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Subject: Noisy, chaotic fun with younger children! rss

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Diane Close
United States
Twin Cities
Minnesota
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Reverse Curse is a simple and chaotic card game for young children. It features a card drafting, very basic hand management mechanic combined with luck of the draw and a touch of chaos that never fails to hook ‘em! Just reading the names of the spells (or Curses) results in peals of laughter.

The game is for 2-6 players, ages 5 and up. What you get is a total of 60 cards, divided up into 12 different Magic Curse cards, 38 Curse Component cards, 4 Magic Wand cards that allow you to steal any card from opponent, and one Broken Magic Wand card which causes the other person to skip a turn. You also get one wild card (the Mystical-Magical Orb card), and 4 Reverse Curse cards (the Sorcerer's Red Hat Cards).

The objective of the game is to cast more curses on your opponents than they cast on you. You do this by collecting cards that match the ingredients list laid out on the curse cards. Once you collect all the needed ingredients, you grab the matching curse card and give them to your opponent.

To start the game, remove the 12 curse cards, with the purple backs, from the deck and shuffle them. Place the deck face down in the center of the table and turn over the top 3 card and lay them out on the table for all the players to see. These are the first three curses you need to complete.

Shuffle the remaining non-curse cards and place them face down on the table, within reach of all players. Whoever goes first draws the top card from the draw deck and shows it to everyone. If the card drawn is one of the components of the 3 curses shown in the center of the table, the player places the drawn card face up in front of them, then it is the next players turn.

If the card drawn can not be used in any of the curses shown, it is placed face up in a discard pile.

Play continues clockwise, with each player collecting the components they need to cast a curse. The first person to collect all the matching cards needed for a curse, takes the matching curse card, and their collected components, and hands them to the opponent of their choice (indicating that they have put a curse on them). The opponent places the cards in a pile in front of them, with the curse card on top.

Now, the component cards that other players had collected for only that particular curse are collected and put into the discard pile. All other cards for curses-in-progress remain in play. If a card can be used for more than one curse, then it stays in play and is not discarded.

Once a curse is completed and assigned, and all the extra spell parts are collected, a new curse card is turned up from the curse deck, so that there are always 3 curses showing. The last person to complete a curse starts the next round. Recycle the discard pile by shuffling it, if you run out of cards.

The real fun of this game is twofold: young players love matching a curse and then handing that curse to their opponents with a loud, “I curse you with the ... !” Just the names of the curses bring gales of laughter. Where else can you “curse” someone with Curse Of The Super Schnozola or the Curse Of The Nocandoo?

The second part of the fun comes when the draw deck gets low and most of the curses have been filled and handed out. Then most of the remaining draw cards are the special Reverse Curse cards. These allow you to take one of the curses that has been played on you and send it on to someone else! As you can imagine, it gets pretty chaotic with a lot of back-forth cursing going on near the end. You may think you have the game won and a couple rounds of drawing Reverse Curse cards can send things swinging wildly the other way. The kids love it!

When all 12 curses are cast, the game ends, and the person holding the fewest curses wins. If there is a tie, all persons count their cards and the one with the fewest cards wins.

My neighbor borrowed this game for her six year old boy to play on a teachers-work-day afternoon off. He loved it so much she kept it for a week and says they must’ve played it over 50 times. She bugged me to find another copy. It’s a little hard to track down, as it’s out of print, but it shows up on ebay for cheap from time to time.

I recommend this game for boisterous youngsters who love chaos and wordplay and magic fairy tales. It’s too simple for adults to play with each other, but it’s noisy fun to play with young kids!
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Jay Moore
United States
Webster Groves
Missouri
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Nice review! I've never heard of this game, but it's now on my want list. My five-year-old should enjoy it. Thanks for the review.
 
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Raman Ohri
United States
Fishers
Indiana
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This was the first non-traditional (disney monopoly for example) game I taught my son (five at the time). He and his friends really enjoyed playing it with each other or adults.

Nice for kids that are still learning to read too ... can play without being great at it.
 
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