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Welcome to Which Game First where we boldly explore the hilariously huge world of board games. Did we unearth any hidden treasures you’ve been missing out on? Let’s find out!

First up this week: We we dip our spell casting hands into the mystical black bag of Via Magica
Next up: We enter without knocking and vie to take control of Vast: The Mysterious Manor
And lastly: We fly round and round and round the world desperate for a place to land in Jet World

Via Magica

Designed by: Paolo Mori
Published by:
Hurrican (2020)
Players:
2 – 6
Ages:
7 & up
Playing time:
30 min

In Via Magica, players are magic users competing against one another in a battle of spell crafting skills.

Players start with a set of crystals, which they are looking to attune to one of their “objective” cards. Crystals are generic, but a magic user will draw a chit from a pick bag, infusing it with that particular power. All player’s crystals become infused with that energy for that pick. Slot the powered crystal to the appropriate objective card, if you can. 

Once fully slotted, objective cards activate, yielding additional powers, benefits, and victory points. The harder the card is to complete, the more victory points it is worth.

The game ends when someone completes seven objectives. The magic user with the most victory points becomes the master of the world of Via Magica! 

Vast: The Mysterious Manor

Designed by: Patrick Leder
Published by: Leder Games (2019)
Players: 1 – 5
Ages: 13 & up
Playing time: 60 – 120 min

In Vast: The Mysterious Manor, players assume one of the classic elements of storytelling.  A player can be the protagonist (The Paladin) or an antagonist (the spider or the skeletons) or the setting (the manor). 

The back story is this: The Mysterious Manor has sat in the shady part of the valley abandoned for generations. The spider, having escaped her abyssal prison, is now seeking to return to her terrible glory, while the skeletal guards of this estate continue to stir in the darkness.

The paladin’s quest has brought him to the manor. Seeking atonement from the gods, the paladin must destroy the spider before he is brought down by spiders and skeletons. The manor itself changes, throwing up barriers and obstacles which the hero must overcome as he struggles to survive long enough to vanquish all the spiders.

Each role has its own powers, pieces, and paths to victory…and there can be only one winner in Vast: The Mysterious Manor.

Jet World

Designed by: (Uncredited)
Published by: Milton Bradley (1975)
Players: 2 – 4 players
Ages: 9 & up
Playing time: 60+ min

Players travel around the Jet World game board, going from city to city, to buy various world traded articles, some of which are “worthless”. The others have a value that can go up or down, according to the number showing on the World Price Board. When a player has two or three matching articles of value, the money paid by the bank, when they are sold or used as a bonus, increases tremendously. 

The object is to have the most money, at the end, when the value of each player’s article cards and cash are added together. Game features exotic locations like London and Berlin, and commodities like diamonds, sports cars, and gold.

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