This Mage Knight board game review was one of the toughest for us to do because it is one of the most complex co-op games out there. We like it a lot, though, which is why it made it onto our Top 20 Cooperative Board Games list.
What is Mage Knight?
Released in 2000 as a miniatures war game similar to WarHammer, Mage Knight has since become a massive success and spawned everything from comic books to video games. It was turned into a board game in 2011 by WizKids Games and Asmodee, and upon release it sold out in only 20 days.
Mage Knight is widely loved by many board game fans around the world. It was a nominee for Best Game of the Year at Dice Tower, and it was a finalist for General Strategy at the 2012 International Gamers Awards.
Meant for gamers aged 14 and up, Mage Knight uses a heavy amount of text to play, but it also includes miniatures to move from tile to tile. The game puts you in control of one of four creatures, called Mage Knights, who are incredibly powerful characters that travel throughout the game’s universe exploring and conquering.
Your primary objective in Mage Knight (in the cooperative modes) is to beat down the monsters in front of you and to conquer different (or all) cities. There is also a scoring round once the game is over, but that is just for “fame.”
As a player, it is up to you to build your army and fill your deck with spells and actions as you explore everything from cities and dungeons to the dark caves of the world. The deck building aspect of Mage Knight is very strong considering that it is looked at as a secondary mechanism in the game.
That was a very brief overview of a very complex game. If you want to see all of the Mage Knight rules, check out the official rulebook (PDF).
While Mage Knight was designed to be played as a cooperative game, you can also play the included competitive scenarios. As is the case with most of the better co-op games out there, Mage Knight is also an excellent solitaire game.
This game is set in the Mage Knight universe, so those who are familiar with it will feel right at home. People who are new to the universe may not “feel” the theme as much, but they should get a kick out of the sense of adventure that Mage Knight gives them.
Check out Mage Knight on Amazon
- The best thing about Mage Knight is the variety of ways that each game can play out. This provides it with an immense replay value, which means that those who love it will not be trading it away for years.
- The unique world that the Mage Knight characters go through also comes through very well with the well-designed cards, tiles and miniatures. Players who get through the early confusion will find that the design of the game makes the long play-time go by very quickly.
- You knew we couldn’t write this Mage Knight board game review without mentioning its complexities. There are SO MANY rules to remember! In your first 10 or so games, you can expect to mix up at least a couple of rules.
- Speaking of the rulebook, while it was nice that the company covered EVERYTHING when they made the Mage Knight rulebook, it is extremely hard to use it as a reference guide. If you forget a rule or simply need help clarifying something in the game, it could take you a while to find it in the rulebook.
- In addition, Mage Knight games can go on for a long period of time depending on the amount of players. That is okay for people who enjoy long, engrossing games, but many gamers prefer their board games to be a bit shorter.
If you are willing to take the time to learn each of the rules of Mage Knight, chances are you will think it is an excellent cooperative board game. Unfortunately, people who aren’t big fans of complex games probably going to give up on Mage Knight very quickly. If you like adventure games with a lot of meat on the bone, you should check this one out.
We definitely recommend taking a look at these Mage Knight expansions if you end up enjoying the base game: