“We’re all mad scientists but we’re all useless at it.”
Jordan Macnab, Writer
Publisher: Clever Unicorn Games
Designer: Chris Winterburn
Artist: Juan Moore
Game Type: Card Game
Game Type: Hand Management
Initial Year of Release: 2019
Age Range: 10+
Expected Playtime: 20 Minutes
Number of Players: 3-6 Players
Theme and What is it?
We’re all mad scientists but we’re all useless at it. We keep creating these wacky creations but they just don’t turn out the way we planned. We need to hide as many of these mistakes as possible but also expose as many of our oppositions mistakes as possible through these fantasy rich and beautifully illustrated fast paste card game.
Weird Alchemy plays in very quick rounds where players pass cards amongst each other trying to palm off all of the monsters but keeping the powerful action cards where ever possible. The directional cards can be fairly random but in a game like this you really don’t care where your cards go so long as they don’t stay in front of you.
Every once and a while you pull an accident card which halts the passing actions and everyone has to see how many of their creations will be exposed. Some action cards can help with the accidents but playing them affectively and in the right order can also be tricky.
I first saw this game at the UK Games Expo where I had the pleasure of meeting the creature, Chris Winterburn. From the first glance I knew I would enjoy this game mainly due to the art alone. I even commented on the cabbage patch kids feel to it that I remember so well from when I was a kid.
I’m sure many people will be drawn to this for the same reason I was which is testament to the art.
Game Build Quality
The card stock for Weird Alchemy is great, ideal for the type of game it is.
My only small gripe about the build quality would be the storage solution. This is obviously a small card game and comes in a standard size deck box. This means sleeving the game and using the same box is impossible.
Like I said this is just a niggle and far from being a deal breaker just something to be aware of.
What can I say without gushing too much… I personally love the art style! Its a very fresh twist on a very playful art style that I’ve loved over the years and I’m very happy to see it being brought to such a fun game. The colours explode off the cards and every card puts a smile on your face due to its sheer wackiness.
Well, I’ve played this game several times since receiving it with a couple of very varied groups.
First I played it with my 5yr old and 8yr old… We had such a blast and had absolutely no idea who was going to win right up until the end. The game took a little longer with them but as many of you will know, keeping the attention of young children can be tough at the best of times.
Second I played with a bunch of lads who haven’t played a board game since they were probably the age of my kids but we were on holiday and I forced them. It very quickly turned into a drinking game (sorry Chris, this may not be your intended use) and became one of the wacky highlights of the holiday.
It was simple and quick enough to teach. It also plays with zero effort and it can obviously be enjoyed in several different ways.
Age Range & Weight
I took the PG route with this by letting my kids play this but I couldn’t see anything abusive in it that they would find offensive. I think the age range can be taken with a pinch of salt personally but obviously I encourage everyone to review the content of the cards before giving to small children.
The timing is pretty accurate. Like I said, the game with my kids took a little bit longer than expected but I agree the average game should take about 20 mins.
Weird Alchemy is a barrel of laughs and in my experience entertaining for everyone who has played it. It’s hard not to love the art work and silly play style.
At its core, it’s a filler game but it can clearly be used in any occasion.
I can tell this has been a labour of love for Chris and Juan (artist) and I very glad they brought it to the table.
If you’d like a fun, light-hearted game this is a very solid choice.
No radioactive spiders were lurking inside my copy, sadly.
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