Stop the Wizard! Cauldron Quest Review
We love cooperative games for preschool and kindergarten aged kids. Emotions run so high with this age range, cooperative games are a great way to make sure the game is fun. Peaceable Kingdom makes a ton of cooperative games for younger kids, and of all of them, Cauldron Quest is our favorite! Keep reading below to see our detailed review.
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Cauldron Quest is a cooperative game (check out this awesome list of our favorite cooperative games!) where players work together to thwart the evil wizard. Players work to discover the ingredients needed for the spell to stop the wizard. When the ingredients are found, players try to get them into the cauldron before the wizard blocks their path. If they succeed in the mixing the ingredients, the wizard is stopped and the players celebrate victory! However, if the wizard manages to block all the paths to the cauldron, game over!
- Manufacturer: Peaceable Kingdom
- Manufacturer Age Recommendation: 6+
- Number of Players: 2-4
- Game Length: 20 mins
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How to Play
Cauldron quest is played around a wizard’s cauldron (who’d have guessed?!). There are a six different ingredients positions around the cauldron. Players pick three random ingredients at the beginning of the game, these are the ingredients they need to find and get into the cauldron to stop the wizard, but as you play the wizard is trying to stop you!
Cauldron Quest is a dice based game where players roll two game specific dice. One dice contains symbols for potion ingredients and the wizard. The other dice has numbers (two, three, and four) and a magic symbol. The combination of the two die dictates the players turn as follows:
- Ingredient/number: Players pick and ingredient and move it that number of spaces
- Ingredient/magic: Players roll 3 black dice (normal 6 sided dice) to attempt a magic spell. Magic spells allow players to reveal ingredients, swap ingredients position on the board, or move through the wizards blocked path.
- Wizard/number: The wizard moves that number of spaces along the wizard’s track
- Wizard/magic: The wizard uses their magic to block one of the paths to the cauldron
Cauldron Quest gameplay has an amazing flow to it. Dice based games are great for young kids because it gives them an oppotunity to feel like they’re doing something important to the game, but also doesn’t put any decision making burden on them. What is great about Cauldron Quest gameplay is that, while it’s focused around dice role it also asks kids to make simple strategic decisions. Things like, which ingredient to move or which magic spell to attempt are light decisions from an adult’s point of view, but really helps kids feel like they are contributing to the game.
The cooperative gameplay with younger kids is amazing. If you haven’t played cooperative board games you should! Check out why we love cooperative board games.
Kids can learn a lot playing Cauldron Quest. The most obvious thing is math skills. The magic spells ask kids to identify even and odd numbers, or roll the three dice in any combination adding to twelve. This is a great way for kids to lear evens and odds and start to grasp basic addition.
Beyond the school skills, kids will learn about evaluating options critically and making a strategic decision. Most turns players are presented with a couple options. They need to evaluate these options and decide which moves them toward the goal of stopping the wizard. This is a perfect way for kids to work on developing critical thinking and decision making skills!
What We Love
Cauldron Quest’s gameplay is fun for a big age range of kids, and also enjoyable for adults. So many games that preschoolers are able to play are either miserable for adults or no longer fun once the kids hit kindergarten age (or both!). Because Cauldron Quest is cooperative, its a lot easier to loop in younger gamers. Their is also enough decision making to keep older kids engaged. Bonus points because this game plays quickly (typically fifteen to twenty minutes). This makes it a great game to fit in around limited family time.
Another thing we enjoy about Cauldron Quest is the theme of the game. A game around wizarding is great for this age range. There is so much magical in the world of preschoolers and kindergartners…a wizarding game is the perfect way to harness it! To add to this, the artwork Peaceable Kingdom chose is immersive and adds a ton to the experience.
What We’d Change
I would LOVED if Peaceable Kingdom had either added another level of gameplay with more complexity or created an expansion pack to build on the base game and allow it to grow with the kids and continue to challenge them. This game seems so conducive to adding layers of complexity. There is beauty in the simplicity of the base game…but I really enjoy when expansion packs with games for young kids as a way to make a game more of journey the kids can take as they grow and develop.
We love Cauldron Quest. Its sometimes hard to find a game our preschooler and kindergarten both enjoy and learn from, but Cauldron Quest definitely accomplished it!
A reminder of our rating scale:
- 1 die = Skip this game, not worth your time!
- 2 dice = May be fun for a few plays, but we think there are better options out there.
- 3 dice = Great game that we really enjoyed and played a lot.
- 4 dice = One of our favorites for this age range, definitely check it out!
- 5 dice = In our opinion this is the best game for this age range, you have to try it!
So how does Cauldron Quest stack up? 4 dice! This is a new family favorite and I see it making regular appearances at the gaming table for the foreseeable future!
I’d love to hear from you in the comments, what do you think of Cauldron Quest? Comment below!
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