Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Fun Surprise- Magical Athlete

I like to believe that there are inexpensive and undiscovered games out there that are awesome and fun. In the past I can't say I've found this to be true. Inexpensive and unknown games all too often demonstrate after one play why they're so obscure. Still, I keep searching. Then last week I discovered Magical Athlete.

What is it about the title of this game that's so off-putting? Maybe it's just the dogged literal mindedness of it. There's exactly not one whit of inspiration in naming a game about magical athletes Magical Athlete. It feels lazy. Was there just a deadline that had to be met? "Quick, name the damn thing, the printers are waiting!" We'll have to wait for the expose on Meeples and Miniatures to learn the truth.

Snark aside, this is a very fun game. The goal of the game is to win a series of footraces held between different magical beings. You may control a druid, a medusa, a centaur or witch. There are many different racers to choose from. In each turn you roll a die and move ahead that many spaces. The first person to get to the end of the track wins. The fun of the game stems from each racer's special power. When centaurs pass someone they "kick" them back one space. After a siren moves she "lures" each other racer one space towards her. If you pass the witch she casts a spell and you stay frozen the next turn. Most of the powers happen automatically. So the siren moves ahead, then she pulls everyone towards her. That may then trigger one or more other powers. Each turn can lead to a string of unexpected events and various characters being kicked forwards and back, frozen, or somehow affected.

While there is a certain element of luck to the game we found that you can also use your powers carefully and thoughtfully. I wouldn't call this a Very strategic game but it certainly rewards some planning. There are also a series of races to be won and players form alliances in order to rack up the most points over all  the races.

I found Magical Athlete to be outrageously fun. It's a game I don't mind losing because of the luck element and it's a game that is fun to win through planning out your special power. If you can count to six you have learned the rules so this is a great game for younger players and older players can start a game without lengthy rules explanations. It's also cheap and easily available. You could even convert it to a miniatures game. Highly recommended!

No comments:

Post a Comment