Toy Corner

Unstable Unicorns Review

Jun 20, 2024

unstable unicorns

Unstable Unicorns has gained a lot of attention since it's launch in 2017, this card game is another success story from Kickstarter, where they raised nearly $2 million for their launch. This competitive card game, where players race to gather a stable of charming yet mischievous unicorns, has quickly become a modern classic.

Gameplay Experience of Unstable Unicorns

Let's start off by saying that Unstable Unicorns is a straightforward game to understand, which I believe is the reason for its success. Each player's turn includes a series of phases: Beginning Phase, Draw Phase, Action Phase, and End Phase. This structure, while it might sound rigid on paper, makes the game flow smoothly. It's especially great when playing with younger or less experienced players. Plus, the phases are clearly outlined in the rulebook, which is handy when someone's had a few too many drinks and needs a refresher.

In my experience, the most challenging part is remembering what each card type does, particularly the Magic and Instant Cards, as they can have pretty significant impacts. But, after a couple of games, everyone usually gets the hang of it. The creators really struck gold with the balance between simplicity and depth.

Replay value is a big deal in my book. I've plenty of games that gather dust because, well, they just don’t have staying power. Unstable Unicorns isn’t one of them. Thanks to its variety of cards and the randomness of draws, no two games are ever the same. Even after numerous plays, we still find new strategies and combos to keep things fresh.

The expansions add even more layers. The Dragon Expansion brings in powerful dragon-themed cards, shaking up the game dynamics. The Rainbow Sprinkles Pack, while mainly adding cute unicorns, still adds a sprinkle of variety. And for those seeking a more dramatic shift, the Apocalypse Expansion Pack provides game-changing elements that massively affect how you play. In our group, mixing in a couple of expansions when the base game starts feeling too familiar has been a winning move.

unstable unicorns components

Performance and User Experience

One of my favourite aspects of Unstable Unicorns is its relatively short setup time. You can be ready to play within minutes, which is a blessing when you're eager to dive into the game. As for game duration, it varies depending on the number of players and their familiarity with the game. In my experience, a typical game lasts anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. This makes it perfect for casual game nights or short sessions when you're pressed for time but still want a fulfilling gaming experience.

For those looking to elevate their gameplay, expansion packs like the Dragon Expansion or the Rainbow Sprinkles Pack add new dimensions to your strategies. While the Dragons can wreak havoc with powerful magic cards, the Rainbow Sprinkles introduce adorable but strategically significant new unicorns. These expansions are a must-try if you want to explore different tactical approaches and keep the game fresh.

Advantages of Unstable Unicorns

The beauty of Unstable Unicorns is its straightforward mechanics. The core objective of building a stable of seven unicorns is simple enough for everyone to grasp quickly. You won’t find yourself bogged down in complicated rules, which is a big plus for casual gamers. Even beginners can get the hang of it in no time, which means less explaining and more playing.

One of the standout features is the humour infused into the game. The cartoonish art and whimsical unicorn theme create an amusing atmosphere that can lighten the mood and ramp up the fun. The humorous card effects and abilities encourage banter and laughter, making it a fantastic choice for a lively party game. Sabotaging your mates has never been so fun!

Replayability is high thanks to the diverse set of cards and expanding options. Each playthrough feels unique, and the available expansions like the Dragon Expansion and Rainbow Sprinkles Pack introduce new mechanics to keep things fresh. Since it supports 2-8 players, it’s adaptable to different group sizes. And with more players, the game’s unpredictability and chaos elevate the hilarity and challenge.

Disadvantages of Unstable Unicorns

There are some cons which I should bring up and these are especially noticeable in shorter games or when playing with fewer players. The chaotic nature of the game and its take-that mechanics can sometimes overshadow more nuanced strategic decision-making.

Another point to consider is repetitiveness with repeated plays. While initially, the game offers good replayability, there's a chance it can start feeling a bit repetitive after several rounds. The solution to when this happens is to purchase one of the expansion packs available.

Moreover, limited player interaction can be an issue at lower player counts. When you're only playing with two or three players, the game might lose some of its interactive and chaotic charm. With fewer opportunities for disruptions and player interactions, the overall experience diminishes.

One more thing I've noticed is the potential for kingmaking or ganging up on one player, particularly in games with more participants. When this happens, it can lead to a less enjoyable experience for the targeted player and prolong the game unnecessarily.

Final Thoughts on Unstable Unicorns

Unstable Unicorns is an excellent game, it is easy to understand making it great to play with younger kids either on a family game night or as a party game and the cartoons are really nice looking. Overall I think it is worth adding this game to your collection as it will provide hours of fun!