewed their Foul Play Murder Mystery Card Game, which is also great if you’re looking for other stocking fillers too.
Disclosure: We were gifted a copy of Puffin Rush in return for an honest review. All opinions are our own.