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Magna Force» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Worth trying. Buying? Not so much. rss

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Sparr Risher
United States
San Francisco
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Magna Force seemed novel, and it was pretty cheap so it seemed worth a try. The premise of the game is similar to Jenga, remove supports from a tower until it falls over. The mechanics are a bit more interesting though. The tower is built by taking turns placing pillars onto a disc-shaped base, adding a new disc on top after every 6th (or less for more difficult play) pillar is placed. Then players take turns rolling a die and using a magnetic rod to pull the indicated color pillar out of the tower, hoping not to make the tower fall. Everyone but the clumsy player scores how many pillars they removed, then you build another tower and try again until someone gets to 50 points.

This seems pretty straightforward, but the game fails due to a number of problems with implementation and gameplay. First, the discs have partial indentations on the edges, quite useful to avoid twisting the pillar as it comes out the last bit, but the rules don't mention that these only work if every disc is laid facing the same way (up or down). Next, building the tower takes a little too long. After a couple of games we resorted to just building it as fast as we could, without taking turns. Finally, the overall low number of total pillars (30) and high number of colors (6) means that the game ends far sooner than a similar game of Jenga might, due to being forced to pull out a pillar that will definitely topple the tower when there are still possibly dozens of 'safe' moves of the wrong color.

This game may be salvagable if the color system is ignored, playing like Jenga with each player having total choice over which piece to pull out. I will give it a try that way before giving up entirely on it, but overall I don't think this game will be staying in my collection too long.
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