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Funforge: Illusio – Review

April 19, 2016

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Publisher Fun Forge
Genre Card Game
Number of Players 3 – 6
Play Time 45 minutes
Initial Review Date 4/5/16
Last Updated 4/5/16
Official Rules English | French

In this game you play as competing stage magicians. The game will have each player assembling a trick in their backstage. Once their trick is ready they perform the trick for the masses, giving their opponents one last chance to mess things up before the player gets points for their trick. The first player to reach the point goal wins the game.

Setup

The setup starts with each player receiving a character card. This card not only lets the player know who they are, but it grants them some special ability they can use throughout the game. Each player is also dealt a hand of 4 component cards and four tricks (also known as objectives) are dealt to the center of the table face up.

Game Play

At the start of your turn you draw component cards. How many you draw is determined by how many cards are currently in your hand. If you have fewer than five cards then you draw until you have five cards, otherwise you only draw one card. You may not have more than eight cards in your hand at the end of a turn. Excess cards are discarded when your turn ends.

On your turn you have the following actions (which can be repeated) to choose from redraw, play a card, claim a trick, or discard a trick:

  • Redraw: You may discard any number of cards from your hand and draw back an equal number of cards.
  • Play a Card: If you decide to play a card it gets placed based on what the card does. Most of these cards are just stage props that get used as part of a trick. Those cards are played either directly into your backstage or onto a trick you have claimed. The other cards are generally played to help or hinder a player and are discarded once they’ve been resolved.
  • Claim a trick: If you decide to claim a trick then you take one of the trick cards in the center of the table and place it in your backstage. This prevents other players from performing the trick as you’ve basically called dibs on it. However, in order to claim a trick you must have at least half of the items the trick requires in your backstage.
  • Discard a trick: You may take one of your tricks that you have previously claimed and discard it. The items attached to the trick are returned to your back stage.

Tricks will have between 1 to 4 items that they require. Items are grouped into classes or types of items. For example, one of the cards is rabbit. The rabbit card is an animal card. In order to claim or display a trick you have to have the right class of card for each requirement. So, for example, the trick might call for a rabbit. But you could use a tiger card instead since it is also an animal. You could not however use a rope card instead, since rope is not an animal card (it’s an accessory card). Audience and formula cards are the exception to this as they never have a specific type.

Once you have placed all of the required items on the trick it then immediately goes on display. You score points for the trick at the start of your next turn.

There are some limits on your turn though. Chiefly those limits are

  • Two actions per turn.
  • You may only have two tricks in your backstage (tricks on display do not count against this limit).

Scoring

Scoring represents how impressive your trick was. To start with each trick is worth a number of points equal to the number of items it requires. You can then score bonus points for the following things

  • Accuracy: If you used the exact item the trick calls for you get an additional point for that match.
  • Special Cards: Cards can be played that can add or subtract from the total point value of the trick
  • Specialization: Each trick has a type. If the trick matches a type you have scored previously you earn a bonus point for that trick.

The game ends when a player has 12 or more points.

Conclusion

This game is deceptively quick. Tricks can very quickly be worth a lot of points and someone who was in last place can be suddenly catapulted to first place after just one or two high point illusions. For example, a trick requiring 4 elements can easily be worth 9 points (4 for items, 3 for accuracy and 2 more for an ovation). So a player can easily go from 0 points to only needing 3 more to win.

Also, while the game may feel a little bit clunky and complicated at first. After just one or two rounds you find that it’s actually pretty straight forward. So, if you’re looking for a somewhat light quick game, Illusio is a good choice. If you want something with more complexity or depth then you might pass on this one.


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