Aren’t these young dragons just the cutest little things you’ve ever seen? Of course they are! And as dragonkeepers, it is your job to look after them. Look to the magic book to see how many dragons, and of what type, you will be able to herd and cast your spells to help yourself herd more than all the other dragonkeepers! Better get started!
What Is It?
Set Collection – Players will be making groups of dragons of the 4 different colors to play in front of them.
Hand Management – They can only play the exact number and color of dragons displayed by the magic book, so players will want to choose their plays carefully, and manipulate the book to their advantage whenever they can in order to play the best sets.
Following – No matter who the active player is, all other plays can choose to play matching dragons in front of them (without the option of changing the book if they are not active).
Restrictive Play – Cards can never be played on stacks that are between two other dragon colors. So once you play 3 or 4 colors of dragons, you aren’t able to play 1 or 2 of them any more.
Who Is It For?
- 2 to 4 Players – Scales well at any count. Players later in turn order get 1, 2, or 3 starting cards respectively to offset first player advantage
- Ages 10 & Up / Light Gamers – Simple rules and gameplay, great for lots of gamers; no heavy strategizing
- Fans of set collection and light card games
- Players who love cute art!
Magic Chests – Shuffle the magic chest tiles and use one random chest during the game (or multiple if you’d like) once you’re familiar with the basic gameplay. These allow players to spend crystals to use the chest’s ability once per turn. This can be anything from putting played dragon cards back in hand, spending less dragon cards than needed, and more.
I think this is a great addition to the game, and I would probably always opt to add at least 1 chest in. It doesn’t add a lot of rules or complexity, but it gives players more space for decisions and makes crystals more valuable, which in turn makes playing the smaller sets more valuable (since you get them from playing dragons when the magic book is at “1”).
- Aesthetics – Super cute art. The dragons are adorable and the cards feature lots of unique art of each type of dragon
- Quality – Nice components (cards, cardboard, crystals)
- Plays quickly, snappy turns; doesn’t run too long
- I like the ability to play dragons on others’ turns. More opportunities for points, and keeps all players invested on every turn
- Simple rules, well-written
- Love the addition of the magic chests to add variety and a little bit of strategy
- I appreciate that partial amulets still score at the end of the game do you aren’t just missing out on points
- Not equal turns, but the starting cards help to offset that a bit
- Long Set-Up – No matter the player count, you have to randomly remove some amulet pieces, then sort them by number. It’s tedious and a bit time consuming
- Similarly, some of the pieces are a bit fiddly (amulets and pearls) because they’re small and you have to flip them all over at game end to score which is annoying. Doesn’t seem like it would be a big deal if points were public
- Luck – You don’t know what cards are coming up next in the magic book, and sometimes you just can’t set it up to play cards on your turn, which can set you back a bit
- The restrictive play can be frustrating if you block yourself off too early
- Theme is not strong
I thought the game was pretty cute overall. The set-up is a little tedious, but once you get past that, it plays very smoothly and I like the flow of the game, especially the potential to follow players and get points on multiple turns.
I actually couldn’t decide how I felt about the restrictiveness of the game/card play. It definitely feels more like a “con” to me, especially as you get farther into the game, but it also keeps players on their toes and has them strategize about how they want to play cards before getting locked out of playing certain colors.
It’s a nice, light game that is great for younger gamers, families, or fans of light card games with some set collection.
My Final Rating – 6.5/10
Designer – Michael Menzel
Artist – Michael Menzel
Publisher – KOSMOS
MSRP – $27.95
*I was provided a copy of this game to do this review*
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