10/12/2020 UPDATE: Please note, the Kickstarter was cancelled and all pledges refunded. We are well aware of all the controversy around the game, the company and the production. We’ve kept this review up as a snapshot of the game, at the time we played it, in late 2020, although information may no longer be accurate.
It’s Christmas eve and Santa has just finished delivering the presents to the Franklin family. As he was unloading he noticed that Francois the forgetful elf has forgotten to label the presents! Santa needs your help! Jump down the chimney and figure out how to label all 6 names, but be quick -it’s almost Christmas morning!
Completion Time: ~25 Minutes* DNF
Date Played: 28th November 2020
Party Size: 1
Recommended For: A Christmas Gift
Even though I marked this as DNF (Did Not Finish), I LOVE the idea and am so excited to have been sent an early copy of The Forgetful Elf to play. A refreshing concept, surprising and absolutely charming. In short, a lot of fun on a Saturday night over a cup of mulled wine, which is exactly how a festive game like this is meant to be digested. Oh yes, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
At the time of writing, the clue system isn’t yet live on Clue Cards’ website. So whilst I’m 99% sure I’ve got 5/6 of the names correct, I can’t realistically say I finished *nervous sweating*. In all likelihood, I’ll come back and update this review once I’ve checked my answers. But for now I’ve popped the card in centre place on my mantelpiece among my other Christmas cards for all to admire in December, pretty as it is!
Clue Cards: The Forgetful Elf is a well thought out experience that I’d be excited to send to just about anyone for Christmas – veteran escapist and casual player both! It’s sturdy and easy to write on card stock, with a space for your stamp and your personalised letter too. At it’s core, this is what the game is designed for – a card you can send. But it’s so much more than a card. It’s a card packed with puzzles.
One of the my favourite things to highlight are the illustrations. When I hear the suggestion of a “Puzzle Christmas Card”, I immediately assume that it’s going to look… Well… Puzzle-y! Design sacrifices a lot to fit puzzles in (believe me, I’m a game designer myself). But Clue Cards pull this off flawlessly with what looks like a regular Christmas card until you take a closer look. Yes, I might have scribbled all over my copy right after I took these photos – but scribbles aside, it looks PERFECT with my other Christmas cards. Nobody will be able to tell that there’s more than what meets the eye.
In terms of content of puzzles, Clue Cards recommends The Forgetful Elf as a 2/5 difficulty experience. My experience was that there was a very good mix of puzzles in there, with some solid logical deduction. A few I picked up immediately, spotting what to do and how. Other puzzles I had to think over a few times, flipping back and forth between the instructions and the card’s front. But once you’ve figured it out – you’ve got it. There’s a strong “OH! YES!” moment to each of them, fuelling the positive reinforcement of solving a game.
Overall, to end with my opinion – I only played the one from Clue Card’s series but I can confidently say I had a fun, festive time with the game. At the time of writing there is a Kickstarter live for other cards, and I hope that these get released and are just as enjoyable! I’m excited to see what Clue Cards will come up with next.
Clue Cards cards can currently be purchased on their website here.