Wizard Kittens Card Game Review
Help feline wizards return curses to a book in this family-friendly tabletop game.
Wizard Kittens is a family-friendly tabletop game from Magpie Games. We recently had the chance to check it out.
What is this game? What’s it about?
Wizard Kittens is a “semi-cooperative” card game for 2-4 players with a recommended age of 7+.
In Wizard Kittens, a group of feline wizards has accidentally released curses from a magical book. Players will need to perform magical spells to return the curses to the book before Professor Whispurr arrives and finds out what has happened.
Each game of Wizard Kittens has an expected play time of 15-30 minutes.
How do you play this game?
The goal of Wizard Kittens is for the group to return six curses to the magical book before drawing the Professor Whispurr card from the game’s deck (when this card is drawn, the group has been “caught”). While this goal means the group is technically working together, each player will collect their own points, resulting in a single player winning the game at the end.
Each curse is listed on a Curse Card that shows the “Ritual Components” players must collect to clear it. These Ritual Components are found on Ritual Component Cards, and come in the form of Artifacts, Familiars, Potions, and Scrolls.
On each turn, the active player will draw a Ritual Component Card and place it next to one of the “Chapter” cards in their “Ritual Circle” area in front of them. Each “Chapter” is associated with a different Curse Card, so players will want to place these Ritual Components next to the Chapter Cards that will help them clear curses, if possible.
Once the player has drawn a card, they can cast one of four spells to manipulate the cards in their own Ritual Circle and/or manipulate the cards in other players’ Ritual Circles. For instance, players can cast the “Sling” spell, which will allow them to move a Ritual Component Card from their own Ritual Circle into the Ritual Circle of any other player.
Players can use strategic thinking to decide which spell to cast on each turn. However, once players cast a spell, they can’t cast the same spell on their next turn. That is, there’s a one-turn “cooldown” for each spell, which will force players to experiment with different spells as the game progresses.
Once players collect the required Ritual Component Cards to clear a curse, they are required to clear the curse immediately, even if they have extra Ritual Components Cards next to the “Chapter” card associated with the curse. These “extra” cards will cause them to lose points at the end of the game. This feature also adds extra strategy to the game, as players may choose to “sabotage” their opponents by casting spells to give them extra Ritual Component Cards they don’t need.
Finally, the game includes “Chaos Cat Cards” that can be randomly drawn from the Ritual Component deck. When one of these cards is drawn, a “New Rule” card is activated, and players must follow the instructions on this New Rule card.
Once the group has cleared six curses or is caught by Professor Whispurr, the game will end and players will total their points individually. If the group cleared six curses, players will have the chance to earn bonus points as they total their scores. If the group was caught, they won’t have the chance to earn these bonus points.
If the group cleared the curses, the player who earned the most points wins. If the group was caught, every player with 10 or more points loses and all players with nine or fewer points will count the Ritual Component Cards they had in their Ritual Circle at the end of the game. The player with the least number of cards will win.
While these gameplay rules apply to a 3-4 player game of Wizard Kittens, the game also includes rules for a “2-player variant” version of the game. This variant eliminates some of the “New Rule” cards from play, among other changes.
Is this game fun to play?
Wizard Kittens has adorable artwork that instantly drew us to the game. However, we were disappointed by the actual gameplay experience. While the game’s turn order is fairly simple, the game has a complicated setup process and feels repetitive as a two-player experience.
That being said, we imagine the game would be more entertaining with 3-4 players, since more cards would be in play in Ritual Circles around the table, and each player would therefore have more cards to choose from when deciding which spell to cast on each turn. However, we can’t guarantee that, since we only played with two people.
As it stands, we can’t recommend Wizard Kittens if you know you’ll only ever play with two people.
Is there anything else parents need to know about this game?
Wizard Kittens requires a large gameplay area. We fit a two-player game on a standard card table, but larger groups will likely need to play on a larger surface.
What’s the final verdict?
Wizard Kittens is an adorable card game that unfortunately didn’t live up to our expectations. We appreciate the game’s focus on strategic thinking, but we were let down by the game as a two-player experience.
Wizard Kittens is available on the Magpie Games website and at other retailers for $19.99.
Disclosure: SuperParent received Wizard Kittens for coverage purposes.