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Board Game Spotlight: Mathemagician's Duel

Updated: Oct 16, 2021

It is a rare occurrence for a kid to ask to do math, at least in our house! Mathemagician's Duel has brought this magical event into reality in our home. It is a small box card game, but there is so much more than meets the eye.

In Mathemagician's Duel, players create "incanquations" from the cards in their hands to cast spells on their opponent, to reduce the opponent's Magical Strength to 0. The incanquations are created by playing Magical Energy cards (numerals) and Magical Symbols cards (operators) so that when read left to right add up to the casting value of the chosen spell. Each spell when successfully cast, reduces the opponent's Magical Strength by a certain amount. The game helps players practice mental math skills and working memory as they calculate the value of their own and their opponent's incanquations.

The game is played with 2 or 3 players, though it is best with 2. Each mathemagician will be trying to cast spells to reduce the magical strength of the other players. To cast a spell, you must create an incanquation, a.k.a. a series of numbers and operators. The magical energy deck has numbers 1-9 and the magical symbols deck is filled with addition and subtraction signs.

Making an equation is easy enough, except that each spell has requirements to be filled. The spell has a number that the equation must equal and a number of cards required to be played. There is also the option of playing a card on your opponent's equation instead of your own, complicating their equation. Once the equation is complete, the mathemagician can say the spell and the other player takes the damage. Play continues till only one player has magical energy left, winning the game.

Mathemagician's Duel is full of hard decisions to make. Where should I place my card? Which card type should I pick up? What is the probability of getting the card I need? My 12 year old told me he likes Mobi better, another great math game. The thing is though, he doesn't ask to play it. He doesn't ask to play many games, but he asks to play this and that speaks so much louder than his words do. He says it is too hard and I think that is part of the draw. It offers him a challenge that our other math games do not provide and it is mixed with some quirky fun that is just irresistible!

If you want to up the learning factor of Mathemagicians Duel, check out our unit study for The Phantom Tollbooth!

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