Select your Fuzzy Mage of choice and battle your friends and family to claim magic in Fuzzy Mage Fight, the new card game from Shadow Squirrel Games.
What Is Fuzzy Mage Fight?
Fuzzy Mage Fight is a card game for 2-6 players ages 8+ that takes about 5-45 minutes to play. It is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter starting at $18 dollars for the base game. Expansions will include Allies, Silver Fox, and Mage Hunters for $5 each. Neoprene play mats will also be an option at two for $15, four for $25, or 6 for $35 dollars. The base game, all of the add-ons, and six mats will be $60.
Fuzzy Mage Fight Components
Note: my review is based on access to a prototype, so pictures may not reflect final quality and are subject to change. However, I found the cards to be excellent quality and the artwork absolutely stunning.
Base Set Components:
- 1 6-sided die
- 1 Garbel Card
- 6 Fuzzy Mage Cards (Wyatt, Nez, Gretchen, Philo, Chester, and Muffins)
- 6 Fuse Cards
- 100 Game Cards (16 Mineon, 24 Trap, 60 Magic, 24 Spell, and 24 Potion)
Since the game is card based, there’s nothing to assemble and it doesn’t take up much space. It would easily be transportable to a game night without needing a super big bag.
How to Play Fuzzy Mage Fight
For purposes of the review, I am going to focus on the base game play. Overall, it hits that nice balance of just enough strategy without making the game too complicated. Casual gamers can pick up on it fast, as can kids, making this a great family game.
The Goal of Fuzzy Mage Fight is to hold eight magic cards in your hand at any point of your turn without being in Essence Mode or Fused.
The setup of Fuzzy Mage Fight is extremely quick. Set aside the Fuse Cards in their own pile, and shuffle the Mineon, Trap, Magic, Spell, and Potion Cards into a a Game Card deck. Roll the die to determine which player selects their Fuzzy Mage card first. It can be a choice or random, but we found random to be fun. Whoever goes first also ends up with the Garbel Card. Play will then go clockwise from Player One. Each player gets three Game Cards and the remaining deck is set aside.
During a turn, each player may do three actions (Draw a Game Card, Use a Fuzzy Mage Ability, Attack another Fuzzy Mage or their Mineon, or Place a Card in Your Battlefield). A player can do any combination of these actions, up to three total. If the player has the Garbel Card, then at the end of their turn they must roll the die. A roll of 5 or 6 sends the Garbel to the next player but a roll of 1-4 keeps the Garbel with the current player and one random Game Card must be discarded from that player’s hand.
A player may have any number of cards in their hand, but only six in their Battlefield. Battlefield cards except for Mineons go face down until they are played. The only cards that may be played from a hand directly are Magic Cards. Cards may be played right after they are placed but do not need to be. You cannot swap cards with cards in your hand. If the deck runs out of Game Play cards, simply reshuffle the discard pile and make it into the new Game Play deck. Any card that had to be discarded after a player was allowed to take it from the discard pile must be removed from the game. This is how each card is used:
- Mineon Cards: Every Mineon Card in a player’s Battlefield lets a player draw a Game Card for free at the beginning of their turn. Mineons can be attacked.
- Trap Cards: Can be placed on your Battlefield and activated after another player attacks.
- Potion Cards: Use to give yourself a benefit.
- Spell Cards: Use against other players.
- Magic Cards: Can be used straight from your hand but when placed on the Battlefield are worth 3x as much. You need 8 in your hand to win the game.
If a player decides to attack another player or their Mineon, they must announce how much of their magic they are using. Magic from their hand is worth 1 point per card and 3 points from cards in the Battlefield. No matter how many cards are used, the attack is only 1 action. The other player can choose to defend or not. If the other player can put forward a higher number of points from their Magic Cards in defense, they have defended the attack and all magic used is discarded. An attack of 2 points can destroy an undefended Mineon Card (which is then discarded). If an attacked player cannot defend, the magic used is discarded, the attacker claims two random Game Cards from the defender, and the defender flips their Fuzzy Mage card and goes into Essence Mode.
A player in Essence Mode cannot win the game or use their Battlefield Cards or 3 actions. They may get their bonus cards from having Mineons though. An Essence Mode player has a few options. First, they can decide to roll to return to Fuzzy Mage mode (this requires a 5 or 6 on the die). If they fail or forgo this choice they can then either use an Essence Mode Ability as stated on their card or Fuse with another player who is in Essence Mode.
If two players agree, they can Fuse together (you cannot be Fused to more than one other player). Each Fused player takes a matching Fuse card and flips their cards back to the Fuzzy Mage side. While Fused, they get a bonus action on their turn, but you cannot win while Fused. If a Fused player is successfully attacked, both players must return to Essence mode and they must use other abilities or rolls to flip back to Fuzzy Mage mode. To break a Fuse, one Fused Player must successfully attack the other. The player initiating the Fuse may not immediately attack the other player until the next round.
The game ends when one player announces that they have acquired 8 Magic Cards in their hand during part of their turn.
Why You Should Play Fuzzy Mage Fight
The gorgeous, fun artwork was what first attracted me to the game and made me think it was likely to be a game for families. Our eight-year-old was immediately drawn to the anthropomorphic Fuzzy Mage artwork and was chomping at the bit to check it out. You’ll immediately want more Fuzzy Mages just for the artwork alone. Playing the game is just as much fun as the art.
The components require no assembly at all, and with setup so delightfully simple, it doesn’t take long at all to begin the game. This is especially great if you have limited time or want time to play more rounds.
The actual playing of the game is organized so that you can learn to play quickly, and casual gamers and kids can pick up on the rules and game play with relative ease. But while it’s easy to learn, there’s still a solid strategy component. Each Fuzzy Mage has a unique set of abilities to give them an edge, and the real mastery of the game comes from sorting out how to best play to your Fuzzy Mage’s abilities while trying to thwart others. The bigger the group, the more challenging hitting that dynamic becomes. You might thwart one or two other players only to have another claim victory.
Some of the unique aspects of the game adds more layers to playing. Essence Mode brings a whole new set of strategies to the game, including how long you want to stay in it to use those abilities since you can’t win while in Essence Mode. Fusing with another player adds another layer to that as well. You can be a benefit to each other, but at some point that alliance needs to end if a Fused player is going to win.
The Base Game is reasonably priced, and the expansions are cheap enough that you’ll want to grab them up (especially to get those additional Fuzzy Mages). Don’t wait until after the Kickstarter to get your copy though, Kickstarter stretch goals will include additional Fuzzy Mages that are backer exclusives. I know we’ll be throwing in a pledge of our own on the day it launches.