Designer: Nick Sibicky
Artists: Denis Martynets
Publisher: Daily Magic Games
Year Published: 2017
No. of Players: 2-5
Playing Time: 10 minutes
Rules and Setup:
Setup takes only a minute or two. You will take the light deck and deal out the top 2 rows of the tower (5 cards on each row). Then deal 1 card of the light deck to each player which they will look at and place face down. Finish the tower with the dark deck adding on 6 more floors with 5 cards in each row leaving the bottom right can face down. Place the bridge near the bottom card flipped over with the 1st to exit, 2nd to exit, and last to exit tiles. All other bonus tiles can be placed next to the tower to remind the players how to score bonus points.
Each player takes a standee character and will start on top of the tower choosing a card to collect. After collecting a card, the next turn you can not move up a level, but only pick up a card on the same level, or any levels down. As you collect cards, some will give you bonuses, some will give your curses. They will each have different numbers worth that amount of points, and also have an icon which will score extra points once everyone exits the tower. You will want to get as many cards as you can, without letting other players take the cards you want.
The rules are very easy to understand and follow. The game also includes different variants that change the game to make it more challenging or change for different player counts.
Theme and Mechanics:
The theme embraces the wise wizard Alazar and his collection of magical objects which he hides inside his tower. Alazar left his tower to go on a quest to vanquish the evil artificer, Styrn. Many thieves can not pass up the opportunity to steal some of the treasure he hides in his tower. They all run to the Wizard's Tower and set bets on who will get the biggest haul, who will get out of the tower first, and they are also warned of cursed items included inside.
Mechanics included card drafting and set collection with a different card arrangement used each game. The mechanics are used in a straight-to-the-point way to collect sets through taking turns picking cards. The fact that you can not go back up the tower makes it interesting, as you will need to debate if you leave something that someone else might want for something you really want that is a level or two below. But if you go down below you might be able to collect more of those items before the other players come down from above.
Artwork and Components:
The artwork is similar to many of the daily magic games. It is very entertaining to really read and see what the wizard truly has in his tower. There are many items and they all have unique art to depict a very specific item that you probably feel like stealing. The tiles are made from thick cardboard and the cards are square cards appropriate from a professional company. They included cardboard bridge and balcony to help the theme. The characters are made of cardboard. You may think that it should include minis instead, but I think for the weight of the game it doesn't need something like that which would make the game more expensive. I think minis would be nice, but truly aren't necessary.
The game is sweet, short, and straight to the point. You just need to figure out what to steal that helps you have the best sets and what the items are that will benefit you the most. The game is easy to teach, play, and is very enjoyable.
Though there is strategy, the fact that you can see almost all of the items all the other players have stolen makes it easier to look at those cards to counter their progression of an icon or number. This isn't necessarily bad as it changes the game, but it's just easy to look at their cards and choose what might help you over them. I don't think there is anything wrong with the game, but it is a very simple game.
If you have read any of my reviews before, you know I love games that make my brain think. This game does that as you are trying to figure out what items will give you just one more color or number card above the other players, or do you want to just grab a card with a high number of points on it, or maybe you want to take a card that will give you a benefit. Then you have to decide if you want to jump down a floor to get that item you want, or should you stay on the same floor to steal one more item before heading down? The game is simple, but still gets the brain thinking. I think this is a great game to play in a short amount of time. This is a perfect game to start your board game night, or play quickly while waiting on someone or something as you can play it in 10 minutes or less. Also, there are so many different cards and it seems like different strategies win different times, so there is not just one better strategy in the game.
Players Who Like:
Players who like set collection or filler games will enjoy 10 Minute Heist. This game is perfect for new gamers or non-gamers because the rules are simple to understand and it's a fun game.
I am giving 10 Minute Heist: The Wizard's Tower a 7 out of 10 super meeples.
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