Epic Spell Wars is a card game by Designers Rob Heinsoo and Cory Jones, and is published by Cryptozoic Entertainment. Each player takes on the role of a colorful wizard with names like Angelica Angel Face the Angelic Angel of Misery and Skullzar! The wizard that you pick makes no difference to the game, but the names are quite fun. The goal is the be the “Last Wizard Standing” two times. All players draw cards from a single deck and on their turn construct spells using a source, a quality, and a delivery. If one of the three parts is missing, the wizard may use two cards in their spell, but it will be less powerful. Each card has an effect and they are carried out in the order of the played cards (source, quality, delivery). Some cards do things like make players pass a certain type of card, some make you discard cards to deal damage, and some make you roll a die to determine their effect. Cards all have categories as well (arcane, dark, etc…) and the more categories that match the die roll card, the more dice you get to roll. Some of the cards are creatures and if you roll right they get to remain on the board which is good for two reasons; the creature’s ability happens every turn that it remains in play, and the creature can take the hit for you if you take damage. It is a very chaotic game, and while the people that go out early are left with nothing to do, the game progresses fairly quickly. Every turn you are dead you get a dead wizard card that is either redeemed when drawn (you get four blood), or is saved to use in the next round. If you are the first wizard out in a round then you should be fairly powerful by the beginning of the next round. The last wizard standing in a round gets a victory token, and the first wizard to two tokens wins the whole game.
Epic Spell Wars is one of those games that you really only buy because it is pretty funny. With the crazy wizard names and the ability to cast spells like “Griz Glowball’s Mother-Forking Jelly-Square”. However, the game was actually a lot of fun. It seems to be well balanced. In my game I was the first player out, but with the fact that it only took four more turns to have a last wizard standing, and the fact that each turn I was out I was getting more and more powerful, it really wasn’t that bad. There is an interesting conflict with the number of players however. I would at first think that you would want as many players as possible to make the game that much more chaotic, but then you have the potential to play a total of seven rounds before one player is crowned the victor! That’s a pretty long game. In my opinion, play the game and just have fun with it. If it seems like it is taking too long, just call it. The game doesn’t take itself seriously, and neither should the players.