Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Manasurge by Daily Magic Games unboxing and review

Manasurge is a game designed by Frank Sronce, with illustrations from Zulkarnaen H Basri.  It is a card game, an old school style card game, not a CCG, or an LCG, so you can play this straight from the box, no deck building, no agonising over which super rare cards you need to buy, just break it out play it, and as its a fast playing game you can get a few rounds in, then pop it away.
Its a small box game, nice and portable, but the first thing that jumps out at you is the art. Its stunning, and full of colour, so will certainly catch your eye.
It plays 2-6 players, I have tried it 2 player and 3 player, and it played fine and smoothly, so I do not imagine it taking longer at higher player count.  They state about 30 mins for play time, which is about right, our games where a bit quicker then this but as you add more player it takes a bit more time, though not much really due to the fast play nature of the game.

So lets open her up, see what we get inside and find out more about how the game plays.

 There is a fair amount tucked in this little box. A large amount of cards of course, some tokens that need punching out, a rules booklet, and a little wooden caster token.
 The rulebook is nicely produced, glossy pages, and with a handy video tutorial link in the cover.
 The downside of the manual for me, is there are no diagrams of play, its always nice to see some pictures, just to confirm in your mind you are playing right.
I do like the quick reference guide at the back of the manual though.

There are 6 spell suits in the game, each numbered, and with their own ability that can come into play.

The game is played over a series of rounds. Five cards are dealt to each player, and you then take turns casting an initial spell which will set the rule for the round, like the blades spell above that sets the rank other players must beat, and earn them a potential Shard (VP). Players then take turns playing cards of equal or higher rank from their hands to the table - if they match the spell suit, they place a Shard on that card.

 The round ends when a player can no longer play a valid card from their hand. The player that could not play a card returns any Shards on their played cards back to the center and then takes card damage equal to the amount of Shards that are still on cards. All other players then take the Shards on cards they played to their Victory Pool. The player who played the last card gets a bonus Shard.
When a player takes damage, they draw cards from the deck equal to the amount of damage and place them face down in front of them. If they ever accumulate 5+ damage, they immediately discard their hand and a Shard, and then take their damage cards in to their hand.
The game ends when one player has 12 Shards with 3 or 4 players...or 10 Shards with 5 players.
 You also get some of the metamagic cards that can have different effects and can be played instead of your card.
 For when you have mastered the game there is a selection of wizards you can use to take on therie persona and add some base abilities to your game.  Now as I have said before, the art is this game, has usually been excellent and bright, but there are some that are just a little off.... or creepy I don't know which.
 Im not sure what it is about the art above, but as a personal preference not a fan, it just looks off....
 But then I really like the art work here, and think its great.
 You get 6 of these handy double sided reference cards, which is good as its enough for the maximum players.  Its very useful to give you the guide, and the symbol meanings as well to save you flicking through the rulebook.
Lastly the caster token, its like a giant wooden fist, I think.. its cool that's for sure.
 Starting the round I have played a 5 fireball.... a nice start.
 The next player casts a 6 fireball, so higher, and as its the same suit it resonates so a shard goes on his card.
 third player drops an 8 of blades, playable since its a higher number, but the blades rule reverses the numbers so you must player lower, which is good for me as I only have lower cards
 I respond with a 7 quake, player 2 drops a 6 lightning and player 3 is stuck and unable to play a card so gets hit by the spell and takes damage.
Its a fast fun little card game, and I mean it in the classic sense, its almost like you could use a set of playing cards to play it, but the metamagic, and wizards add so much more to it.  for a good fun simple blast game, once you have mastered the rulebook, though I do advise watching the video tutorial they link to as its much easier explained seeing it in action.  When you have got it down you can teach it fast and play goes very quickly for rounds.  The game looks great in general, and the components are a nice quality so they should last you well.  Well worth lokoign into for something different as a filler game.
I asked Olivia her thoughts.....
I like the pictures, though there should be more girl wizards on the main cards, but I like the girls for the extra wizards.  I would like it more if I was a wizard..... can I be a wizard dad?

Since the game has not been released to retail yet I can only say the RRP is to be confirmed, but its still well worth finding your local game store and telling them you are interested.