Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburg, or as we call it, the Quick Quack game.
We found the game in one of the best places, a Facebook group, where people sell and swap games. It cost us only £20, so the German edition issue didn’t matter too much. After all, I had 7 years of German language at school. And you know what? It was enough to translate the cards. We have downloaded the English rules, and after one read through we knew what’s what.
The artwork in this game is stunning and very detailed. It really appeals to me, feels like you’re in the middle of a medieval fairy tale, in a quirky shop, filled with bizarre ingredients. Each player has got their own cauldron, in one of the shades of silver, gold, bronze or copper, and matching markers. You set up the drop one in the middle, and the plain one on the score tracker. Then you put the yellow drop on the round tracker. Take your bag, put starting ingredients in, and you are ready. Draw a Fortune Teller card, and be amazed.
Amaze how simple, quick and fun this game is. It’s a bag building, push your luck type of thing. On your turn you will pull out the ingredients out of your bag, and place them in your cauldron, leaving spaces in between them indicated by their number -1 (number 1 doesn’t leave any spaces, number 2 leaves 1, number 3 leaves 2 ect).White ingredients, let’s just call them Bubbles, are the ones you should avoid. Funny enough, these make the most of your bag for the first couple of rounds (and you only have 9 rounds till the end of the game). Once your Bubbles exceeded the total number of 7 (ie. 1+1+2+3) you can either stop, and claim points and ‘money’, or push your luck, and either get more of the above, or… explode. Then you only get one, points or money. And you don’t roll the dice.
Dice? Money? Points? Dice is rolled by the player, who filled their cauldron the most this turn, and gives some kind of small bonus. Money, the blue number, is how much you can spend to get more ingredients, for the maximum of 2per go. Points, the number in the square, easy – that’s how many points you get. Is it not going well? Wait, what about the rats! Count the tails between yours and your opponent’s marker on the round tracker, and that’s how many spaces away from your drop you put the rat – it gives you a bit of a head start for the round. Add any bonuses provided by various ingredients, and maybe spend some rubies. Oh, yes, if the space you’re scoring has a ruby on it, take it. Rubies give you a magic potion, that allows you to re-draw tokens (maybe that white Bubble 3, that would make your cauldron explode?). However, once you used your potion, you need to wait till the end of the round, and spend 2 rubies to flip it back to its active side. Alternatively, two rubies move your drop one space away from the centre of your cauldron, giving you that much more of chance to fill up quicker.
Ok, I think I made this more complicated than it should be. It is a simple game, after the first round you know what’s what. Even the extra ingredients are easy to memorize, as the iconography in this game is absolutely brilliant. Each of the ingredients, apart from pumpkins, have 4 different powers, and you only use one of them, which makes the replayability value way higher. Also, you will only use 9 cards, and the deck is bigger than that. And I think replayability is important, even for a £20 game.
So, if you fancy some randomness, stress, racing heart, shaky hands, explosions and fun – this is one to get! It’s simple (believe me), it’s gorgeous, it’s quick. It features a very unique mechanism, and has my heart for the rats, that help the player who is not doing so well. I believe we haven’t got a similar game to this one, and I am very happy with the purchase.
Overall rating 7.5/10