The Famous Five Card Game played by Fiona

I didn’t get around to listening to an audio drama for the blog this week (I think that was what I was meant to have done, at least!) so as Stef has arrived in Dundee tonight we decided to play the card game I got for Christmas. Unfortunately it is missing the instructions, but those are available to view on the Enid Blyton Society website so it’s not a disaster.


The instructions are fairly complicated for what isn’t that complicated a game and the first time we played I think we played wrong. We were drawing a card with every turn and thus always having seven cards in our hand. It came to score up after Stef won – the winner gets 20 points minus the number of cards they hold and all the others get 10 minus the cards they have. As you can see, there’s no point in that if everyone always has seven cards.

So we started again and played five rounds to see who would end up with the most points. Whenever Stef shuffled she seemed to end up with all the #1 cards which have to be played first! And when I shuffled I ended up with dreadful hands like this one



The cards themselves are beautiful Eileen Soper full colour illustrations, showing the stories from Five on a Treasure Island, Five Go to Smuggler’s Top, Five Go Off in a Caravan and Five Get Into Trouble. The goal is to lay them out in order, and the winner is whoever places the eighth card – the happy ending – in any storyline. Roadblocks can be thrown up in the form of danger cards, either general danger ones which can be played on any story or one of the four dangers specific to each story. For Treasure Island the danger is the men after the ingots, in Smuggler’s Top it is a watching enemy (Block), Caravan has poisoned meat for Timmy and Trouble has the gates of Owl’s Dene closing on the Five. To continue the story after one of these has been played an All-Safe card must the added to the sequence.


It was a fun game anyway, once we figured out what we were meant to be doing! Some rounds took longer than others depending on what order the cards came out in. One round was very short as we completed the storyline to Smuggler’s Top without starting any of the others.



After we played we got to talking about the illustrations and decided to compare them to those in the books.

It turns out some of them aren’t from the books. It would appear that all are brand-new despite having a passing similarity to those in the books. There are also a few that appear to have been drawn purely for the game. For example, the below illustration of the Five on their bikes doesn’t appear in Trouble.

280high+8743633These two from Smuggler’s Top show the differences between the versions.


Lastly, I can rarely write a blog without pointing out a mistake.


The caption reads Richard, when really, it should be Dick.


As I’m sure Stef will want me to mention, she won!

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11 Responses to The Famous Five Card Game played by Fiona

  1. chrissie777 says:

    Fiona, I envy you for the card game!
    Beautiful Soper motives. I was wondering if you have to be very familiar with the illustrations to figure out to which book they belong or if the book title is mentioned on each card?


    • fiona says:

      I think they are fairly obvious assuming you’re enough of a fan of the Famous Five to have bought or been given the game. It does tell you which book is for which set in the instructions as well.


  2. Francis says:

    Thanks Fiona – I have never played the game despite having the cards. How fascinating that the illustrations include differences and extra scenes. I will study my pack and compare them to the books. Trust Stef to win the game – she is such a clever girl! I am sure you would both easily beat me.
    Many regards


  3. Hayley says:

    Oh, very interesting game information. I liked the look of the cards it’s wonderful. Well done Stef very pleasing that you won!


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