Enchanted Plumes Review

24 September 2021
Although it is simple to play, Enchanted Plumes gives players a lot to think about.

Unlike the peacock’s dramatic tail, Enchanted Plumes, a small and quick set-collecting card game, at first looks very unassuming. Players draft cards of colourful peacock feathers to build a pyramid that makes up the bird’s extravagant tail. It may seem like there is not much to the game – pick up the highest value cards with a colour matching one of those already in the pyramid to score points – but just the peacock’s tails open to display its full beauty, Enchanted Plumes reveals its deeper layers as the game progresses.

Although it is simple to play, Enchanted Plumes gives players a lot to think about. For example, in the first row of the pyramid, all cards count as negative points, so players will need to balance the initial point loss with higher value cards on lower levels. They could choose to build many low-scoring pyramids or risk building one or two large pyramids, which come with more restrictions on which cards will go into it but which ultimately will earn more points. With a restricted hand limit, players can’t always keep all the best cards they can potentially play at some future point. Sometimes players will need to exchange a good card to the shared pool just so they can pick up something useful. Perhaps, the card will stay there to be picked back up later or maybe their opponent will take it for their plume – that’s just the risk of the game.

With ten different sets in the game, some feathers are perhaps too close in colour making them hard to distinguish. But each feather has its own design that makes Enchanted Plumes colour blind-friendly, although some feathers are only very subtly different, so they can still be hard to tell apart. 

Behind the humble box art of Enchanted Plumes, is a very simple, but well executed game. Presenting, perhaps, too quietly for its theme, this drafting card game is worth the spotlight. 



Designer: Brendan Hansen

Publisher: Calliope Games

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Time: 20-40 minutes

Players: 2-10

Ages: 9+

Price: £15

This article originally appeared in issue 59 of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.

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