Are you familiar with the term “filler game”? In the modern hobby game world, it’s a phrase meant for shorter, simpler games you might play while waiting for another longer game to begin. They’re also played at the beginning of game night when you’re waiting for more players to arrive. Or, at the end of the evening to wrap up the night.
We’ve discovered a new card game by WizKids that may have passed by the radar of most game reviewers. Featherlight is an elegant card game which reminded us of another WizKids favorite, Fantasy Realms. It also features tarot-sized cards, much like yet another game by them, Tournament at Camelot.
Developed during the pandemic, Featherlight is a card game for up to four players. The goal is to create a hand of cards which scores more points than the other players at the end of the game. Inside the box is a scoresheet pad and seventy cards comprised of seven distinct colors of feathers. Remove a few cards according to the number of people playing. Each player begins the game with a hand of five randomly dealt cards. Place six feather cards face-up in a circle on the table, forming a nest. The remaining cards are divided into two equal decks and set within reach of all players.
Each feather card has a unique scoring ability printed on the bottom. They score based upon both the cards in your hand AND the cards on the top of each stack in the nest. On your turn you will either draw a new card from the top of either deck or select a card from the top of one of the six piles in the nest.
Next, you must discard one card from your hand. This could be the card you just drew from a deck or one of the other five. If you drew, discard one to the top of any of the six nest piles. If you collected a card from the nest and it made one pile empty, discard to the empty space. Otherwise discard to any stack. Play passes to the next person on the left and continues until someone draws the last card from either deck.
With so many different scoring options on the seventy cards, the creators of Featherlight kindly included a “cheat sheet” in the back of the rulebook. Look up the card number (listed in the bottom left corner) to get a clear description of what the iconography refers to. Some examples are scoring five points for each blue card in the nest, twenty-four points if there are exactly three purple cards total in both the nest and your hand, or even eighteen points for having three of a kind in your hand only. Obviously, you’ll earn more points by successfully completing the more difficult challenges.
Using the scorepad, you’ll compute points for each card in your hand. Then tally them up for your total score. The player with the highest overall total is the winner of Featherlight. If tied, the person with the most unique colored cards in their hand wins. If there is still a tie, they share the victory!
Featherlight genuinely surprised us. We’ve played several similar games, but this attempt seems to almost perfect the genre. If we have any criticism, it is that the game doesn’t support more players. I suppose you could combine two copies. However, it might make the nest too random since many cards will change each round. It would be next to impossible to plan ahead.
Ask for Featherlight at your favorite local game store, purchase it direct from WizKids in their online store, or have it delivered with Prime shipping from Amazon. If you’re curious about what else WizKids offers in their board and card game line, follow them on Facebook or Twitter!
What relatively unknown filler game is your go-to?