27 April 2018
A card game collection of all stripes
The Lady and the Tiger is a handsome pack of five small card games that, much like the classic Frank R. Stockton short story on which it’s loosely based, veer between delight and disappointment. (At least it won’t cost you your life.)
The headline mode, two-player bluffer Doors, puts an interesting social deduction twist on set collecting, but struggles to find a tight enough sense of tension to really stick. It’s better than the still-okay auction game Favor, which is mechanically sound if a little flat in practice.
The real highlight of the set is the solo Hoards, a nifty puzzle game about manoeuvring gems around the four door cards in an effort to discard sets of ‘trash’ and collect stones that match the four combinations of card that make up the compact deck – split between red and blue, lady and tiger, with special colourless lady/tiger and roleless red/blue wilds. Simple and quick but surprisingly heady, it makes for an excellent lunchtime filler – it’s just a shame it’s single-player only, as it alone almost justifies grabbing the entire pack.
A decent multiplayer alternative is Labyrinth, a two-player puzzle involving swapping pairs of cards to transport tiger cubs across a grid. The ability to hinder your opponent makes for some great competitive gameplay, with forward planning required to avoid forcing yourself to reluctantly undo your own moves.
As is common with collections of smaller games, The Lady and the Tiger’s offering is inconsistent, but there are undoubtedly bright spots. Brightest of all is the gorgeous artwork and design, which particularly evokes Aladdin’s Rajah, The Jungle Book’s Shere Khan and Rapunzel of Tangled in its heavily Disney-fied visuals. Combined with the striking two-tone colour scheme, speed of learning and playing, and bag-friendly size, it could make picking up the set worthwhile – if only for a few minutes of entertainment and the impressed gasps when you unpack it.
Designer: Kevin Carmichael, Peter C. Hayward, JR Honeycutt, Ken Maher, Philip Tootill, Allysha Tulk
Artist: Tania Walker
Time: 15-20 mins
Sometimes we may include links to online retailers, from which we might receive a commission if you make a purchase. Affiliate links do not influence editorial coverage and will only be used when covering relevant products.