Top critical review
54 people found this helpful
on August 5, 2010
LEGO Magikus is a parts-collecting game based mostly on random rolls of a die. It's a cute little package, and considering it can be gotten fairly cheap, it's hard to argue against.
You set up an ingredient rack by following the build instructions. The goal is to collect four specific ingredients, and then cast the magic spell by placing all the ingredients into a black cauldron piece. The cauldron seems like a pretty after-the-fact addition as you've already won when you collect all your ingredients, but hey the kids will probably love that part. So, there are four each of four ingredients on the rack. You need to collect one of each ingredient to win. The six-sided die has a color to correspond to each ingredient (Red, Green, Blue, Yellow), so you basically just roll the die and take the appropriate ingredient from the rack (assuming there are any left). Each player also has their own scoring rack (ingredient list), with four colored places to put ingredients and keep track of what you need to collect. Fill up your ingredient list, and you win.
There are two twists to this. At the beginning of your turn, you may move the white owl piece to a spot outside any row or column of ingredients. If you roll white on the die, you make take any ingredient from the row or column you've placed the owl on- if you forgot to move the owl, you have to choose from where it is. If you instead roll black on the die, you may take one ingredient from another player- this is especially useful later in the game when other players may have taken all of a specific ingredient off the rack. This completed the die (White, Black, Red, Green, Blue, Yellow).
The game also comes with optional rules, including a black bat piece that I'd recommend including as soon as players are comfortable with the base game. The bat piece can be used as a fifth ingredient, so now when you roll black on the die you may choose to either steal an ingredient from another player, or take the bat (including stealing the bat from other players). This adds a decent kick of strategy, as players have to decide between hoping to roll ingredients they need and taking the bat early, or building ingredients and going for the bat at the last minute. There are also rules for mixing up the ingredient lists, including the extra pieces necessary to make room for variations, complete with a suggestion to keep your ingredient list secret during play. Players then vie to fill their own secret shopping list, and there's some fun guessing what pieces other players need as the the game progresses.
Overall, this is a cute little game. It's mostly for young kids, but adults won't feel completely left out as there is some strategy and bluffing with the advanced rules. The gameplay would work for children younger than the "6+" recommendation, but the game does contain a number of small parts that pose a choking hazard, so be careful letting very young players near this one. Adults may also need to help small children, as the rack setup is rather delicate and requires some dexterity to pull ingredients off without disturbing other pieces.