A game of stories and their characters – Hylaria

Welcome to another edition of A Roll of The Dice, I am your reviewer Adam so let’s jump right into our review for this week, Hylaria by Fablesmith. This game was a fun, family style game that can be played with close friends, or even your kids, as there is actually two ways to play!


I will go over the easier way first, just so we can understand that this creator thought of those who maybe didn’t fully understand the rules, or weren’t old enough to quite grasp the concept. They found a way to get people of (almost) all ages involved in the game. The easiest way to play, is essentially a match game. The cards all have either characters or backgrounds that will match another card, so you can play a basic match game. This, to me and our group, was a nifty idea to say the least.

Now on to the real meat and potatoes. This is the part I usually describe the game and rules, but honestly the creators did it in a fun way I never could have. So here, read!


So basically, it is a game of codes, luck, and laughs. Trust me, we had all of them when we played. Here is our breakdown of the game! (Not all of our players want to be quoted, or want to rate any games)

Design : Adam – 9, Alex – 9.5

The card design is absolutely perfect for what the game is meant to be. They are fun, cute, cartoony, colourful, and all around well designed. I can not speak to the card stock itself, as I rocked the PNP (print and play) but this didn’t take any fun away from it. The cards had me wanting to see more of the design style, so I also checked out all of their other games at http://www.fablesmith.com/ which brought me even closer to just buying them all. Quite a few of their games were intriguing, but this is the one game I can picture playing with my son in a couple of years. It would be eye catching enough for him, while not being too difficult for him to grasp. Heck, even the rule books were well designed and basic. I found the work to be stunning.


Replay Value : Adam – 9, Alex – 9

This game is not your standard replay value, as it does not have a million combinations. The game itself is almost always similar, yet feels so different. You need to think that the style will change with new players, and that the combinations may be completely different each time you play. This gives a lot of good replay to the game, because even by playing the same cards, you may end up with different endings to your “story”.

Another great aspect of the replay value is the fact that they did build a second game into the design. This, to me, is extremely well planned. I haven’t myself played another card game that has done this, and it adds a whole other aspect of game play. This will cause new players to become interested, as opposed to just targeting one market. The broad design of the game will be a contender for one of my best reviewed games of 2015.

Fun Factor : Adam – 9.5, Alex – 9

A clean sweep for us. I have never rated a game a ten, and that is just because I do not believe any game to be perfect. This one is darn close though. The fun of fooling your friends, while secretly conversing with your team is awesome. Some of the codes we came up with made no sense, at all, to anyone, and we couldn’t help but laugh the night away trying to decipher our own code, let alone the other teams. So first off is the adding of creating a secret language. It will have you talking in tongues, and forgetting what you are doing, a lot.

Next we have the added bonus of the luck factor. If you think you do know the code, you may score points very quickly. When you turn out to be wrong, you may end up giving the enemies even more than you intended. I had a blast even when I was messing up and scoring for the other team though, and that to me makes a really good game. A game you do not care is you lose, as long as you have a blast doing it.

Finally what makes this game so good for me, is that it brings together a lot of different styles. You can play an “adult” version, depending on the cards and language you choose. At the same time, you can play another time with your young children, and laugh about the funny decisions and languages you make then. This game is fun for all ages, as long as you don’t mind some childish behaviour. We all need to act like kids sometimes, and this game will help us do it.

Let’s hear what the creators had to say in this weeks interview :

1) Where did the idea for this game come from?

I got the idea for this game while developing a game for the EU. Clickerdi Click is an educational game for children to teach them how to be safer on the internet. This is a coop game where the kids had to describe their cards to the others and then pick a card from someone else at the table. I usually hate the mechanic of, “pick a random card from your opponent”, but I was very interested in turning this from something is find stupid into an asset. That’s a great design challenge Now it’s the main mechanism of the game and it’s exactly what makes Hylaria tick.

The idea of miscommunication is really interesting and I think that human creativity is the best resource to get most out of a gaming experience.

2) What are your top three favourite games of all time?

Hmmm. I have to really think about this one. I won’t put them in order, because they are impossible to compare, but here are 3 games I think are fantastic

Dixit. Which was a big inspiration for creating Hylaria

Quantum. Gorgeous production as always from Fun Forge and the game is simply a perfect design by Eric Zimmerman

King of Tokyo. Masterfully done. It takes a Richard Garfield to recognize the potential of a simple Yatzee mechanism and turn it into something so much fun

As a bonus, I would have to mention Hearthstone. I’m in love with that game. Such a source of inspiration for boardgame design as well

3) If you had to describe your game in one sentence, what would it be? 

A welcoming, silly game that uses human creativity and hilarious communication to its fullest.

4) Where can people get a copy/learn more information?

People can get behind this project on Kickstarter. There is plenty information there. They can also go to my website to learn al about Hylaria and my other designs.

5) Anything else you feel the readers should know?

Regarding Hylaria, I think it’s good to know that its a game for all occasions as long as you are with 4 or more people. I’ve tested it with a lot of non-gamers and that has really worked beautifully.

We’re also working on a digital game in the Hylaria universe. That will come out at the end of this month. I’m also really excited about that!


I want to thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, and let us play this beautiful game!

Make sure to head over to the kickstarter and pick up your copy now! – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fablesmith/hylaria-silly-codes-miscommunication-and-lots-of-l


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