So, a few weeks ago I was contacted by first time designer Simon Byron to check out his new game, Greedy Wizards. Heading down to his office in London, I really didn’t know what to expect – he’d told me that it was a pretty straightforward game for two players that he’d like my opinions on – and who am I to refuse? We sat down for a few rounds and… well, I fell in love with it a little bit. The game has launched on Kickstarter today and really fits the site’s ethos – someone has put together something that they think is great and reckon that others would enjoy it too. I am inclined to agree, because Greedy Wizards is a little box of fantastic-ness.
Billed as “A two-player game of magic and cake”, Greedy Wizards mixes a little bit of trying to read your opponent, a bit of bluffing and a big spoonful of charm. The story goes that two wizards, Red and Blue, are adventuring about the world and stumble across some floor cake – the finest cake, of course. Being greedy swines, they can’t just cut it in half and share it – they have to fight each other and the winner will take the whole thing. By hurling spells at each other they’ll hopefully win cake slices, and the first to three slices wins the game. But how do these magical duels take place?
Well, each wizard starts the game with nine cards, numbered (shockingly enough) from one to nine. Each slice of cake will be decided over the course of three duels, where the wizards will secretly choose three of their cards and lay them face down. This means that all of their cards will be played out in three sets of three, and once this is done it’s time to reveal what spells have been unleashed. One by one, the duels are resolved as the players flip their cards and total up the values. Whoever has the highest amount is a step closer to sweet victory, and if you manage to win two duels the slice is all yours.
So far, so simple – but there’s also a twist. Should you win a slice, the card representing it comes to your hand. Wizards can only hold nine cards though, so your highest value spell is discarded from the game. The cake cards are double sided so your opponent knows precisely which duel you’re using them in, putting the question in their mind: have they played this valueless card alongside a couple of low points cards, effectively conceding that duel, or are they attempting to lull you into believing that but actually going for some higher values in a bit to win the duel? Greedy Wizards is filled with moments like this, loads of “if you do that, then I should do this, but then what happens when this happens?”. There are few games that I’ve played where I’ve found myself second guessing so much, especially when you’re a couple of rounds in and can see where your opponent has placed their cake cards. This simple mechanism adds another layer of horrible strategy in this nasty, wonderful little game.
Simon’s worked alongside artist Anna-Liisa Jones to create some lovely art for Greedy Wizards. Yes, the game can be boiled down to simple maths, but the artwork and silly spells add plenty to the package. Both wizards have a different set of spells to play with which is a nice touch – there are plenty out there who would just use the same sets for both players – and I rather enjoy the daftness of The Woman Who Shouts Hurricanes and All The Flies In The World. However, just because it’s a cute and daft looking game, that doesn’t mean that you’re not in for a challenge. It’s an ideal way to pass twenty minutes with a mate or introduce a new gamer (or a kid!) to something a little bit different. Already well on it’s way to funding, Simon should be congratulated for creating such a great little game – get in on it now!
Greedy Wizards was designed by Simon Byron and will be published later this year (assuming everything goes to plan with the Kickstarter, which it should be!). Strictly for two players, you can pledge for a copy for only £9. Go and check it out now, melt your brain a bit and have a bloody good time with it!