Quick Look: Fan FU Football
Designers: Daniel Siskin – Jamal A. Swinton – Keyann Cook
Artists: Anthony Palileo
Publisher: Dream Helmet Productions
Year Published: 2021
No. of Players: 1- 4
Playing Time: Actual Game Time
Fan FU Football is a card, hand draft game based on NFL American Football. It sees ‘players’ playing fantasy NFL football just like they would online, but via playing cards to mimic and hopefully guess what plays are about to happen in real time live matches.
The rules are short, concise and well thought out, and should take no more than 10 minutes to get to grips with. There are 104 cards, and each player is dealt a hand of 5 cards which can include any of;
6 Running Back
6 Tight Ends
6 Wide Receivers
15 Offensive Linemen
12 Defensive Linemen
12 Defensive Backs
3 Kick Returners
21 Star cards
5 Rookie cards
As I’m reviewing this out of ‘season’, I played a few rounds using old games online via Youtube etc., and this was more than adequate to test the game, in the solo mode.
To begin you simply shuffle the entire deck and deal each player a hand of 5 cards. Players can play cards at any time, there is no set turn order for playing or drawing cards.
To put a card ‘in play’ you simply place it on your designated area in front of you, which can be done at any time there is a kick off or first down.
A player chooses one POSITION card on first downs and kick offs, and can play any or all of the cards of that type from their hand, for example you could play one or more WIDE RECEIVER card or cards, but none of any other position type.
The STAR and ROOKIE cards can be played on any down, and with any other position card on a KICK OFF or FIRST DOWN situation.
You cannot immediately play a card you have just drawn, unless it is drawn immediately before a KICK OFF.
When you play a card or cards, you must immediately redraw to your hand limit of 5 cards.
Once you play any card or cards, they remain in play until the end of the drive.
The only time a position card or cards is removed is if a penalty is called, and then all are removed, i.e. a penalty was called against a CORNERBACK so in this instance all DEFENSIVE BACK cards would be removed as that is the CORNERBACK’S parent group type.
The mechanics of a ‘drive are as follows;
A drive begins with either a kick off or change of ball possession, i.e. a turnover.
If a drive is ended by a PUNT or TURNOVER, you score all the points on the table, then you discard all the cards on the table and keep your hand.
If a drive ends by a TOUCHDOWN or FIELD GOAL then you again score all the points on the table, but you also discard your complete hand and redraw a complete new hand of 5 cards.
The only time a discard pile is shuffled is when a player cannot draw 5 new cards from the unused card deck. Take the amount of cards left, then shuffle the discard deck and complete the process to max of 5 cards per person.
Scoring, and Losing, Points
If a position card type ‘makes a play’ by accomplishing a scoring event shown on the card(s),
i.e getting a first down or a touchdown, you score the points indicated on the appropriate
If a turnover is committed, then the position card in play loses 2 points, i.e. if a
QUARTERBACK throws an interception, and you have a QB n play then you deduct 2
points from your overall score.
The STAR and ROOKIE cards have special abilities and bonuses, and need to be looked out for.
The cards don’t have any ‘art’ as such, they are simply a row of text on a green background made to look like a pitch, with a greyscale picture depicting the player the card is for, i.e. a KICKER card has a grey scaled kicker in the background.
This may sound basic, but I think they look really thematic and capture the essence of what the game is about perfectly.
There is also a quick reference card for each player to help them during the game.
The Good, & Bad
I don’t know the cost at the time of writing this, but if kept reasonable, then I can see this becoming a favorite amongst friends and families who get together to watch the game(s) on a weekend, as it gets, and keeps, them involved even when there is a break in play. Plus without the hassle of going online to manage your team this game is quick and easy to keep tabs on how everyone is doing, and gets you second guessing calling what plays will be called by the Coach or QB.
The only negative I can see is keeping the table area tidy when you play and deciding who gets to draw cards first if more than one person needs new cards as there is no actual turn order in the game.
(Edit: FAN FU FOOTBALL can now be purchased via Dream Helmet Productions Shop for only $19.99 + Shipping)
Is this game worth getting,… Absolutely, especially if you or your family are big NFL fans (and the price is kept affordable $19.99 + Sipping) as it is an extra little bit of excitement on match/Game day. For bigger than 4 groups simply buy 2 games and split into groups and maybe have leagues throughout the season yourselves and award a trophy to the season winner, going through the Play Offs, Championship games and the Super Bowl.
I can see this being a HUGE hit in the US, and hopefully in the UK as well where there is a big NFL fan base.
Myself, I’m a big 49ers fan, and will be playing along come the new season.