Wicked Witches Way
English language edition of Flinke Feger
List Price: $29.99
Your Price: $23.95
(Worth 2,395 Funagain Points!)
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Welcome to The Sorcerer's first Grand Prix! Sometimes, if the night is clear and you look to the sky you will be able to see strange objects zigzagging between the stars. They are not shooting stars, meteors, or flying saucers! You are fortunate, for you have just witnessed a race between witches on their flying brooms!
Wicked Witches Way is a board game which will put you in command of a flying witch's broom that you will have to control with daring and mastery.
Your goal? Win the race by passing the finish line first! Spot the dice, recreate the proper formula and advance... But don't forget that two kinds of combinations are possible, depending on the color: orange, and its turbo mode, or black, with its special cards filled with spells and sneaky tricks! The choice is yours! Memory, audacity, and cunning will be your best assets to take the victory!
Wicked Witches Way (Asmodee, 2007 - Bruno Cathala and Serge Laget) is one of the coolest produced games I've come across. The box is shaped like a book and even opens like a volume, sitting on the shelf, ready to be pulled out. The book shape also comes into play with the mechanics of the game, as well as the theme. I'm not a big fan of the theme, but it is more unique (although another witch racing game, Techno Witches, was recently released.)
Wicked Witches Way (WWW) is a game that mixes speed and thinking, causing players to quickly evaluate symbols rolled on dice. It is the sort of game that will have a strong reaction from people, likely based on how well they do at the game. Some folks can't stand speed games, and WWW may likely drive them crazy. However, WWW does have some aspects that allow players to hinder someone who tends to be faster at these sorts of games. I found it a decent game and think anyone who likes fast brain burners along with memorization elements should look into it.
Nine dice are included with the game - each having six symbols on their faces. There are nine different symbols, each with an associated "magic" word, and are printed on the faces in either orange or black. In total, there are six of each symbol throughout the dice and three of each color. A board is placed, showing a racing track, with all of the players taking their witch token and placing it on the "1" space of the track. Players then take the nine cards that match their color (the cards match the nine symbols on the dice). A curse token and a deck of "black magic" cards are placed near the board. The box for the game is opened, which has a flap in the middle that can close down on either side. The nine dice are placed in the box, and the first round is ready to begin.
The player currently in last place (random if tied) takes the nine dice and rolls them into the box. All players then look at the dice, trying to memorize the symbols. When one player thinks they can remember, they shut the book by closing the flap. At this point, each player chooses cards from their pile, making a magic formula. When everyone has done this, the dice are revealed, along with the players' formulas.
All dice are grouped together by symbol, regardless of color. If a group of symbols has both colors, then those dice are eliminated. Of all other groups, only one die is kept, and then the black and orange dice are grouped together. A player's cards must match either the orange or black formulas. If a player's formula matches all the symbols in one of the two formulas, they move one space for each of the cards they played. Plus, for an orange formula, they get two additional spaces, and for a black formula, they draw black magic cards equal to the formula, keeping one and discarding the others. If a player has cards that match a formula but not the entire formula, they simply move spaces equal to the number of cards played. If a player plays a symbol that is not in the formula, then they "fall off their broom", not moving at all that round. If the player who closes the box flap messes up, they actually go back two spaces (there is a "-2" space on the track).
After all players have moved (or not), the "curse" token is placed on the space where the leading racer(s) is. This cancels any bonus they might get from having a "perfect" formula on future turns.
Black magic cards have a variety of uses. Some of them will give the player more victory points at the end of the game (one to three). Others have a variety of effects:
The game continues until one or more of the witches cross the finish line. The first player to cross the line gets twenty-five points, the second twenty-four, etc. If a player doesn't finish on that turn, they get points equal to the space they are on (1 to 22). Players then add any points that they got from black magic cards, and the player with the most is the winner!
Some comments on the game…
Wicked Witches Way will have a very few who don't like the theme, more who don't like the memory aspects, and even more who hate the speed. However, that does not exclude everyone; and I've seen the game get a high reaction of enjoyment, especially from the younger set. The components are gorgeous, the act of shutting the lid is fun to do, and it can really broil one's mind. Perhaps not the best speed game I've ever played, it's certainly a good one and will appeal to fans of that genre.
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