It doesn’t matter if it’s board, mobile, video, role-playing, or card — games are a way to bring people together, to learn and hone new skills, and to collaborate on elaborate world building. They are for first dates, family fun nights, team-building, or any other social gathering. It can’t be denied there’s a game culture thriving right here in the Fraser Valley.

So what are we playing? With so many ways to play, it can be daunting to pick up and learn a new game. We’re here to help you along as we play new games, or discover classic favourites. We’ll even tell you where you might find these games to play yourself.

Or, Battle Wizards, for those of us who can’t remember the whole title. This game was dropped in front of us one lazy Sunday afternoon at a board game lounge in Ottawa.
“You like wizards? Try this,” said the server.

The artwork on the box suggested we were in for a bloody battle of cartoon magic and mayhem. It certainly looked epic.

Battle Wizards is a card based game in which you build a spell from a handful of spell components. Generally, a spell consists of a source, quality, and delivery. When strategically combined, these spell parts make one mega spell that delivers damage to your dueling wizards.

The goal is to outlive your opponents and become the last wizard standing. A full spell war means you’ve earned that title twice.

At first this game looks intimidating. The artwork is busy, and colourful, and there’s a lot of it. Each card features action text that affects your spell and your target. You’re dealt a hand of eight cards and it usually takes a beat to make sense of what’s happening. After a few rounds though you start to see how spell pieces fit together and the illustrative planning that went into each individual card.

Without fail, someone in a new group of players eventually takes a step back after looking at their complete spell:

“All the pictures connect!” The artwork blends in such a way that suggests the artist was having way too much fun drawing this game.

Battle Wizards is a great game for new gamers. It sounds crazy to explain: “Figure out your speed, then consider the glyphs in your spell. Oh, you’re dead? Here’s a Dead Wizard Card.” But the barrier to entry is relatively low — just start playing and the spell pieces will fall into place. It can be played with up to six people, but plays best with four. Grab some of your best duelling opponents and settle in for the wizard battle of a lifetime at the base of Mt. Skullzfyre.