Let me start out by saying if you're someone who enjoys shows in the style of Super Jail, Epic Spell Wars Of The Battle Wizards by Cryptozoic games is for you. The names of spells are gruesome, and the art is grotesquely beautiful on every card. It's what initially caught my eye when I looked at the big wall of games at board game night. The game itself is also fairly simple...
- At the beginning of the game each person has a wizard with a weird name (mine was Pisstor The Pissed Wizard and his head was a beer mug) and 20 HP. Everyone draws eight cards from the deck and selects their spell to play that round.
- Players may play a maximum Source, Quality, and Delivery card. If a player lacks any of those three they can play two or one...but not two of the same type (S,Q,D) of card.
- Each person's delivery card has an initiative number for who goes first. If someone plays less than three cards they go first by default.
- Players go through each card reading their instructions and dealing damage appropriately to their opponents as the cards dictate. Typically this involves rollling dice for certain numbers.
- Players can only the number of dice that is equal to their number of glyphs (5 types) on that cards spell chain. An example would be a spell of three cards that contain two skulls and a lightning bolt. The player would be able to roll two dice on the cards that had a skull on but not on the lightning bolt card.
People play like that and the game progresses fairly quickly until a wizard dies. Once a wizard has died they will draw "dead wizard cards" which will give them bonuses in the next round. I especially appreciate this mechanic because it gives a big handicap for less skilled players to remain competitive as the game progresses to the next round and keeps the game fun. The first wizard to be "last wizard standing" for two duels wins. Simple as that, and I'm usually awful at explaining rules!
We played a full game in the span of about 30 minutes? We ended up going three rounds before a winner was crowned so I would consider that a fairly lengthy game and pretty fast paced. Especially considering only one person at the table had played before.
I cannot stress how much I loved the artwork and style of this game. I loved the way the cards when laid in their three formation formed a spell across the card art. I loved announcing I was going to cast Dark Merlin's-Impatient-Chicken, and I really loved the ease of play.
If there's one thing that I don't love it's the price point. $30 for about a 30 minute game? The game is super fun, but you're not going to play round after round after round in one night. It's going to be one of your warm up board games on a long night, or just a quick and dirty one when you're pressed for time. It's also about 3 years old so you think there would be just a small price bump!
That aside this game has an awesome card art, fun in groups, and pretty straightforward. I still give it high marks...just tacking a couple points off for price. You knock $10 off this is a no brainer buy and 10/10. Get it here if you're interested.