Wizard Thieves by Jeremy Rozenhart – Preview

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8/10
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Theme and What is it?

8/10

You spent your time as a thief among the people. You were trained to take what was not yours and feel no guilt. Eventually you discovered that you were able to perform simple acts of magic. You sought out wizards and became an apprentice to a power mage. Once you finished your training, it was discovered that you were a master thief. Your teacher introduced you to a secret guild of wizards. This guild had other wizards just like you, wizard thieves. You instantly fit in and saw how competitive the other guild members were. After the first night, you learned how to sleep with your eyes open.

Wizard Thieves is a dexterity card game for 2-4 players.

Gameplay Mechanics

8/10

Each player is given a starting deck of cards that consists of loot and treasure. Each player is then dealt two random magical item cards. They are then placed in player’s decks without the players looking at them. Decks are shuffled and play is ready to begin. 

Players take turns flipping over one card at a time into the pot. There are two ways for players to collect the Pot—grab challenges and treasure challenges. 

Grab challenges happen when two identical cards are revealed in specific ways – doubles, sandwiches, and “portal parallelism.” Whichever player has their hand on the pile first wins the pot. 

Treasure challenges happen when a treasure card is flipped over. There is a number on the top of the treasure card. The next player has that many attempts to flip over another treasure card. If they do not flip another treasure card, the pot goes to the last player that flipped a treasure card. If they do flip a treasure, it is the next players turn to try and flip a treasure card and so on until a player is unsuccessful.

Magical item cards have different effects on the game and are made to be fun and disruptive. 

Players have a status card in front of them. When they are safe, they can do everything in the game. If they try to grab a set of cards that is not valid for a grab challenge, then they become cursed. Their magical items no longer takes effect. If they go for another unwarranted grab, ie. becoming cursed again, they are removed from the game. 

The player who has collected all of the cards, or the last player standing wins the game!

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Initial Impressions

8/10

I first time I played Wizard Thieves was with my kids. It took just a few minutes to get through the rules of the game and get started. The game is straight forward and each player has a card that let’s everyone know what each magical item does. This all makes it really easy to keep a fast pace going, which makes it more fun as everyone is so nervous about slapping the right cards during a grab challenge. 

We made it through the game with slightly red hands from all the slapping, but all of us had fun and really enjoyed the game. There were lots of laughs, especially when someone realized they shouldn’t be slapping but it was too late. 

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Game Build Quality

8/10

I received a pre-kickstarter sample of the game. It was manufactured to allow people to try the game and send feedback to the designer. I will not give my feedback on components as they will be different based on how well the kickstarter campaign goes.

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There is a great deal of repetition on the artwork in Wizard Thieves, but that is to be expected when you have to match identical items to trigger a mechanic in the game. There is not a ton of art happening with this game, but what it does have is fun and looks great. The colors are vivid and that makes it fun while straining your eyes to make sure you are the first one to snatch the grab challenge. 

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Fun Factor

8/10

What makes Wizard Thieves fun is the anticipation of waiting. Waiting for something to trigger a grab challenge and also waiting to see if the next player is able to complete a treasure challenge. The game keeps everyone involved because it moves so fast and lets players interact with each other. Plus, it is just plain ol’ fun to mess up another players game with a magical item. 

Age Range & Weight

8/10

Wizard Thieves has an age recommendation of 14+ but don’t worry about that. This game is family friendly and young kids can pick it right up. 

I played with my 7 and 10-year-olds and they enjoyed it. My 7-year-old kept trying to slap anything that looked like it might give him the pot. We had to keep reminding him to chill out and that if we kept it up, he would be booted from the game. That didn’t phase him! 

Overall, I think that younger players can keep up with the fast pace and it is probably a great brain exercise for them. I would recommend Wizard Thieves as a great family game night option.

Conclusions

8/10

Wizard Thieves is a game that can be taken to game nights or one that you just play around the house. It can work well with adults or with kids. It appeals to new board gamers and seasoned gamers. It doesn’t quite fit into the category of party game because it is only 2-4 players, but anytime this game hits the table it is going to become a party. Expect things to get loud and competitive. Be prepared to have raw hands and bruised egos because only one person can be the winner in Wizard Thieves!