One of the key marks of a good board game is a strong theme. The premise behind the game doesn’t have to be terribly complicated or involved , just colourful enough to make the game itself seem obvious. Halfling Feast has a simple idea behind it; you take control of a greedy little hobbit who has entered an eating contest in order to stuff their face with as many pies and similar foods as possible.
Each round, you either pick a food card from the ‘table’, or use an action card. Food fills your little fat Halfling belly; fill up too quickly and you can’t eat anything else. As your score points for each item eaten, you want to avoid getting too full too quickly. Luckily, the other sort of card allows you to take a special action. These typical involve ‘making room for more’, either by nipping to the outhouse or simply by emitting large amounts of gas. Yes, it’s that sort of game.
Other cards let you ‘cheat’; maybe you’ve a magical potion that makes you feel less full that you’ve snuck into the contest or make an opponent bloated. Playing these cards give you less time to be a tiny glutton, so you have to balance strategy over the chance to have that gooey looking cake.
Each player has a ‘character’ that can perform one of two actions. The weaker action (which usually manipulates the deck in some way) is a ‘free’, the other makes you discard cards. None of the characters are especially better than another, though some are more suited to certain play styles than others. (For example, one of the characters is a lawyer who’s a stickler for rules, whilst another allows a more chaotic approach.)
Halfling Feast is a fairly quick and fun game. It’s one of those 2 to 6 player style games, but unlike most games that involve a wide and varied number of players, adding players doesn’t really slow it down. The cards are well produced and art is appropriately funny and evocative. A great little game with a strong theme. Though we advise not trying re-enact the feeding frenzy yourself; it may get messy.
HALFLING FEAST / DESIGNERS: ROBIN ELLIOTT, NAOMI STYLES / ARTISTS: LUKA ARH, FRANCESCA BAERALD, JUSTIN RUSSELL, JOE SHAWCROSS / PUBLISHER: TRIPLE ACE GAMES LTD / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW