|Game: Smoke and Mirrors
|Time: 10 minutes
|Difficulty: easy medium
||Replay Value: medium
Smoke and mirrors
Magic has blown people’s minds for a couple hundred years now. Sawing people in half, pulling bunnies out of hats… Today we’ll be great magicians, showcasing all our staged tricks to not an audience. But other magicians. Think you have the illusions to really impress the other artists? I’m reviewing this 2-5 player bluffing game smoke and mirrors playing under 5 minutes, which plays best with 4 players. To keep it simple, win by placing the next trick in your magic show, or the next card in the card sequence after the previous player trick. This game includes high bluffing and player elimination as limited cards make for a lot of variable opportunities. Opportunity to lie about which cards you may have and how you were able to place the next number in the sequence. It could be seen as an interesting take on liars dice and offers a fun illustrated theme of classic magic tricks to aid the gameplay. The game plays in an obvious setting for quick light gaming, filler game, and a good teaching gateway bluffing game. more than likely will not pass the 5 minute mark so enjoy it for a quick game at work or out to eat. With that being said, it’s not a hard game to pick up.. just a hard game to master.
What I think
This project was very ambitious and of course, files with my good and bad opinion. I don’t like the limited cards as with some of button shy games I feel is a couple cards shy of offering a whole new rating of gameplay. I also felt that while the game is balanced, could benefit from having more variation with lower count players. For example, an all 1s deck could make for longer gameplay and different strategy offering 1s and 2s or maybe even one more mirror card. But mind you I’m not a developer so maybe it wouldn’t work.
I do like how quick the game is, of course, microgames are something I enjoy trying. This game, in particular, is perfect for travel as most of the game can be held in the hand virtually playable without tables at all. I love seeing the effort that goes into small games and think smoke and mirrors fits a solid bluffing game into 18 cards with the right amount of players which I think the game plays very different at 2 players or at 3 but skyrockets in value with 4. Where the variety lands and builds it’s gameplay around are the mirror cards. It reminds us that maybe players ARENT bluffing because the probability that a player may just so happen to have the mirror in there hand. I liked that after a player is knocked out. The player calling the bluff gets to switch a card from their hand with a card from the knocked out players hand. It’s fun when everyone is on the same meta-level of thinky bluffing games. Replay value is high with this one. Buy it if your a micro-buff like me and enjoy microgames. Don’t buy it if you normally game for 2 or are expecting a game with more content.