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Filled with magic and mystery, Germany’s Black Forest is a place of legend serving as the backdrop for the classic tales we’ve all come to adore. Darkness and danger lurk around every corner, but those who dare to enter the forest and face challenging encounters with creativity and cunning will come out on the other side enriched for having taken the journey...into the Black Forest!
The game takes places over 2-3 rounds (depending on the number of players) with each round consisting of three "encounters" or hands. In the game, each player uses their own deck of cards numbered 1-12 that depicts four creatures that will help them journey through the forest: frogs (#1-3), squirrels (#4-6), lynx (#7-9), and owls (#10-12). In addition to the creatures on the cards, each deck has a unique distribution of four suits of magical items: wands, potions, spell books, and swords.
At the beginning of each round, players draw six cards from their personal deck and reveal three cards from the central encounter deck. The encounter cards direct the play of each hand and provide a glimpse of what challenges lie ahead for future encounters. Players take turns playing a card to an open slot around the outside of the encounter cards with each side scoring in a different way once the encounter card is surrounded. At the bottom, the low card beats the high card, taking the value of the high card for points. To the left side, the card played scores its value only if its suit matches one of the cards played above. On the top, the high card beats the low card, taking the value of the low card for points. And on the right side of the card, players may each play one card face down, hoping to meet the unique win condition for the card or to bluff or sluff to throw off the other adventurer and buy themselves extra time. After playing three hands, new encounters are revealed, then players choose from their remaining cards and newly drawn cards to prepare for the next round.