I have found the next amazing party game for nerds!
I’ve been hearing a lot about this game for the past year or so, primarily because I know the game’s creators, Lydia and David Sherrer. The game, which was successfully crowdfunded on Kickstarter, is one of the fun, fast-paced games that you can do in under 30 minutes. Or, if you want to play cutthroat, can last over an hour.
Since I’m not the professional at describing the game, I’ll let the game’s star, Sir Edgar Allan Kipling, Magical Talking Cat Extraordinaire, to explain for me.
I am Sir Edgard Allan Kipling, Magical Talking Cat Extraordinaire, and this is my wizard’s library. An evil force has invaded this haven of magical learning, and is bent on thievery and destruction. I have managed to trap it in the broom closet for now, but it will find its way out soon enough. Therefor, I am taking it upon myself to deputize you as my human familiars until the library is safe.
My wizard is away on business, but I have found diagrams in her notes for various magical artifacts capable of dispatching this evil for good. Since I am understandably lacking in opposable thumbs, it is up to you to collect and assemble the various components. I will be able to assist if a spot of Cat Magic is needed, but I must keep my main focus on containing the enemy, so choose carefully when and how to invoke my aid.
Whoever is first to return to me with their assembled artifact will be crowned Deputy Guardian of the Library, and together we will vanquish this evil. If you are very good, I might even share my tuna treats with you.
Good luck, humans.
Now be off with you!
As you might have guessed, this is a card game, but one devilishly simple and yet complex if you strategize. The object is to win, and at the same time, screw over your opponents so they lose… although as we found out in one test game, you can win by getting screwed over too much.
We played two player games, and those typically ran about 15 minutes each. Quickly though we figured out it would be more fun with more people. However, the game was enjoyable with just the two of us. I was taking notes during the playing process, so here we go.
We dealt our cards and immediately ran into a problem, and note number one on the list. MAKE SURE YOU THOROUGHLY SHUFFLE THE DECK! The cards are thicker than an average playing card deck and thus, they don’t shuffle as easily at first. Not shuffling the deck cause us to have quite a few repeat cards in rapid succession, which front-loaded our decks with powerful items that we couldn’t use until much later in the game. She won, handily I’ll add, in about ten minutes. Still, we looked over the artwork for the cards (cute stuff), and some of the “cause issues for your opponent” cards were a lot of fun.
This one was a back-and-forth affair, since the deck was shuffled this time. I almost managed to win with dead mice (when you play the game, you’ll understand) but she caught on to what I was doing at the last second and managed to sneak out the win. We had a few questions come up during this about strategizing, but overall realized this game is easily playable drunk or sober. Side note: Game #1 was played sober, Game #2 was played… less soberish.
She caught on to the rules faster than I did and thoroughly spanked me this game. The whole “swap decks with someone” tactic really messes with you if she happens to be good at counting cards and knows what’s in your hand. I think it was at this point I realized we needed 1-2 more players for a full, effective game. Still, lots of fun, and the artifacts we were trying to create made just enough sense to make us wonder…
Pros: Fast, easy to learn, simple rules, complex enough to make it interesting after multiple playthroughs
Cons: More fun with more people, needs an expansion deck!
Overall notes on the game: These are taken directly from the notes I was writing while playing. One of the things we thought might be a good idea to add to the deck is a “Cat Magic Storm” card, where everyone is forced to pass their entire hands to the left (or right). Another is always fun to accuse someone of stacking the deck. It’s hard to disprove it. Like cats, it’s more fun where there are more involved. Make sure the deck is thoroughly shuffled (as mentioned above). Also, why in the rules is there the option to reveal your artifact card when you don’t have the chance to win? We tried to figure out a reason why you would reveal what you had but couldn’t come up with any other than “have to pass your turn somehow,” which makes no sense.
Game rating: 5/5 stars. It’s a cute, quick game that is a lot of fun, the rules make sense, and anybody can play. The game suggests ages 14 and up but I think anybody 10 and up came play it easily enough. If 10 year old children can figure out Pokemon or Magic: The Gathering, they can figure out Cat Magic.