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!
Players: 2 - 6
Time: 30 minutes
Ages: 8 and up
Weight: 713 grams
Language Requirements: This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item. Game components are language-independent. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English.
- 1 game board
- 6 character tokens
- 1 Curse token
- 9 Magic formula dice
- 81 cards
- 1 rulebook
Average Rating: 3 in 1 review
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:
- Double Play: Allows a player to write two formulas.
- Tailwind: Allows a player to advance the number of spaces equal to their position in the race.
- Hex: Move the lead player back three spaces.
- Decree: Gives a player ten more seconds to look at the dice before writing their own formula.
- Blocking: Play after moving, no other player can pass you this turn.
- And more!
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…
- Components: As I stated in the introduction, the box is fabulous;
I wish more games were like this, so I could have a whole row of
"books" on my shelf. The only problem with it is that when opening,
it's pretty easy for everything to fall out, so stuff must be bagged.
The cards are of good quality - all with cartoonist artwork on them.
(Some of it is rather ridiculous.) The tokens are cardboard stand-ups
of the witches and move on the nicely designed board. The main
feature of the game is the dice, and they are very easy to see - nice
wooden dice with the symbols imprinted on them. The game comes with a
sheet of stickers to stick on the dice if a player has a hard time
seeing the sides. I didn't have a problem; but I used the stickers
anyway, as they were brighter and easier to see. The whole package is
high, high quality.
- Rules: I found the rulebook, all seven pages of it, to be very
helpful and easy to understand. The rules are simple, and there is
even an example of play - complete with illustrations that help even
more, although I found the rules themselves to be fine. There is an
explanation for the black magic cards, and lots of pictures, etc.
Teaching the game is simple; I merely play through an example rolling
of the dice, and people pick it up almost immediately.
- Memory: The game relies on a player's memory, as they attempt to
scan the dice quickly and remember the symbols on them. The nine
symbols are certainly different, although you would be surprised at
how easy it is to mix them up. For example, one symbol is a spider,
and the other a spider web. When I see the symbols, I impress
"spider" upon my memory, then I can't remember if I meant web or not.
Another symbol has a lightning bolt, with another symbol having a
lighting bolt IN a cloud. Add this to the fact that there are several
colors, and it isn't as easy to remember as you might think.
Sometimes I simply found one or two shapes and memorized them
fiercely, just so that I would get a few spots in the race, rather
than making a mistake and going no where.
- Speed: Memory is one thing; but when combined with speed, a game
can get quite frantic. You'll be sitting there, attempting to
memorize a few symbols, when WHAM! - someone slams the lid shut. It
can get irritating, especially if you are someone who likes to take a
little bit of time to think. I've played in one round, near the end
of a game, where I simply slammed the lid shut right away - then
picked one symbol, hoping I was right. I thought that this way I
could stop the others and cross the finish line. In my case, it was a
disaster, but either way - this sort of thing is going to appeal to
some, and appall others.
- Theme: The theme, despite the name, is really about silly witches
racing around on broomsticks and has nothing to do with "real" witches
- for those who dislike this. The dice mechanic sort of fits in the
theme, but the actual moving around the track feels like a race -
thanks to the black magic cards.
- Leader: If one person is excellent at this type of game, they
will likely do very well. Some people will be able to sort out all
the dice in their head in the amount of time I'm still starting to
look in the box. Fortunately, the game uses the "curse" token and the
black magic cards to help keep a runaway leader in check. Yes, a good
player will still likely win, but this keeps it closer and helps keep
the rage of a slower person in check. Also, I like the fact that
someone may cross the line first and still possibly lose, if a runner
up is hoarding point cards.
- Fun Factor: For me, I can take or leave speed games, but this one
is a bit more enjoyable than the rest. I can play it once and be
satisfied for a good while, but I have fun when doing it. The fact
that a player can choose which formula to copy keeps the game
interesting, and the black magic cards add a bit of strategy. Yes,
when you boil right down to it, it's speed + memory. And folks who
like neither will likely dislike 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.
"Real men play board games"