Tabletop Review: ‘Fiery Dragons’ From HABA

Reading Time: 3 minutes
‘Fiery Dragons’ from HABA. Photo by Elizabeth MacAndrew.

When you are looking at quality toy brands with recognizable names, you can’t go wrong with HABA. I previously reviewed Brandon the Brave from HABA in my quest to find games fun enough for a kid that is eight years old, but still easy enough for a five-year-old who isn’t reading yet to play together. HABA provided me with a copy of Fiery Dragons in exchange for a review.

What Is Fiery Dragons?

Fiery Dragons is a memory based game for 2-4 players ages 5-99 and takes about 15 minutes to play. Players act as dragons trying to get back to their cave by searching for the right cards to help them move.

Fiery Dragons Components

‘Fiery Dragons’ components. Photo by Elizabeth MacAndrew.

Fiery Dragons contains the following:

  • 1 Instruction Book in several languages
  • 4 Wooden Dragons
  • 4 Caves
  • 8 Volcano Cards
  • 16 Dragon Cards

The Cards and Caves are all made of thick cardboard that does not easily bend. It should hold up nicely to younger hands that can be a little rougher on game pieces. The Wooden Dragons are also made of solid wood, which will also hold up very well over time.

How to Play Fiery Dragons

Goal

The goal of Fiery Dragons is to get your dragon around the volcano and back to its cave first.

Setup

Setup for a 3 player game. Photo by Elizabeth MacAndrew.

Setup is easy enough for kids to do and goes very quickly. After each player selects a Wooden Dragon and color coordinating Cave, the 8 Volcano Cards and arranged in a circle. The regular pieces should be alternated with the pieces that have the cut-out section where the Caves fit into. If you have two players, their Caves should be opposite of each other. Place the Wooden dragons in their Caves and fit the Caves into the cutout sections. Then shuffle the circular Dragon Cards and place them face down in the center of the volcano. You’re now ready to play.

How to Play

This player will be allowed to move 2 spaces because the animal on their space and Dragon Card match. Photo by Elizabeth MacAndrew.

Player Turn

The youngest player goes first and play goes clockwise. On your turn, flip over a Dragon Card and one of the following happens:

  1. If it is the same animal as pictured on the space your Wooden Dragon is, leave it face up and move as many spaces as there are animals on the Dragon Card. You may then choose to select another Dragon Card or end your turn. You cannot be on the same space as another player, so if the Dragon Card would move you to a space occupied by another player, you may not move and your turn is over. When you end your turn, flip all the Dragon Cards face down again.
  2. If it is a different animal on the card than what is pictured on your current space, you may not move and your turn is over. When you end your turn, flip all the Dragon Cards face down again.
  3. If it is a dragon skull and bones, you leave it flipped up and move back as many spaces as there are skulls. You may attempt to draw a new Dragon Card using your new space as what must match the card or end your turn. When you end your turn, flip all the Dragon Cards face down again.

Game End

The game ends when a player goes all the way around the board and returns to their Cave. They must enter the Cave with the exact number of moves.

Why You Should Play Fiery Dragons

Fiery Dragons is a quick game to learn and a fast game to play. The mechanic allows non-readers to play with older children without reducing the fun for older players. The pieces are made from the quality and durability that has helped HABA earn its stellar reputation. The game sets up quickly and cleans up just as fast. The simple game mechanic makes the game go fast and it’s easy for kids to fit in several games in a row. The memory building aspect is great for young minds, but it also kept me having to focus when I played with the kids. Paying attention to what Dragon Card is where is rewarded, which is not a bad way of encouraging kids to learn to focus and pay attention. Older kids might have a little advantage here, but for the most part, the game felt decently even. A (age 8) says, “I think that other kids will like the challenge of trying to remember where the right Dragon Cards are.” W (age 5) says, “I liked the game because I got so close to getting inside the Cave.”

HABA has the MSRP at $14.99, which I find perfectly reasonable for gifting to other kids as well as acquiring for your own. If you don’t want to buy directly from HABA or another online source, the HABA site will even let you look up who the authorized HABA product dealers are local to you.

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