Friday, October 13, 2017

Mag-O-Mag Review



Quick Look:

Info:
Designer: Klaus and Benjamin Teuber
Artists: Fiore GmbH
Publisher: KOSMOS
Year Published: 2017
No. of Players: 2-4
Ages: 8+
Playing Time: 30 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

Klaus Teuber and his son Benjamin team up for the third time for an innovative vertical holder with interchangeable game boards and magnetic game pieces. The object of these games are speed and precision, and with some time, you will race to the finish line, become a pro golfer, and gain the highest favor with your chieftain, all while helping out your teammates.


Review:

Rules and Setup:
To setup the game, place the corresponding board next to the magnet board so that the orange back is facing the back of the stand and the board is facing the front of the stand. Add the corner pieces on the top corners to help stabilize the boards. Place the drive magnet (small magnet) on the board with the red side facing you, and place the guide magnet on the other side with the red side facing out. There are three separate games to play: Golf, Jungle Race, and Stone-Age Gatherer.

When playing all the games, you will rotate being the "helper" and the "driver." There is a board that shows what color does what job during play for both a three-player match and a four-player match.

Golf
You will start by flipping over a flag token to know where you will tee off and what hole you will be hitting toward. The helper will take the golf club and adjust the marker to show the distance to go and will point the club in the direction to go. The driver will then move the magnet in the direction shown and the distance he thinks that was shown, doing so in a straight line and in a single move. After a swing, a marker will be added to the tray to count swings. This will be repeated until you make it into the hole. If you hit into the pond or hedge, you will collect a penalty, adding an extra swing token to the tray. After a round ends, whoever hit the least will get two chips each, and whoever hit second least will get one chip each. Whoever has most chips at the end wins.


Jungle Race
The race goes from one quadrant to another, which equals about 1/4 of the entire race track. The helper will use words and their finger to show in what direction to go. The driver will follow directions and go from one flag to another and has 60 seconds to do so. If the magnet falls off, the timer stops and the magnet is placed back on the start flag unless you have passed a checkpoint, in which case place the magnet on the checkpoint and continue the race. After each round, you will compare times; the team with the fastest time get two chips each, and the second fastest team gets one chip each. Whoever has the most chips at the end of the game wins. Each round, the start and stop points move from one quadrant of the board to the next.



Stone-Age Gatherer
You will start on a fire pit in the center of one of four quadrants.  Each player gets 10 chips, and if you fall off the board during play, both the driver and helper will give up a chip. The helper will lead the driver to pass over the icons of various resources. Markers are placed over which icons were passed over. There is a 45 second time limit to get as many resources as you can. If the icon has a single resource, it will be given to the helper; if there is a double resource, the helper will get one and the driver will get the other. If the driver didn't get at least two resources, he will then take one resource of choice from the helper. After the round is over, the building phase will start, with the oldest player flipping over the top object tile. Each player will decide if they want to use the required resources to score the number of points on the tile. You will receive that many chips if you turn in the number of required resources. At the end of the building phase, the player will the most points will only be able to keep one resource token, the player in second gets to keep two resources, and so on. At the end of all rounds, the player with the most points wins.


There are different variants to play each game, such as cooperative play for 3-4 players and for two players.


Theme and Mechanics:
The theme changes in each game, but it seems to me the best theme out of the three is the race game. I almost wish they would have just developed the race game and made more tracks and added a little more depth to it and got rid of the other two games. I'm not saying the other two games are bad, it just seems like the race game really highlights the magnet mechanics very well. Maybe after developing the racing, they then could release expansions that would either be more tracks for the race game, or a new game system all together while using the same tray and magnet set.

The golf game theme is a tournament of playing golf. The racing game theme is a race along a narrow jungle path with steep drop offs. The stone-age gatherer game theme is being a member of a stone-age hunter-gatherer tribe; you need to collect resources for your chieftain to make objects and gain favor with him.

The theme for golf doesn't really work too well because you're really not hitting anything; you're just moving the guide magnet and stopping it. The theme in the stone-age gatherer game seems pushed. The components and all work, but does moving a magnet around really feel like you are collecting these resources to make them into objects for your chieftain? No. When playing the race game, though, you really feel like you are racing to stay on the unknown track and get the best time.



Artwork and Components:
The components are all very well-made and the stand is made of good plastic that seems like it would last. The boards are made out of cardboard, and over time with multiple plays and possible accidents happening, there could be some dents or things that could happen to the board, but most of those would happen to any other game as well. There is a warning in the rules that says to never put the red sides of each magnet together, as it will cause the magnets to become weaker. I haven't had problems with this yet, but with kids around playing, I get nervous that it will happen. I'm not going to test how weak the magnet gets, but it just adds some added stress to caring for the game. Again, I would have liked to have seen different maps for racing, and maybe some using more of the board with loops and maybe even some risky short cuts.


























The Good:
You can play three different games. The game is a hands-on dexterity game that is very unique. The game teaches kids how to communicate, helps with hand eye coordination, and helps with dexterity. You can form your own tournament with this game for bigger gaming events.

The Bad:
The golf game just isn't as exciting as the other two games. There should be more maps for racing. You are partnered with other people while playing, and it can get frustrating when they aren't involved in the game as much as you are. I feel like house rules for some aspects of the game seems to be more fun than their rules.

Final Thoughts:
I wish they would have stuck with the race game, developed it more, and had more maps to play with instead of three different games in one.  I would love to see risky short cuts, forks in the road, or icons that take away 5-10 seconds on your time.  Also, I feel like when you play the game with adults, you should do a complete lap on the track, with the fastest time winning. The race game becomes very intense as you rely on your partner to make it to the finish line. I really enjoyed this game, and will sometime make a tournament for a game event (you keep your partner and get 2-3 races each).

Players Who Like:
I would recommend this game to those who like dexterity games, those who play games with kids, and for those who like hands-on gaming. This game would be recommended for those who like forming tournaments for their game nights or events.

I am giving Mag-O-Mag a 7 out of 10 super meeples.

7 10

Check out Mag-O-Mag on:

        

Get your copy of Mag-O-Mag at your FLGS or online at AMAZON.

About the Author:
Brody Sheard played board games with his large family growing up. He continues his love of games by teaching his family, local gaming guild, and friends about new and exciting games. Brody believes that board gaming keeps your mind healthy while also having fun interacting with others.

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