Fabled Fruit: The Lime Expansion (Chris Wray)
Designer: Friedemann Friese
Publisher: 2F-Spiele, Stronghold Games, Others
Ages: 8 and Up
Time: 25 Minutes
Times Played: 8
Fabled Fruit was one of my favorite games of 2016. If you’re unfamiliar with Friedemann Friese’s fruit-themed game, it’s a twist on the worker placement genre, but with some elements of a legacy game. There’s a deck of locations, with each location represented by four identical cards in the deck. Twenty four of these location cards (with there being up to four of each location stacked atop each other) are on the table at once. These locations allow players to collect fruit cards in different ways, and the goal is to trade sets of the fruit cards for fabled juices. The juices are shown on the back of the location cards, so as you take one, you remove a location card from the game and add a new one from the deck. This causes the decision space to morph, and different combinations of locations (and thus possible actions) begin to form, so that your past games affect future ones. The first player to gather a number of fabled juices wins the game, with the number required depending on player count..
Me and my three-player group took 27 plays to get through the entire deck of locations. (If you played with four or five players, it’d take fewer games.) Gameplay is fast --- we originally averaged 17 minutes per play --- and we knocked it out in a few game nights last year.
I thought my Fabled Fruit days were behind me, but then 2F announced The Lime Expansion, which I bought at Essen. I was hungry for more fabled fruit. This lime-themed deck offers 20 new locations. My group --- now with four players --- got through the new deck in 8 plays in about 3 hours. We loved The Lime Expansion as much as Fabled Fruit. If you enjoyed the base game, you’ll love the taste of these new limes.
Rather than doing my normal review format, I thought I’d tackle this review in a series of questions-and-answers.
How does this change Fabled Fruit?
The Lime Expansion adds 20 new locations and is initially used in conjunction with some of the locations from the base game. But now you only add locations from the new deck, so eventually most of the decision space will involve limes.
To buy any juice from the new deck, you’ll need a lime card with your other fruit cards. Lime cards usually require a special action to get --- there are locations that give you them, though the lime cards are eventually shuffled in with other fruit cards --- and become a focus of the game.
From there, the deck morphs like Fabled Fruit. It adds a couple of other twists --- I won’t offer any spoilers! --- but it has a similar feel to Fabled Fruit.
Should I buy this if I haven’t finished Fabled Fruit?
Probably not. This feels like it is meant for people who have finished Fabled Fruit and wanted more of the experience. Part of the fun in Fabled Fruit is discovering new locations, and some of the locations from the end of the deck are put in at the start of The Limes Expansion, so I wouldn’t look at those until you’ve finished Fabled Fruit.
How many more plays does this add?
With four players, we got in 8 plays before we finished the new deck. You’d maybe get 9-11 total plays with a lower player count, but maybe fewer plays if you were playing with 5 full players. Either way, this is probably good for another 3-4 hours of fun, assuming you play just once. And unlike with other legacy games, you can play Fabled Fruit (and The Lime Expansion) multiple times, since it is easily resettable.
Do you have any other thoughts? What are the best parts of the expansion?
We loved this expansion, but we loved Fabled Fruit, that’s to be expected.
The best part of Fabled Fruit was discovering the new locations, and there’s still that joy here. The game is simple and fast, and for experienced Fabled Fruit players, we were able to jump right into The Limes Expansion. It really took us less than a minute to read the rules and begin enjoying the new cards.
Adding a new in-game currency allowed Friedemann to add some cool new mechanics, and it’s clear he put a lot of thought into designing the new deck. At times there are plenty of limes, and at times, they feel like a rarity. The gameplay shifts in delightful ways, and each new location card was eagerly anticipated by my group.
My group loved the game. We have an internal rating system for the Kansas City-area gamers to track how well they like the Essen releases, and The Lime Expansion has earned a perfect 4/4 so far. It is among our highest-rated of the Essen titles so far.
In short, if you liked --- and have completed --- Fabled Fruit, I’d encourage you to check out The Limes Expansion, which adds even more flavor to Fabled Fruit.
Chris Wray is a frequent reviewer of board and card games, writing dozens of reviews each year. In addition to writing for WDYPTW, he also writes for the Opinionated Gamers, Counter Magazine, and Gamers Alliance. He also posts reviews on BoardGameGeek, where he's listed as a golden reviewer.
You can find Chris at various conventions, including BGG.CON, Geekway to the West, Gen Con, or Spiel (Essen), and he often blogs while at the conventions.
Chris lives in Jefferson City, MO and works in government.