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Updated: Jan 20, 2022

Unfair (2017)

Designed by: Joel Finch

Published by: Good Games Publishing

Players: 2-5

Age: 14+

Play Time: 25 min/player


In Unfair, you and up to 4 other players compete to build the greatest theme park. Through impressive attractions, secret blueprints, and cold hard cash, you too can build the theme park of your dreams. But be careful, as there can only be one great theme park, and your competitors don't want it to be you.

Main Mechanics:

  • Card drafting

  • Hand management

  • Take that

Components Review: The components of Unfair are fantastic. The double sided board is think and the side is used depending on seating arrangement of players, which is a clever use of the board. The board itself is used to organize gameplay which works well as everything is very clearly labelled, making for a quick setup. The card art is just wonderful. it really captures the theme and look of a park, with some cards even being part of a panoramic image, which is really immersive. The rollercoaster mini step marker is really cool and feels quality. The rule book is repetitive at times though really thorough. Lastly the cardboard pieces, though a fairly standard quality, are in unique shapes, which makes paying for things pretty satisfying.

How to Play:

Unfair is played over a series of 8 rounds, each round having four steps: 1. Events, 2. Park, 3. Guests, and 4. Cleanup. The Event step is made up of 3 quick parts. First each player draws one event card in turn order. Then a "City" event is revealed. These cards effect everyone and also act as the 8 round timer for the game. Last, players take turns playing an event card or choosing to pass. This continues until all players have passed in a row. The next step of the round is the Park step, which is made up of three actions per player, taken one at a time, in player order. During the Park step players have four action options in which they take cards, play cards, remove cards, or collect coins. In the Guest step all players receive income according to their guest rating, which has a regular max of 15, though this can be raised, plus any tickets (indicated on their cards in play). Lastly is the Cleanup step, in which pinned cards are discarded, closed attractions opened, the market is refilled, and hands sizes are met. Play continues in this way and after 8 rounds, the game is scored. Players receive points based on attractions, blueprints, and excess coins. The player with the most points wins.

Gameplay Review:

Unfair, despite its name, is really fun. It has a good depth of strategy but is easy to learn. Seeing your park grow and transform over the game is wonderful. I was nervous for the negative player interaction that is imbedded in the game, though with my group it wasn't much of an issue, between players. The game has a universal event deck with some negatives which was rough at times, more to my competitors however. I could have been ruthless and made their time worse, though that didn't seem necessary. So a bad streak of luck and ruthless opponents can make this game hell, but there are also ways to plan ahead or take out those parts all together. Which leads to the best part about the game for me.

The biggest plus to Unfair for me is the variability and how customizable the game is. It can be aggressive but is also well balanced, so within the themes and game changers you can really tailor the game to your groups play style. Don't like take that? Play with World Peace. Don't want a streak of bad luck? Only use positive city cards. Want more player interaction? use decks that focus on unfairness. Want big, high scoring games? play with Grand Opening and some extra starter cash. The customizable nature of the game and ease to learn makes it one that I would play with a variety of people, crafting the game to the group.

Final Thoughts:

When Good Games Publishing said they'd be sending me this game to review I was both excited and nervous. Excited because I love the theme. As a kid I would play Sim Theme Park on my PlayStation 1 for hours, meticulously planning my theme park for maximum enjoyment... and profit. I also really like the themes within the theme. Building a robot-pirate, ride is too fun. However, I was also nervous as my group isn't huge on take that, which turned out to not be as much of an issue as I anticipated. I mentally prepared everyone to have a ride destroyed ahead of time, knowing that the game and other players would do so as part of the game which was a huge help, though we also played games with come game changers to lessen it. Overall, I really liked this game and would recommend it if you like the theme and tableau building.

These are my honest thoughts, but a big, big thank you to Good Games Publishing for sending me a copy of the game to review. I really did enjoy this one.

Purchase Unfair:

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