Taking A Look At Fire In The Library [Kickstarter Corner]

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Kickstarter is a wonderful place with so many enticing, interesting games and it can be difficult to create a game that is going to stand out, but a game that couldn’t be more enticing or interesting is Fire In The Library. A theme that had me hooked as soon as I heard about it. A magical, wonderful, scary theme. Scary? well the though of a library full of incredible books if a scary thought to me. Sure, a game can’t ride on theme alone, and this game certainly doesn’t, it’s a great game to play as well as looking great. I had to dive straight in and talk about the theme first of all, it only seemed fair. 

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  • Players: 1 – 6    
  • Play time: 30 minutes
  • Designers: Tony Miller & John Prather 
  • Illustration: Beth Sobel
  • Publisher: Weird Giraffe Games
  • This is a prototype copy and may slightly differ from published copy.

Fire In The Library is a game about just that, a fire in the library and it’s your job to save all of those beautiful books before the building crumbles to the ground. As I’m sat here typing this, I have a strong image of myself just running through the library, trying to save years of history that’s currently burning before my eyes. The fond memories that books have given me over the years all being burned to the ground as I use my tools to try and save them, whilst also knowing that there’s a catch, that I could also cause the library to burn down faster if I’m not careful. Theme-wise, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard of before, so when I was contacted to ask if I would like to have a look at it and write a little bit about it on my blog, I just couldn’t refuse.

How does it play?

In Fire In The Library, you’ll play as a heroic Librarian and it’s your job to save the burning books which will help you gain knowledge, and also help you earn bravery points. Over a series of rounds, you’ll have the chance to save books from the roaring flames but there’s a twist. As books burn, other books of the same subject will increase in value but the fire will rage on making it a lot more difficult to save them. The game ends immediately when any section of the library completely burns down, so you must hurry and try to save as many books as possible before the library collapses.

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The rounds are simple and fun!

Turn Order

First of all, player order is determined for the first round and that is done by shuffling the Turn Order cards and dealing them to each player.

All of the rounds following will start with players choosing their Turn Order cards in reverse score order, with the player with the lowest score choosing their Turn Order first.

Saving Books

Now if you’re the Active Player, you can save books. You’ll draw a token from the Library bag and place it on the leftmost empty space on your Turn Order card.

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If you draw a token and it happens to be red, the fire has blocked your path you can no longer save books that turn.

But if you don’t draw a fire token, well done, you’ve found and saved a book. 

You can then play a Saving books tool and then you’ll stop saving books, for now anyway, so that you can score your knowledge. 

If you did cause a fire though, you can play a fire spreading tool, this is where you’ll run into the issue of potentially spreading that fire and you don’t want that to happen, oh no. 

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Scoring Knowledge

If you have decided to leave the Library and haven’t been forced out due to the spreading fire, all of the books that you saved are turned into points and are yours to keep. You’ve then got a chance to use any Tools that have an after scoring symbol on them.

End Of Round

Once all players have taken their turn, the round is over and a section of the library will burn. You can then discard one of your tools and replace it with the top card from the Tool Deck.

Game End

As mentioned earlier, the game ends immediately when any section of the library completely burns down, so you must hurry and try to save as many books as possible before the library collapses.

Thoughts

Fire In The Library has it all, gorgeous artwork, exciting theme and is definitely a push your luck game with a difference The tool cards add enough strategy to keep players focused and enticed during the game, they add that card driven element to the game which is something I enjoy and add a nice hint of flavour. Some of the cards are going to help you including the ‘Knapsack’ where you can place a book you have saved onto the card. Draw a token. If you draw a book, you score for both of those books. If you draw a fire though, you must burn the book on the card but don’t gain a tool or the ‘Axe’ in which After another player burns, put of the fire that would end their turn, take and score their highest value book, then place the book and fire token back ino the bag.

The theme really does shine through and plays a huge part in making this game super accessible, it’s the kind of game that I know would go down well if I take it to a family gathering, or down the pub. It’s also one of those games that I know I can take to my local game night and have a blast with.

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Is it a highly strategic game that lasts for hours? No, but it doesn’t need to be and that’s what I love about this game. It’s simple but effective. I also love the playing time of this one. I play a lot of longer games, like really long games, like 8 hour games but sometimes I want something to start or end a game night and this game is perfect for that.

Then you have the artwork. It goes without saying that it’s gorgeous but it really sold this game to me, it’s the icing on a very big library shaped cake. 

Fire In The Library is currently on Kickstarter, it’s already funded and you should definitely check it out.  I’ve already backed it and can’t wait to add it to my collection.

You can find the Kickstarter, here: Fire In The Library