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Review: Mage Wars - Academy

What's going on everyone!? I had a chance to sit down and check out Mage Wars: Academy by Arcane Wonders and give it a review. So sit back, brew up a potion of your favorite beverage and lets take a look at Mage Wars: Academy!



As Always, here's an excerpt:
"Welcome to Mage Wars® Academy!  You have reached the climax of your studies as a “Mage in training” and now stand ready to face off against other students, those of an entirely different school and ideology!  How will your battles turn out? Your actions will determine who is the victor… and who tastes bitter defeat!"






So as you can see from the images above, this is a card game. It's for 2 players and lasts ROUGHLY 30 minutes. It may last a little longer for new players but once you get warmed up with the game and get an understanding it sits right about that 30 minute mark.

Now, As far as getting used to the game and understanding the rules goes it's pretty straight forward and east to learn. The rulebook is nice and organized with rules and bits of information that you may start to question as they come up in the game. This makes for a very enjoyable learning experience.


Players will start out by deciding which mage they will play as. In this core set you have the Beastmaster and the Wizard.

The Beastmaster pretty much does what you may assume. He controls some awesome beasts and although he has mana(the way you pay for your spells) you'll find that his creatures for the starter deck are perfect for doing the fighting for him as well as taking the fight to the opponent.

The Wizards roll can also be assumed. He plays more "magic" type spells but also has his own arsenal of awesome creatures he controls.






Once you have your mage picked out, you then set up your side of the table as indicated in the rulebook. This is the standard setup and works perfectly for the way the game is played. At first it may seem a bit "empty" but once you start placing creatures and the game moves on, you'll see that it's nice and even and everything seems "in place" so to speak.


So the first two turns there is NO combat what so ever, This is to allow players to prepare their mages and also serves as two warm up rounds. Once you get used to the game play these go pretty quick though. So don't worry if you think it sounds like it might be a "put off", It's actually nice to have these two non combat turns to set your mage up or put a creature or two out.




After those two turns however, you start your attack! This is a very direct 1 on 1 game with attacks. You choose what action you're going to do and then IF you have enough mana you can also do an extra action also called a Quick Cast. Now, not every spell has a quick cast but the ones that do can REALLY save your butt.

It also gets more in depth with the attacks, there are Counter Attacks, Piercing, Doublestrike and more. It really sets the mood for the game and you can feel that fun one on one element come to life when you play.




The basic concept of the game is to reduce your opponents mage to 0 life points. Once this is done you win. However, this is not as easy as it seems. The reason for this is probably my most favorite thing about Mage Wars: Academy.

Before the fight and before the match ever begins you get to prepare your Spell book. What this means is that YOU decide if and when to play a card. YOU decided what cards to put in and what you don't need. This is great because unlike another mainstream game out there, you don't have to wait and hope to draw the card you put in there.

You don't have to put more than one of any card in there to up your chances which also means that you have room to try out other cards without sacrificing space for them if you don't want to. The main reason of the Spell book to me is that you are a mage and why would you not know what spells you have at any given moment? This allows you to KNOW what spells you have and to be able to use them to the best of their ability as well as yours.



On to my opinion:

Game Art: The art in this game in top notch. It's beautiful plain and simple. I could go on and on but really, there is no other words needed. B-EA-U-T-I-F-U-L!






Gameplay: Once you get the rules down it's fast and fun 1v1 battling to the end. Now, don't mistaken that comment with the assumption that this game is hard to learn. Far from it. Because of the wonderfully laid out rulebook and clear descriptions this game is VERY easy to pick up and play for the first time. I tend to over think rules a lot of the times and a clear rulebook leads to great gameplay that's fast to pick up and fun to execute.


Game Quality: The quality of this game is wonderful as well. From the awesome dice that are of high quality themselves to the tokens, cards, rulebook and box. It's a small package with a LOT of game in there. It also comes with a full deck of cards so that once you get used to the game you can even customize your spellbook with other cards. This is a great touch and also a money saver for us gamers who like to get a little more out of our games.




So, Should you buy this? YES! If you're into deck builders and are looking for something with a little more freedom as to how your deck is played then this is for you. It's a nice amount of time but not HOURS long. I know this is going to replace my want to play a certain card game that's been around for a while now. I'm sure you know it, it has the acronym of three letters. The first being an "M". ;)


PICK UP YOUR COPY HERE!


Be sure to check out their other great titles while you're there, they have LOTS of great games to choose from!

As always, thank you for reading and take care! :)
-Tim

2 comments:

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