Game Preview: Puking Wizards

Editor’s note: At the time of this writing, the Kickstarter campaign is live, and you still have time to back this project.

 

Puking. Wizards. If you’re looking for a game with a unique, never-been-done-before theme, I think it’s safe to say you found it. Puking Wizards is a card-based tower defense game with simple rules and easy-to-follow iconography and color-coding. The game takes 2 minutes to teach or learn, and games with 3 or 4 players can routinely be played in 20 minutes or less.

I was fortunate enough to playtest a prototype of this game recently with some friends and I was (pleasantly) surprised at how much we all enjoyed it. One game ended very, very quickly because we ganged up on each other in all out attacks. Another was a game of cat and mouse attack vs defend and heal. More common is some blend of the two extremes. The spectrum of available strategies this simple game spanned gave room for risky attacks to be played one after another or for a more defensive strategy – one that emphasized opportunity over quantity – to be embraced.

The players represent wizards on holiday, reminiscing about the challenges they’ve faced and the epic constitutions and ability to prevent tossing their cookies they all possess. The wizards argue over whose exploits and stomachs are the best, which quickly devolves into a challenge-for-the-ages, winner-take-all type of battle. The last wizard standing (still digesting?) wins.

On your turn, you’ll draw up to a hand size of 5, and play or discard one card (unless that card breaks the “play one card” rule). Wizards can manage up to 4 defenses at once, so you can play a defensive card (which will stay in play) in anticipation of being attacked or you may play an attack card on an unsuspecting opponent. You also have the option of playing a special action card if neither of those first options are your best strategy.

There are cards that partially heal and cards that block attacks entirely and both of these types are more of an “instant” type card that can be played on other players’ turns. Each wizard is given one Magic Potion at the start of the game. Magic Potions restore full health, but you only get one of those per game, so make sure you use it strategically.

This game is a player elimination game. By its nature, some will be left out as the game comes to its end. If multiple players play defensively, finding opportune attacks can be challenging. That said, the design (attacks are generally stronger than defenses) keeps the game moving toward its inevitable end. And because the deck is fixed and known, players may find certain strategies are better than others given what cards have been played and which are yet to be revealed.

This game is accessible for all ages, teaches and plays quickly, and can easily be played again and again right after a winner is determined. At some of our local game-day meet-ups, we have been looking for some lighter games to play when some of the heavier games don’t end at the same times. This unique theme, combined with how quickly it can be learned and played, makes it fit the bill. May your attacks be mighty and may your Wizard never puke!

Cheers!

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