Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Funfair Lets You Build A Kinder, Gentler Theme Park

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Funfair is a reimplementation of the game Unfair that was published in 2017. After a few years, Good Games Publishing might have heard the cries of many who played the earlier game. Though fun for a while, many had issues with the game later on as unfair events started happening and your park would seamlessly start to fall apart. Funfair takes those unfair events out of the game to make it more enjoyable for players who don’t like those bad things happening to their theme parks. 

Funfair is a card game for 2-5 players about building up a theme park to score points. Players will draft cards out on the board paying their cost, managing their money, attracting guests, and collecting certain cards that will match well with others already built to make upgraded or featured attractions. 

Funfair board game cover art

What’s In The Box?

  • 97 Park cards
  • 20 Blueprint cards
  • 4 Showcase cards
  • 12 City cards
  • 4 Gate cards
  • 5 Award cards
  • 4 Reference cards
  • Game board
  • 78 coin tokens
  • Starting Player marker
  • Step Tracker miniature
  • Scorepad & pencil

Like to Sleeve? You’ll need 150 sleeves for poker size cards.

It’s a card game. So yes, there are a lot of cards. And you will be reading the park cards to find out its cost, if it provides you any stars, what the special action is for having that card if any, and what icons are provided to help fulfill blueprints or awards. 

How Does It play?

Players will play through 6 rounds of 4 phases each. 

Phase 1- City Step

The top card of this deck if flipped over and players will take turns performing what the card says or maybe the card affects something during the remaining of that round.

Phase 2 – Park Step

Players take turns clockwise around the table taking a park action of their choice. After everyone has performed a park action, the step tracker will be moved up and again players will perform another round of taking one more action. Players will have three actions in total, except if a player has built their showcase. The showcase will let that player perform one more action giving them 4 total during this step. 

Park actions can be one of the following: 

  1. Build – There are 4 main types of cards, attractions, upgrades, staff members, and a super attractions.  Players can build from any card in  their hand plus any of the 6 cards on the board. Cards are immediately replaced in the market after players build one of them. Players will pay the coin cost shown on the card, and place the card out to the player area. Players can build up to 5 attractions with any number of upgrades placed behind them, making them better. Upgrades will always need to be attached to an attraction and many times a certain type of attraction as well. Many cards have effects listed on the bottom which can help or set limits to how you grow you attraction. Also there are some limits on which cards can be placed on certain attractions, for example you can’t place comfortable seating twice on an attraction.  Staff members are also recruited in this step just like you build, and you can have any number as long as they don’t duplicate each other.
  2. Take – Take a card from the market, on the board and place it in your hand. This will help you to use that card when you want because at the time you might not have enough money or the timing just isn’t right. Another action you can perform for this take action is to discard a park card, draw 5 cards from the deck and keeping one you want, and discard the rest, or take 2 blueprints keeping  one and discarding the other. 
  3. Loose change – Take a coin for each attraction you have in your park. This is a good action to take if you low on funds. 
  4. Demolish – This action you probably wont want to do but is there just in case you need too make an adjustment. But you can take an attraction with all its upgrades and discard them. 
  5. Free actions – Some cards will provide you with an action you can take without paying extra money to do so, so for an action you can do what the card says. 

Blueprints – When taking a blueprint, you wont be able to get rid of it and it will turn into negative points if unfulfilled at the end of the game. Each card has a top and bottom part. The top part is the main objective with the bottom being a bonus that can help you gain more point  when completing. You can have as many blueprint cards as you would like during the game, but keep in mind those negative points for not completing them. 

Phase 3 -Guests Step

Players will count the number of stars shown on their cards in their park. This is the total amount of money that player will gain from the supply for that round. Also tickets from staff members can be used to make some extra money if you have completed the requirement shown on that card. Lastly investors want you to build your showcase, so for players who haven’t built their showcase yet, 5 coins will be placed on that face down card, helping to pay the total amount needed for it to be built. So as the game goes on the attraction gets less expensive to build. 

Phase 4 – Cleanup Step

The market  is reset with new cards. Players can only keep 5 park cards to keep in their hands. The starting player marker is passed clockwise to the next player and the round marker is moved back to the beginning to keep track of rounds. 

At the end of the 6th round, the game ends.

Final scoring – Each attraction is scored by totaling the number of icons on each attraction and scoring the number of points associated with that number of icons. The more icons associated with a single attraction, the higher the score. Players also score their blueprints gaining points for completed cards. Negative points can also be gained for any unfulfilled blueprints. For every 2 coins, you will score additional points. Staff members are then scored, sometimes scoring points depending on the cards you added to your attractions. Lastly, the award card will give points for satisfying its objective. Whoever has the most points wins the game.

Funfair includes a decent amount of cards
The Verdict?

So is the game like riding a roller coaster? For me, no, but probably not for the reasons you would expect. I honestly have a fear of roller coasters and really dislike when friends make me ride them. Roller coasters fill me with dread and uneasiness while this game is quite the opposite. With the changes done to the game since it was released as Unfair, the game shines brighter for me. No one wants to build up their own creation and then watch it fall to the ground, so that revision really makes the game work better.

Economic based

The game is centered on creating your own theme park but you can only build what you have money for. The game will cause you to plan with your money including ways to gain more money for future turns. You will need to spend it, but also build things that have stars so you can build up a system of income. But the game isn’t all about money, so building cards that can increase your income while also matching those cards to objectives will help you become extremely efficient.


Using your actions efficiently will either aim your roller coaster park down to the pits or up, up, to victory. So how do you become efficient in this game? Well there are a bunch of cards, so when you see one on the board you want, you might want to purchase it. The take action isn’t helping with efficiency as you will have to take a second action to build it, but it will help when you really need a card and don’t have the money to build it right away. Blueprints also are key to this game, you don’t want too grab one too late in the game because you won’t have enough time too fulfill it. Grabbing just enough of these blueprints plus the ones you start with with help guide you and as well give you enough time to see a good variety of cards that you are hoping to grab.

Funfair - Everything included in the game. Components

The game gives you a good variety that changes the game each time you play. Grabbing cards that help increase your income early in the game will give you a great advantage to then take and build things whenever they come out on the board. The scoring also will heavily reward you if you stack a bunch of icons on cards on the same attraction, so with a combination of stacking your features and additions on to your attractions and completing blueprints in an efficient way, you are bound to attract tons of customers that want to ride your rollercoaster that goes up and up toward your victory.

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You can pick up a copy of Funfair at Barnes & Noble or your FLGS.

Box Art Courtesy of Good Games Publishing

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