Magician’s Kitchen - Board Game Box Shot

Magician’s Kitchen

8 4

Magician’s Kitchen is a simple, charming test of patience and dexterity. Perfect for the youngest of gamers!

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Family Focus Review

Family Focus Review

These reviews provide insight on some of the best games for families with young gamers. Written from a parent’s perspective for a fun and educational family game night!

Overview

The object of Magician’s Kitchen is to be the first player to brew the perfect magician’s potion. Each player, as a young apprentice, must carry each of four ingredients represented by marbles, to their matching cauldrons without tripping and spilling their ingredient – losing their marble. Once the ingredients are in place, a Fireball marble must be delivered to the fire pit in the middle of the board to win the game to light the pretend fire and win the game.

Set Up

The Magician’s Kitchen Game serves as the game board and once the components are removed and sorted, the game box itself must be shaken back and forth a few times. This randomizes the magnets hidden beneath the magician’s workshop game board. The Fireplace is set up in the center of the board and players choose a Magician’s Apprentice figure and a Magic Wand. The Players place the side of the game box in front of them that matches the illustration of the apprentice they chose, and takes one marble of each of the four colors. These ingredients are placed in their “jars” or small storage holes near their starting area.

Magician's Kitchen game in play

Gameplay

On each player’s turn, they place their apprentice figure on their starting area, take one ingredient marble from a jar and place it on top of their apprentice. Then using their Magic Wand, the player must gently push the apprentice across the workshop to the cauldron that matches the ingredient marbles color. If the player reaches the caldron safely, magnets beneath the board will automatically dump the marble into the cauldron. This successfully end the players turn.

If however the apprentice stumbles along the way and drops their ingredient before they reach the matching cauldron, their turn ends immediately. The player must return the spilled ingredient to its “jar” and take their figure off the board. It is the next players turn.

If any other player has all four ingredients delivered to the matching Cauldrons, then other players may attempt to carry two ingredients at the same time.

If a player manages to deliver all four of their ingredients to each of their matching cauldrons, on that player very next turn they may take the Fireball marble and in the same manner as delivering ingredients, try to light the fire in the center of the board. If the Fireball marble lands perfectly in the center of the fire pit, the fire will light and that player wins the game!

Components

The art work is simple and charming. The game board design and components are sturdy and ingenious. Perfect for young eyes to grasp and small hands to manipulate. Larger adult hands may have a bit more trouble, but that’s the fun isn’t it?

Learning Curve

Younger players will understand immediately how to play without a lengthy explanation especially when adults show young players how to manipulate the game pieces. Some gentle reminders during game play will help guide them in planning their next turn.

Magician's Kitchen close up

Educational Value

Magician’s Kitchen helps develop:

  • Color recognition
  • Concentration
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Simple order sequence
  • Memory

As with many games it also creates an environment for adults to help children develop patience and good sportsmanship.

Final Thoughts

Magician’s Kitchen is incredibly simple to learn and play. It offers a unique family game experience: because it is primarily a test of memory and dexterity younger children will find themselves on more of an even footing with their adult players. Moving the apprentice with the wand is a funny little thing, but makes for more of a challenge. (if younger players are having trouble perhaps allowing them to move it with their finger may help) But don’t let the game’s simplicity fool you. If you are playing with children at or around the recommended age of 5, be prepared to explain the value of patience, perseverance. Why?

The ingenious magnets beneath the board provide a “trial and error environment” where players will inevitably drop their ingredients and have to start over – several times. This may be just the obstacle that causes impatience to take over in the young ones. As with any experience that teaches us that sometimes, things take more than one try, adults will need to shrug off failure and put a positive light on trying again. Of course once children learn to avoid these magnetic areas, (which adults may execute more efficiently) things will move smoother. But this requires players to watch other players’ movements and learn where not to move their apprentice. A certain amount of attention is required during other players’ turns – also not easy for the youngest of players. Helping younger players therefore to watch and learn will avoid the failures that will test their patience.

The final task of lighting the fire is a bit more difficult (Rather than a more forgiving cauldron, the Fireball marble has to land in a smaller hole in the center of the fire pit). Once again for the youngest players, adults may want to “bend” the rules a bit and allow the “third time’s the charm” rule to take affect. In other words, if the youngest of player just cant seem to get the Fireball marble into the firepit, three misses wins them the game.

Overall, Magician’s Kitchen provides a unique play environment that touches upon some of the most basic game principles and indeed social skills – without including random roll-and-move, mathematics, or reading. Each misstep is an opportunity for positivity. This expertly creates and environment that will plant the seed in children to learn more and more games, while practicing the good sportsmanship and perseverance more complicated games may require. This is what makes Magician’s Kitchen … magic!

User Reviews (1)

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1
Rated 5 Games
7
4 of 8 gamers found this helpful
“Simplistic but fun kids game.”

The random quality of the placement of the magnets – well-designed makes for edge of the seat tension among the child set, and plenty of humor for the whole family. The quick play (30 mins max) makes a nice change from the hours long crusades called Clue or Monopoly.

Art is good. Directions are easy to understand. With 2 male and 2 female avatars, your children may need to be flexible on gender selection.

 

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