Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre Review

What a ridiculous title, right? Okay so I first heard about this game a little more than a year ago when I saw this video:

I was pretty amused, but I didn’t go right out and buy it. But then I got the opportunity to play the game at Gen Con 2014, and I freaking loved it. It’s just as ridiculous as its title, and it’s super fun. And now it’s going to be on the very popular YouTube show TableTop, which is hosted by Wil Wheaton. If you’ve watched the show, you probably know that once a game is on the show, it sells out pretty quickly. So I figured you might want to know what the game plays like before the episode comes out, so that you can have the opportunity to buy the game before every copy disappears.

box

The point of the game is to knock out all the other players and become the last wizard standing. But even if you get eliminated, you’re not out of the game, because the game itself is played in multiple rounds of duels.

The rules themselves are pretty basic. You draw a hand of eight spell cards. Each player then combines cards to make a spell. You combine a card by playing a beginning (source), middle (quality), and an ending (delivery) card. The bottom of the card says which it is, but it’s pretty easy to tell what order to play them in, because the borders and ribbons on the cards match up.

card1

The player with the highest speed, which you can find on the delivery card, casts their spell first. Those spells harm the other players, heal yourself, or maybe get you some treasure.

Each duel plays out until there’s one wizard standing, and that person gets a last wizard standing token. The other players get dead wizard cards to help them out at the start of the next duel. One nice thing is that if you’re the first eliminated, and it takes three more spell-casting rounds for that duel to end, you’ll have accrued a dead wizard card for each round you’re dead. That can be majorly helpful at the beginning of the next duel.

dead

There are some other rules, like not having to play all three cards and some wild magic cards, but that’s the basic idea of the game.

I love many things about this game. The art itself is really fantastic. Not only are the illustrations themselves amazingly quirky and ridiculous, but the creators really thought about the overall look of the spell cards together. When you play all three components in your spell, the lines of the spells match up. It really makes the game look awesome.

Another aspect of the game that really works for me is that it plays fairly quickly. The game goes up to six players, and the more players you have, the more brutal the game is. If you’re the last wizard to act in round two, it’s possible you’ll die before you even get to cast your spell.

I normally don’t like player-elimination games, because once you’re out, there’s not much fun to be had. The game mitigates that by having the dead wizard cards, which keeps the ousted players involved. The other thing that helps is because the game plays so quickly, there’s not a ton of time that the players have to stay dead.

Another plus is that you can get people who don’t play board games to play this game with you. The theme itself can be a major selling point to help you get the non-gamers to sit down and at least try it out.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a game that has a lot of deep strategy and is a bit more complex, this isn’t the game for you. This is great in a party setting or as a bit of a break between playing more complicated games.

The game also has a nice price point, selling at about $30. I think it’s definitely worth the money. You can grab a copy of the game yourself here.

Score: A

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