OBJECTIVE OF THE FOX IN THE FOREST DUET:  Collect all of the gems before getting trapped by the forest


MATERIALS: 30 cards, 22 gem tokens, 4 forest tokens, 1 team tracker, board, 2 reference cards 

TYPE OF GAME: Cooperative trick taking

AUDIENCE: Kids, Adults


The Fox in the Forest Duet is a two player trick taking game created and published by Foxtrot Games and Renegade Game Studios in 2020.  Where The Fox in the Forest originally pitted two players against each other, Duet has each player working together.  

Each round, players will build tricks in a way that allows them to navigate the forest game board and collect gem tokens.  Players are not allowed to talk, and they must play cards that do not cause their team tracker token to move too far one direction or the other.  With every shuffle and deal, the stakes get higher as the forest closes in limiting player movement even more.


The game deck consists of 30 playing cards.  There are three suits with 10 cards in each suit ranked 1-10.  The odd numbered cards all have special abilities that affect gameplay.  Some cards contain paw prints which cause the team tracker token to move

The Forest Board is the centerpiece of the game.  It contains gem locations and movement spaces for the team tracker token.  There are also two sides of the board with side A being easier than side B.

There are 22 Gem Tokens that must be collected during the game.  The game allows for multiple difficulty settings in which more or fewer tokens are out on the board.

The 4 Forest Tokens are used to shrink the playing space down each round.

The Team Tracker token represents the two players within the forest.  Move this piece during the game in order to claim gems.

The 2 reference cards include a brief summary of each odd number card’s special ability as well as what to do at the end of the first two rounds.


Place the Forest Board in the center of the playing space in such a way that the narrow ends of the board face the two players.  Distribute the number of gem tokens required by each gem space.  Some spaces require zero, one, two, or three gems.  Place the gems in a stack on the space.

The Team Tracker begins on the starting space in the center of the Forest Board.  It is the space with a circle around it.

The dealer shuffles and deals 11 cards to each player face down.  Each player keeps their hand a secret, and they are not allowed to talk about the cards in their hand.  The rest of the cards are set aside as a kitty.  Flip the top card over to determine the Decree (trump suit) for the round.


There are two phases to each turn.  First, each player will play a card to the trick.  Second, based on the results of the trick, the Team Tracker token is moved along the path.  This continues until all of the tricks have been played.


The non-dealer plays a card to the trick.  The following player must follow suit if they can.  If they cannot follow the suit that was led, they may play any card from their hand.  The player that played the highest ranking card in the suit that was led or the highest trump suited card wins the trick.  Unless a special card was played, that player collects the trick and will lead next after moving the Team Tracker.


To determine how many spaces to move the Team Tracker, add together the total number of paw prints in the trick.  Move the piece that many spaces towards the player that won the trick unless a special card was played that changes that rule.

If the Team Tracker lands on a space connected to Gem Tokens, one token is collected.  If the Team Tracker begins the trick on a spot with Gems, and after the trick the Team Tracker does not move, players still collect a Gem from the spot.  Gem collection does not occur if the Team Tracker had to be reset back to its starting position.  The game is won if players collect all of Gems.

Tread carefully.  If the Team Tracker is moved beyond the boundary of the board, the token must reset and be placed back on the starting spot.  If this occurs, place a Forest Token on the uncovered path space furthest from the center.  Running out of Forest Tokens to place will end the game.


After moving the Team Tracker and possibly collecting Gems, place the two cards from the trick aside face down.  The player that won the previous trick leads.  Play like this continues until the game is lost, won, or the round ends.


The round ends after all 11 tricks have been played.  Round 2 must be set up.  Any Gem Space on the board that has a plus sign must have one Gem Token added to it.  

Place one Forest Token on the open path space furthest from the starting space.  If the Team Tracker is sitting on that space, the Forest Token space must be placed at the other end of the board.  If there are Gem Tokens in the space next to a path space that is covered by a Forest Token, those Gems must be moved to the next Gem Space closer to the center.  The Tracker Token does not reset at the beginning of a new round.


The non-dealer from round 1 deals for round two.  Continue play as before until the game is won, lost, or the round ends.  If round 3 is reached, repeat the same setup process as stated above.  If the game all of the gems are not collected by the end of round 3, the game is lost.


There is a way to keep track of your score when the game is won.  Keeping record of this allows you to see if you are improving.

If all of the Gem Tokens are collected, the team earns 10 points for doing so on Level 1, 20 for Level 2, and 30 points for Level 3.  Add 1 point for each card players have left in their hands.  Add 10 points if the game was won in the second round.  Add 3 points for each Forest Token that is left unused.


Collect all of the Gems before running out of Forest Tokens or before the end of the third round.

Mark Ball
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