Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Family Board Game Review: Cauldron Quest by Peaceable Kingdom

We attended GenCon this year and while there, we discovered a company that creates cooperative games for kids and families.  What is a cooperative game? In a nutshell, it is a game where players work together against the board instead of against each other.  We fell in love with the one we purchased there and reached out to Peaceable Kingdom to do a review on some of their other games.  The first one I will be reviewing is Cauldron Quest.  The goal of this game is to make the potion before the evil wizard blocks your way to the cauldron. Each turn, you roll dice to see if the wizard paces around the cauldron, if a potion ingredient can move closer to the cauldron, or if a minion appears to block your way. Sometimes, you have the chance to roll 3 dice Yahtzee-style to try and perform one of three possible charms to help you on your way.
 As an adult, I still can't win every time.  We've probably won about half of the time we've played.  This honestly doesn't bother me, though; it just makes me want to play it more so I can figure out the best strategy!  Pete (7) isn't bothered about losing during this game; it makes game night much more enjoyable since it doesn't have to end early because someone is in tears over losing to someone else.  He is also learning different strategies without feeling like he is being babied because we all help each other decide how to play on our turns. Often, he has great observations himself and is learning how to make suggestions to others in a collaborative and kind way. 

This game is too difficult for Nora (3), but she does like rolling the dice and counting out the spaces we tell her to.  She's a pretty good dice roller for us and loves getting to take a turn even if she doesn't really follow along with what is happening in the game.  We have created some house rules (who doesn't do that in board games) particularly about getting to use the spell breaker charm a second time to reduce the odds of losing super fast.

In general the board is fun with its round shape instead of a square.  The ingredients for the potion are something Pete enjoys with the eyeball, batwing, mushroom etc. Nora on the other hand is quite partial to the wizard's minions: the rather ominous looking unicorn, rose, and saber-tooth tiger thing ("kitty" as she calls it).  The artwork is fun and goes along with the feel of the game, and the pieces all have a high quality weight and feel to them. Plus, the biggest bonus is that if a piece goes missing, we can get a free replacement from the company!  Seriously, how many times have you come up with stand-ins for pieces because the little figurine went into the Lego bin on accident and can't be found?

This review was sponsored, and I received this game for free for that but the thoughts and comments on the products are my own.  I have also bought some of the company's games on my own as well.

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