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Subject: Magdar Review - From a Dad's Perspective rss

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Tyler Hudak
United States
North Canton
Ohio
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I have two young daughters, age 5 and 8. Since I am trying to introduce them into the world of gaming I am going to look at this review from a dad's perspective - how easy it is for them to learn, how much they enjoyed the game, etc. My goal is to help other parents figure out how good of a game this would be for their children.

In this game, only my older daughter played but I attempt to guess how my younger daughter would have liked it. Note that we did not play with the advanced rules.

Game Synopsis
Each player controls two dwarves who are mining for gems and mithril. Unfortunately, they have mined too deeply and have awakened Magdar, a demon who is none-too-happy to be disturbed. The dwarves have to mine as many gems and mithril before Magdar destroys the floor and gets to them.

The suggested age for this game is 9 and up.

Components
The components of Magdar consist of tiles representing the floor, tokens for jewels, mithril and special moves. The dwarves are little colored wooden cylinders. Finally, there are two cardboard walls, one to represent the mine entrance and the other for Magdar.



My older daughter had no problem with the pieces. While things can get a little tight when placing new tokens down, she had no problem. My 5 year old would have had little problem as well, but I would hesitate on bringing anyone younger to the game. The pieces are small and are a definite swallowing hazard.

Rating: 4 / 5

Rules
On each turn, each dwarf a player controls gets one action (so two actions per turn). The actions consist of moving the dwarf to anywhere on the board, mining for mithril or gems, or moving the dwarf back to the entrance with whatever gems or mithril they have collected.

When mining, dwarves can mine for mithril or gems. Mithril is used in the end to score, and take two turns to mine a full piece. Gems are a different story. You may only mine gems within the first three tiles closest to Magdar, each starting with a different value. For each turn you mine a gem, the value of the gem doubles, up to 32.

For example, on turn one your dwarf mines a gem two spaces away from Magdar for a starting value of 4. The next turn they mine again and the value of gems doubles to 8. If they would mine the next turn the value would double to 16.

After each player takes their two actions, they roll a six-sided die. On each floor tile are 3-4 dice icons - each representing a roll of the die. The player looks at the value they have rolled and takes a floor tile with the same value on it. The catch is they have to take a tile that is closest to Magdar - they can't take a tile in the middle of the board. If there is a dwarf on the tile they remove, the dwarf goes back to the entrance and loses anything they were mining.

It only took a few minutes for my older daughter to understand the rules. After we got through 1 or 2 rounds she had it down and was playing without a problem. My younger daughter would probably have had some trouble with the rules and understanding how the mining works.

Rating: 4 / 5

Scoring
Once Magdar has destoyed a complete row of tiles the game ends and scoring begins. To score you count up the value of the gem tokens which you have successfully mined. However, you may only score as many gem tokens as you have mithril tokens. For example, if you have 4 gem tokens but only 2 mithril tokens, you may only score 2 of the gem tokens.

My daughter didn't have any problem scoring at the end of the game. There were no complex rules for scoring, only addition, which she could easily do. Obviously, my younger daughter who has not learned to add yet would have needed help.

Rating: 5 / 5

Overall
Overall, this is a good game for the recommended age of 9, give or take a year or two depending on the child. Too much younger than that may not be worth it.

While I don't see us breaking out this game out all the time, my daughter enjoyed playing it and I'm sure we'll play it again.

Skills taught/reinforced: addition, basic strategy

Rating: 4 / 5
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M Po
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Thank you for the thorough review. As the parent of two youngsters I appreciate any child-centric review.
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Tyler Hudak
United States
North Canton
Ohio
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No problem. If you're looking for good reviews from a parent's perspective, check out http://www.gamingwithchildren.com/ as well.
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Aaron Silverman
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Halfway between Castro and Mickey Mouse
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Thanks for that link! There are far too few resources for gamer parents out there.
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James Cartwright
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Thanks for the review, my daughters are 8 and 6 and the youngest one has asked for this game for christmas.

I've already picked it up for her as I found it wasn't to expensive, here's hoping that they like it. From your review it sounds ike they will.
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Tyler Hudak
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Glad to hear that. I actually played it twice yesterday with my oldest (9 years now). She loves the game.

We have not tried the advanced rules yet as she seems satisfied with the basic ones. Let me know how it goes.
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