Quacks of Quedlinburg - A Family Review

Become a potion master in The Quacks of Quedlinburg, a competitive, bag-building, push-your-luck game of brewing elixirs for cash.
Quacks of Quedlinburg - A Family Review

Double, double, toil, and trouble… Because it’s time for some potion making! The Quacks of Quedlinburg is everything we want in a modern family game. Cute art and aesthetically pleasing game pieces? Check! Game play that is part skill, part luck? Check! Competitive but not in an antagonizing way? Check again!

11yo: “The design’s really cute! I like the strategy of picking the potion ingredients.”

The Quacks of Quedlinburg box did not do the art inside the box justice! The design of this game is so thoughtful and visually pleasing. We loved that each player got a different looking cauldron and the swirling potion track. Each potion ingredient was the perfect match of creepy with cute and whimsical. The whole package really made us feel like alchemy masters working on our great potion—or very expensive but very fake concoction.

First off, the rules sound daunting. We absolutely saw the kids’ eyes glazing over as Meric explained the game. For example, each potion ingredient has different rules and each turn of the game has several phases. But we had the game rules figured out by the end of the first turn, and the kids understood it more and more as we played.

Love to pursue a cool strategy? Quacks’ bag-building mechanics will be right up your alley. But there’s also enough of a luck element that even the best strategist might have an unlucky turn. The kids sometimes got frustrated with the luck of the draw aspect, but by the end we all had had at least one great turn!

One other standout mechanic is the game’s catch-up rules—when you aren’t in the lead, you get a little bit of a boost, and the boost is larger the more behind you are. The kids liked it because there was a positive to not being in the lead.

9yo: “I had a lot of luck help me in this game!”

We found the kids—especially our nine-year-old—needed some support with game strategy as well as token playing in the first game. But we loved The Quacks of Quedlinburg so much we played three games in one night! The kids were much more independent in their second game, and the game has evolving rules for potion ingredients! This gives so much replayability and really encouraged us to play again to see what other cool combinations we could mix up in our pots.

So, if you’re looking for a competitive game that plays in less than an hour with a cute and creepy theme that doesn’t involve direct confrontation or backstabbing, The Quacks of Quedlinburg should be in your shopping cart already.

Helpful hints

  • If you want more player interaction during the brewing stage, use the “stir” game mechanic each round.
  • Honestly, explaining the rules during the first round of play might be easier than trying to explain the rulebook to people.

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