Magician's KitchenSpring 2012 Games
Magician's Kitchen is a board game for 2-4 players with cute magic-themed artwork (character pieces, cauldrons, and a central "fire"). To play, your character must get all 4 ingredients (colored balls) into the correct colored cauldrons at the corners of the board. You push your character around the board using a "magic wand" (small stick with a purple ball at the end). The character has a cut-out on top for the ingredient, but if you chance to go over a hidden magnet under the board, the magnetized character tips and the ingredient falls out. You have to try again on your next turn, and hope to avoid the obstacle that foiled you the first time around. After you get all 4 balls into the right cauldron, you have to carefully and accurately tip the fireball into the fire pit at the center - it only goes in and lights the fire if you are positioned perfectly.
This game was fun for all ages - my husband and I enjoyed playing it with our 5-year-old and 9-year-old, and they played it with each other many times. It was a perfect game for the 5-year-old because there are no words - no reading required. Set up is simple too. You shake the board before each game, so the magnets are in slightly different places that you can't anticipate, and that's it.
Because of the novel game play style, it did take us a few times playing to get the hang of it and see how fun the game can be. A player who loses a few balls in a row can get frustrated because they are falling behind, and it is a short game. The rules try to accommodate for this by allowing other players to take 2 balls at once when another player has finished carrying their balls.