CardLords is bringing animals and alchemy together in a new card game called Animalchemists. The animal, or player, who has the most valuable spells and potions at the end of the game wins.
I’ve got to say that the artwork on this card game immediately drew me in. The colors, detail and overall feel of the art really brings this game to life. That’s especially true with the 5 different animals that are depicted on the character cards.
Each player will choose an animal that has an affinity for a specific ingredient. The animals have a one time ability to grab all of that ingredient from top row. Playing this ability at just the right time can leave other players with limited options or even kept them from creating the potion they were working toward.
During your turn, you can take 2 ingredients from the top row, you can turn in two ingredients to create a potion or turn in potions/ingredients to create a spell. I really like how these tiered cards all lead into something greater. The spells will give you victory points but also can be cast on other players for some cool effects.
In Animalchemists, potions are limited. Once the players have created 4 potions of a specific type, they are no longer available. I like this limited resource because it creates competition among players to get the options they need.
When a player uses a potion to create a spell, that potion is flipped over to an exhausted side to show that it’s been used. Spells can cost a single potion, a potion and an ingredient or two potions. Each of these give different amounts of victory points at the end of the game. Players can go for quick, easy to create spells or use multiple turns, earning enough potions to create a higher level spell.
Once you’ve created the spell, you can cast at a later time. Spells can give you a slight edge by keeping others from casting spells on you or mess up another players turn by pulling a random card from their hand. The variety of spells are pretty solid, giving players an advantage at just the right time.
At its core Animalchemists is a hand management and set collection game. The game isn’t incredibly deep but it’s a really smooth card game. I’ve really enjoyed bringing this game to lunch with my co-workers and playing after dinner with the kids. This is something that CardLords does really well with its other games. Battle Goats and The Pirate’s Flag are both games that are easy to teach and very accessible.
Animalchemists is a strong filler game that is made even more impressive by its excellent artwork. Plus, it’s the only game I can think of that makes a sloth look like a spell slinging boss!
Head over to the Kickstarter campaign and get a copy of Animalchemists now through September 20, 2019.
CardLords provided us with a prototype copy of Animalchemists prior to the Kickstarter campaign. This in no way influenced our opinion of the game. Previews are a glimpse into an upcoming game with the pros and cons that we experienced prior to production of the game.