The Battle of Lizard is a neat little game of matching lizards with more depth to it than first glance.
Publisher: MOZI Games
Designer: Pin Chen
Designer: Yu-Horng Chen
Game Type: Pattern Matching
Initial Year of Release: 2019
Age Range: 6+
Expected Playtime: 20 min
Number of Players: 2-6
Theme and What is it?
These little lizards want to take over the island but which kind is going to win? The females are picky and only the best will be chosen. With strategic placement, your lizard could come out on top.
The goal of the Battle of Lizard is to get 5 in a row of your lizard: horizontal, vertical, or diagonal.
To start, each player draws one of the lizard character cards to secretly choose who their lizard is. Shuffle the Lizard card deck and deal 6 cards to each player.
Each turn consists of playing a card from your hand to the table. At least one of the lizards on the card has to touch or overlap with one of the lizards already on the table.
When connecting lizards, they should be of the same type.
When overlapping lizards though, blue covers yellow, yellow covers orange, and orange covers blue. 1 or 2 lizards can be covered by one card but a double lizard card of the same type cannot cover another double lizard.
The game ends when one of the lizards is linked 5 in a row.
I wasn’t too sure about this game to start with. Though it seems simple, the game requires a bit of strategy. The initial read of the rules was a little difficult because of the translation.
Game Build Quality
The components are simple: character cards and lizard deck cards. The character cards are regular playing cards of basic make and quality. The lizard deck cards are lightweight like notecard stock, cut into narrow cards, with similar finish quality of the playing cards. The components are flimsy meant for lots of play by young children and its travel-size doesn’t help trying to keep the complete and all together.
The quality of artwork is similar to Prairie of Beetles, cute and fun, but there is little variation on the game pieces with most of it going into the packaging and rulebook.
I can see this game being fun between players of like skill and experience, but given the narrow scope of the game, it is a short-term intermediate game between other games.
Age Range & Weight
The game is low-weight in terms of rules complexity but I think the age range of 6+ is a little off — too young. It has necessary skill-building for young children like color recognition/matching, but the point of the game is more mature because it requires long-term strategy. Kids can learn it but it takes time to improve and master.
The Battle of Lizard is a neat little game of matching lizards with more depth to it than first glance. All you’re given is a card with your hidden color and the goal of getting them 5-in-a-row, but its strategy is a bit of a mash-up between Dominoes, Connect4, and Go. Given the limited nature of theme-mechanic integration and not-so-great quality of the components, it was hard for me to score the game high. I do think this is a good teaching game for more advanced gameplay related to patience, long-term strategy, and maximizing creativity in a limited environment.
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