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Store:  Card Games, Family Games
Theme:  Fantasy
Format:  Card Games


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Product Awards:  
Games Magazine Awards
Best Party Game Runner-Up, 2002

Ages Play Time Players
10+ 30-60 minutes 3-8

Designer(s): Los Rodriguez, Frederic Leygonie

Manufacturer(s): Mayfair Games

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Product Description

Go on a fantastic and funny journey in the land of fairies!

Each year, the most powerful wizards of the fairy realm participate in a friendly and prankful magical joust. Only one can be the winner, as each wizard competes to be the first to cast upon his opponents spells from his list of hilarious spells, while searching for and utilizing the strangest and most wonderful of spell components.

Are you ready to compete with these masters of magical might?

Will the powers of the cosmos lead you to victory, or will someone else claim the prize?

This game utilizes a two deck system, one of spells and one of "finds". "Finds" are composed of components, magic items, transactions and items. Spells requiring between 1 and 4 components to cast, the first player to cast all his spells wins.

Elixir is a humorous and fantastically fun card game great for the whole family.

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Best Party Game Runner-Up, 2002

Product Information


  • 56 Spell Cards
    • 16 Level 1 Spells
    • 24 Level 2 Spells
    • 8 Level 3 Spells
    • 8 Level 4 Spells
  • 112 Find Cards
    • 64 Ingredients (4 each of 16 ingredients)
    • 39 Objects (Magical or non-magical)
    • 9 Transactions (3 each of Auction, Fleamarket, and Market Day)

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.2 in 9 reviews

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Guaranteed fun for a group of friends
August 30, 2001

My friends and I played this game a few weekends ago and had a wonderful time. Although my husband had to preface everything he said with, 'Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle...,' I think even HE had fun. I look forward to getting my own copy and introducing it to other friends. I'm positive that everyone else will enjoy it, too!

Just plain silly fun
January 03, 2003

We've played this a few times in my gaming group, and always had fun...granted, the game may take a little longer than expected, but if you put a time limit for people's turns, then it can help tremendously. (And who wants to sit there while your opponent stares at his cards for the fifth minute and whines, 'well, what am I gonna do?')

The cards look great too - the artists have captured that playful, Brian Froud spirit in the drawings. Just have fun with it - it's only a game, after all!

Exuberant Fun, but for fewer...
September 20, 2001

Almohada does a very good job of explaining how Elixir works in a previous review, so I won't add anything to that.

Elixir requires participants who are not reserved, or if they are normally quiet, players who will come out of their shells with a little nudging. During the game, players may cast spells on their opponents that might make them sing a song, or make them 'profess their love' for another player. If your co-players are outgoing and have a sense of humor, you and they will have a lot of fun with this game.

My gaming group liked this game so much the first time we played it, they insisted we immediately play it again. And luckily, there are a large enough quantity of spells in the deck that there isn't frequent repetition from game to game.

One thing I do want to point out is that, even though the game says it's for 3-8 players, don't play with more than 6. We tried it once with 8 and the game just went on and on and on. If you stick with 6 or fewer players, you'll have a hoot with Elixir.

Once per night sober, all night at a kegger
November 30, 2000

Well, you do not really have to drink to enjoy this game. It certainly has a lot of potential for strategy and for silliness at the same time. That's a blend I happen to like.

Choose your spells craftily: low level spells are easier to play, though if you opt for too many, you may annoy the other players (who may be forced to say, 'Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle!' or jump on one leg for a while) enough to encourage them to gang up on you.

Use your auctions and markets wisely, and watch out for food poisoning from a spoiled ham, among other hazards. Have fun! My gaming group did.

Silly and absurd. Yet fun.
April 23, 2005

I picked up Elixir. I was at the game auction at Origins and was able to snag the game for an inexpensive price, even though I hadn’t heard of it before. I have pretty good confidence in Mayfair; however, so I figured the game would be worth trying out. When I opened the box and saw that it was about fairies, I was a bit less excited. The game languished on my shelf for half a year, with me making no attempt to pull it out. Finally, I decided that unplayed games were A Bad Thing, so I gathered a group of people together and tried it out.

I was pleasantly surprised when playing the game - it was a lot of fun. The game has a facade of a strategy game, but really Elixir is simply a party game. The game starts off a bit silly with the theme of itsy bitsy fairies dashing off, gathering ingredients for the players’ spells. But once the spells starting taking effect, the game gets goofy quickly. Perhaps the game might be too long for some people - about an hour or so, with the level of sheer silliness that occurs in it - but I heartily enjoyed the game. If you’re with a group of animated, extroverted folk, then Elixir is an excellent choice when looking for levity.

Four piles of spell cards (levels one through four) are shuffled and placed face down on the table. A pile of 112 “Find” cards is shuffled and forms a large draw deck in the middle of the table. After doing “Am-Stram-Gram” (read the rules to find out) to determine who goes first, the first player chooses a spell from any of the four piles. Players continue to pick, in turn order, spell cards, until all players have met or exceeded the total number of spell points (8-11, determined by number of players) on all their spells. (For example, in a three-player game I could have one Level 4 spell, two level 3 spells, and one level 1 spell for a total of 11 spell points.) Five “Find” cards are dealt to each player for their starting hand, and the game is ready to begin with the first player.

On a player’s turn, they draw the top card from the Find deck, and then take as many actions as they can / want to. The actions players may take are:

- Cast one of their spells: Each spell has a number of ingredients shown on it, corresponding to the level of the spell. There are four of each of the sixteen different ingredients (which have names such as “Lock of angel hair”, “A jab in the side”, and “Troll’s nose”.) If a player has the ingredients in the hand necessary to cast the spell, they discard the ingredients and play the spell on the table. The spell then causes some sort of effect, listed on the card. Level 4 and 3 spells have powerful effects, such as allowing a player to steal a find card from an opponent of their choice each turn for the rest of the game, or causing all players to give their finds to the player on their left. Level 2 spells are not quite as good, but are still useful, such as “You may randomly take a find from each of your opponents, and discard them immediately.” Level 1 spells, however, add hilarity to the game. Played on another player, they force that player to do things such as hop around the table twice on one foot, scratch their head every time they speak the rest of the game, declare love for you, or other inane things. Players who cannot / choose not to / forget to do these things forfeit cards from their hands to the players who catch them.

- Use a magical object: Some Find cards are considered “magical objects”, which basically allow the player to do some sort of action, like steal finds from an opponent, draw them from the deck, etc.

- Open a transaction: There are three different transactions that can be played on a player’s turn: the Flea Market, the Market Day, and the Auction. All three of these have different rules but basically consist of players exchanging find cards from their hand, just in different ways.

Some magical items and spells can be played out of turn, as long as the card states that the player can do it, and has the necessary ingredients. There are also several non-magical objects, that mostly do nothing except waste space, although a few of them can affect certain spells played. As soon as one player gets rid of all the spells in their hand, they are the winner!

Some comments on the game...

1.) Components: The game is basically made up of the 178 cards included in the Mayfair small-boxed-game box, so I’m glad that a lot of attention was paid to them. The cards are of good quality, and I was especially enamored by Bernard Bittler's artwork. There are quite a few differences between the European artwork and Mayfair artwork - mostly in the amount of clothing that the fairies wear (none in the European). I’ve already seen debates about this on the internet, so I’ll just simply state that I’m pleased I have the Mayfair edition. Each ingredient card, while having a humorous illustration on it, also has an icon in the corner. These icons are shown on the spell cards and make matching the correct ingredients with the spells fairly simple. The back of the four different levels of spells each have a different illustration, as well as a large number. This allows other players to easily determine how many spells another player has, and of what type. There is a lot of text on all the cards, but it doesn’t make the game as confusing as that sounds. Every card is quite simple to understand; and any discrepancies, if they show up, can easily be decided by a majority of the players. The only cards that might be confusing are the three transaction types, and the rules clearly explain each type. Small game, but nice components.

2.) Rules: The rule booklet is only eight pages long and is pretty clear, since the game isn’t really that difficult. As I stated above, a good section of the rules describes the transaction cards, the “Am Scram” method of picking the first player, and a listing of the ingredient cards. With pictures included, the rulebook is very easy to read - I enjoyed the way it was laid out. The game was extremely easy to teach - the only hiccup was the fact that a lot of magic items referred to specific transaction cards, and until we actually proceeded with those transactions, players weren’t quite sure what the magic items did. After a few rounds, this was cleared up; and the game was fairly easy to play.

3.) Level 1 Spells: I can’t imagine a game being played with no one picking any level one spells, which is good, as they are some of the funniest effects of the game. In our last game, I had to say “for your information....” with everything I said, which was annoying to me, but funny to the others. Having another player having to call me “Master” every time she spoke, and another say, “well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle” every time they spoke only increased the humor. I won’t deny that there are many people who would find this sort of thing annoying at best, detestable at worst. To those people I would caution against playing this game, as they will most likely have to act out some foolish charade for the amusement of others. But when you have a group of people who are willing to be silly for silliness’ sake, then these level 1 spells will make your day.

4.) Luck: When you don’t have the cards you need in your hand, and no magic objects worth playing, then your turn can simply involve picking up a card and passing. This isn’t the most fun thing in the world when it happens several times in a row; but the transaction cards help break this up, allowing most players to get at least some of the cards they want. Still, it’s quite possible for someone to win the game because they got the cards they needed, and no one else did. Yes, there a few tactical decisions in the game - knowing when to play the correct card, what cards to give to other players, the order of playing one’s spells, etc. But the game has a huge dose of humor and luck, and those interested in playing should know this.

5.) Fun Factor and Length: The game is a blast to play for about thirty minutes. And if the game lasts only thirty minutes, that’s a good thing. But occasionally the game goes a little longer than that - and then things can drag out. Even with groups full of levity, sometimes too much can be too much. Still, the game is a lot of fun as players trade cards back and forth and play silly spells on one another.

Elixir is on my shelf and will likely be brought out on occasions where I want to play a game that makes everyone laugh but doesn’t require folks to think too hard or be creative, like a typical party game. While the game could be played (I think) as a serious trading card game, I seriously doubt that it would be worth it. Anyone taking this game seriously would end up annoyed and irritated. Taking the game with a “dose of good humor” (one of the ingredients) is what is necessary. If you play the game expecting silliness, you’ll be satisfied. Because that, my friend, is all the game is. Fun, worth-paying-for silliness, but absurdity nonetheless.

Tom Vasel
“Real men play board games.”

Good Fun -- Can Sometimes Be Too Loud!
December 03, 2000

I've played this game several times with groups ranging from 4 to 6 people and we almost always have had a good time.

You are a wizard, and you are trying to cast all of your spells before anyone else does. In order to do this, you must collect the ingredients necessary to do so.

There are different level spells ranging from one to four which you choose from at the beginning of the game to get up to a certain point level. The level one spells require one ingredient, level two two ingredients, and so on.

The level one spells have rather silly consequences on other players. As you go up in levels the effects the spells have are more powerful (and therefore cool).

While you are attempting to gather your ingredients from the draw deck, you also get other cards which are just objects, which certain spells act upon. Sometimes the effects of these spells are very beneficial, and sometimes not. You also get cards which allow you to do certain actions, like protecting your ingredient cards from other players.

There are also auctions and flea markets in this game which allows you to try to trade away unneeded ingredients and try to get ones that will help you to cast your spells. But be careful: there are spells which force you to swap all of your uncast spells with other players and you might end up with completely different spells!

The only problem I've found with this game living in an apartment is that sometimes it can be too loud! One of the spells requires a player to jump around the gamespace on one foot. The folks downstairs didn't appreciate that too much.

Sometimes people really dislike being the target of the effects of spells as well--one in particular that comes to mind is the spell which requires a player to remove an article of clothing.

You need to consider the gaming group when you pull out this game--you'll want to have a pretty laid-back group to play this game.

Overall, I really enjoyed this game and I'd recommend it.

Sit and wait for a card all night
November 28, 2005
While I agree the game is silly and fun at times, I've also spent many games just sitting and drawing cards hoping to get a card to enable me to cast a spell. We always have fun playing Elixir, and laughing at the poor fool who has to say absurd things, but there's too many times I've played and felt like I did nothing but draw and discard, never casting a spell. It's an ok game, but I think money can be better spent on others. It can slow down if you don't get lucky with the draw pile, otherwise it's funny to laugh at your playmates =)
Faster would be more fun
February 24, 2002

This game does need some help. It can be fun, especially with certain spells in effect. However, it is difficult and slow to get the number of ingredients necessary to complete a spell. To make the game more fun, we take out all the non-critical items. (only targets, items that give you more ingredients, and cards that allow you to swap ingredients are left in the deck.) That means that you are more likely to draw an ingredient, and spells can be completed. It is very frustrating to spend the entire game collecting spell components, only to have someone steal you components, or make you recast the spell! It gets silly, and that can be fun if you are in the right mood. I don't understand how GAMES could have rated it so highly. Apples to Apples is a lot more fun!

Not an Enchanting Family Game
December 16, 2001

Tedious is the best description I could give of Elixir. Even with only four playing, we've had to resort to dealing out double the cards dictated by the rules at the beginning in order to get the game going and finish in any reasonable amount of time. The game's humor is rather sophomoric at best and wears thin quickly. From a game-play standpoint, there are too many spell ingredients to gather, and far too many possible reverses which one can suffer. It is a 'broken' game in terms of play, and there are long periods of stagnation as players wash cards in and out of their hands waiting for needed cards to show up. Unless you're looking to get high and giggle at the semi-lewd illustrations of female fairies and silly humor, don't bother with this game.

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