Magic 8 Ball Magical Encounters Board Game Review
This board game’s premise centers on the imaginative world of Igglecot, as you control one of 4 brave adventurers to gather the 4 elemental crystals and bring them back to the towers to seal away Gadworm the Dragon once more. The illustrations on the board, the cards, and the instructions are all super fun, cute, colorful, and charming. The board in particular is super-packed with delightful detail of the Igglecot world.
The gameplay basics involve rolling the die, moving spaces on the board, and collecting star tokens in an attempt to find one of the 4 crystals. Watch out, as Gadworm will also move at the end of each players turn. On your way, you may land on encounter spaces, where the player to your left helps you in a quick little roleplay scenario on a drawn encounter card, involving a choice between two options. For example: “Which way will you go? Across a rickety bridge, or Down a dark, mysterious path?” Once you choose, ask the Magic 8 Ball if this course of action will work. Depending on the leaning of the answer, (positive, neutral or negative) you will receive a boon, (a treasure token, extra die roll, or helpful teleport), or bane (increase to Gadworm’s movement speed, unhelpful teleport.) Once you find a crystal from a star token, make it safely back to the tower and get a positive Magic 8 Ball answer to secure it. Careful though, Gadworm’s movement speed increases with every crystal found. If you get intercepted by Gadworm, you must drop your crystal on the space you’re on and get carried by Gadworm to his lair, then lose 1 heart. Mind you, this is everyone’s health! If everyone’s health runs out, it’s game over. However, if you deliver all the crystals to the towers, you win!
The gameplay revolving around the Magic 8 Ball answers keep things somewhat unpredictable, which makes treasure tokens like “ask 8 Ball again” very useful. Although there is an element of luck, the odds are still stacked enough in the player’s favor to where it still feels fair, and strategy is rewarded. You can opt to keep asking 8 Ball to unlock doors if the coast is clear, or move on, if you see Gadworm coming, for example. The standout mechanic is the encounter spaces and cards, offering little contained scenarios and opportunities for narrative flavoring and roleplay. This game has the trimmings, atmosphere and mechanics to act as a young player’s introduction to tabletop role playing games. If all this sounds too complicated, worry not! The instructions offer a simpler game mode for players that may feel daunted by the normal rules.
Should I get it?
We highly recommend picking this game up. Magical Encounters is an excellent game in its own right, but it’s also a wonderful little introduction to tabletop roleplaying games, with the mechanic of the Encounter Cards. You can choose to just answer the question, or have some fun with it! The play options are numerous.
- The illustrations and art style are wholesome, vibrant, and fun.
- The Encounter Cards add bite sized bursts of added game flavor.
- It balances strategy and luck perfectly.
- There’s an easy mode option for younger players.