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Flashback Friday - Magical Athlete - Love It or Hate It?

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Flashback Friday - Magical Athlete - Love It or Hate It?

Game Information

Publisher
There Will Be Games

Magical Athlete is a simple roll & move that appears to offer little in the way of "cerebral content" to the discriminating gamer.

Nate Owens tells us:

It absolutely is stupid and silly. It breaks long-accepted rules. First of all, the blatant unbalance of the characters is ridiculous. Secondly, the die roll is almost totally unmitigated. There aren’t a bunch of ways to affect your fate, and once you know the value of different characters, the draft isn’t hard to predict.

Despite this, some people love the game, including Nate (you can read his Magical Athlete Review here)

Are you a lover or a hater? 

 

There Will Be Games

Shellie "ubarose" Rose  (She/Her)
Managing Editor & Web Admin

Plays boardgames. Drinks bourbon. Writes code.

Articles by Shellie

Shellie "ubarose" Rose
Managing Editor & Web Admin

Articles by Shellie

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Vysetron's Avatar
Vysetron replied the topic: #302786 25 Oct 2019 12:16
Perfect board game. 10/10. The fact that it's out of print is a crime. Magical Athlete forever.
charlest's Avatar
charlest replied the topic: #302787 25 Oct 2019 12:21
I've never played this game. I wish I could buy it for a reasonable price.
A Lad Insane's Avatar
A Lad Insane replied the topic: #302788 25 Oct 2019 12:26
There used to be an awesome X-Men homebrew version. You can make it relatively inexpensively.
jeb's Avatar
jeb replied the topic: #302789 25 Oct 2019 12:30
Charlie, whatever you homebrew will be 1000x better than the actual in the box components. All my pieces are held together by painter's tape and sheer force of will.

This game is great and should be handed out at schools. Every kid should know the joy of romping along with Wrestler and the sorrow of trying to figure how Philosopher interacts with Cupid and Witch.
mezike's Avatar
mezike replied the topic: #302793 25 Oct 2019 12:49
It's guaranteed hilarity 50% of the races and guaranteed tiresome dice rolling in the other 50%, but I've always found the fun you get from the good matchups far outweigh the ones that don't work.

Quite frankly the published game looks like a homebrew pnp anyway so might as well make your own!
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #302795 25 Oct 2019 13:04

mezike wrote: It's guaranteed hilarity 50% of the races and guaranteed tiresome dice rolling in the other 50%, but I've always found the fun you get from the good matchups far outweigh the ones that don't work.

Quite frankly the published game looks like a homebrew pnp anyway so might as well make your own!


This is right in IDing its flaws but somehow the game is also one of the best games ever made for a non-hobby audience despite a race or two being a dice fest in most games. I said last week that I have bought this game for several mainstream gamers for an extravagent price to myself after they played it and absolutely adored it. Meet people where they are imho gamingwise.
NeonPeon's Avatar
NeonPeon replied the topic: #302798 25 Oct 2019 13:16
Love. I would consider this a desert island game.
Rliyen's Avatar
Rliyen replied the topic: #302799 25 Oct 2019 13:42
I still pull this out from time to time for Game Day and it ALWAYS manages to get played.

So many characters, so many ways to screw over your opponents with them.

I will always play this game.
dysjunct's Avatar
dysjunct replied the topic: #302805 25 Oct 2019 14:50

mezike wrote: It's guaranteed hilarity 50% of the races and guaranteed tiresome dice rolling in the other 50%, but I've always found the fun you get from the good matchups far outweigh the ones that don't work.

Quite frankly the published game looks like a homebrew pnp anyway so might as well make your own!


I think this is spot on. I sold my copy years ago once the hilarity got a bit repetitive. Good game, got a bunch of plays out of it. Might pick it up again for the kiddo if it comes back, or if there's a P&P that's easy enough for an idiot.
mc's Avatar
mc replied the topic: #302819 26 Oct 2019 02:41
So.....

Does anyone have any homebrew files they'd be willing to share?
KingPut's Avatar
KingPut replied the topic: #302820 26 Oct 2019 03:52
Sold my copy for $70. Way over priced. I really liked the game but $70 fucking bucks, really?
mezike's Avatar
mezike replied the topic: #302821 26 Oct 2019 08:33

mc wrote: So.....

Does anyone have any homebrew files they'd be willing to share?


Check out the images section on BGG, there is a pretty good one posted on there.

I think it's worth spending a little to use Artscow or similar to print the cards nicely and then you only need some generic coins from any other game (or pencil and pad to track money/points) and a pawn for each player, print the track on letter paper and you're good to go.

I don't think it's worth making standees, and you could always put the playing cards into some of those little plastic grip stands as an alternative if you really want to see the characters marching round the track.
drewcula's Avatar
drewcula replied the topic: #302822 26 Oct 2019 10:08
I love me some Magical Athlete.
I bought white plastic stands for all of the characters. It set me back $4, and it was one of my best "game pimps."
The illustrations are pure joy. They're very good.
The board is a pure visual disaster. It's not the construction, that's fine. The draft side is tolerable - just painfully bland. No, it's the race track. It's RIDICULOUS. A horrible dirt track graphic rendered in what looks to be free software. Seriously, why the illustrator couldn't have been paid to make an illustration of the track is just beyond me.
Michael Barnes's Avatar
Michael Barnes replied the topic: #302825 26 Oct 2019 14:54
The first time I played it I stated “this is the best game I’ve ever played and also the worst game I’ve ever played”.

In other words, it’s a masterpiece.

Such a shame it’s OOP...the closest thing to it
Is actually the Iello Tales & Games Tortoise
And the Hare.

I will never forgive Z-Man for changing the name
Though- it was originally Magical Athelete.
ModelVillain's Avatar
ModelVillain replied the topic: #302832 27 Oct 2019 18:23
A quick postscript to Drew's note about stands: the clear, oval FFG stands used for games like Arkham Horror work perfectly for this. If you happen to have a bunch of AH expansions and kept around the "reserve" components included with each new investigator, you may have plenty of stands already.

A friend had broken/lost a couple of the original stands, which also have the unpleasant tendency to become loose. Once I discovered these were a perfect fit, I just gave him a full replacement set and replaced all my own in the process, being a much better use for these than sitting unused in a box
Jazzbeaux's Avatar
Jazzbeaux replied the topic: #302839 28 Oct 2019 04:53
Great game, but have a couple of players in our group that just refuse to enjoy it. Still gets played.
Aarontu's Avatar
Aarontu replied the topic: #302924 30 Oct 2019 08:36
I keep thinking about making a Talisman retheme of Magical Athelete. I could just use Talisman figures and coins for the bits, with homebrew character cards and race board.
A Lad Insane's Avatar
A Lad Insane replied the topic: #302932 30 Oct 2019 12:59
Fuck it. You guys have given me *just* enough desire to make a homebrew. I'll be back in a couple weeks to post it.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #302937 30 Oct 2019 13:16
This is one game that you will get a ton of play out if you ever have non-gamers you know reasonably well over to your house for dinner or drinks, etc.
mc's Avatar
mc replied the topic: #302955 31 Oct 2019 02:16
I am also mid home brewing. Just that one off BGG, doing it on paper in sleeves to start to see if it gets traction....
engelstein's Avatar
engelstein replied the topic: #303002 01 Nov 2019 02:25
I am going to take full credit for y'all enjoying Magical Athlete.

Many years ago on a business trip to Tokyo I stopped into Yellow Submarine, a game store in Akihabara. I always enjoy looking for obscure titles you can't get in the US. There were very few Japanese games that made it to the US back then.

And I saw MA and for some reason decided to pick it up, without any knowledge of what it was about. No English rules in the box, but somehow I managed to get a translation.

When I got back the family had a terrific time playing it. Zev (then-owner of Z-Man games) was in our gaming circle, and one day I told him he had to try this game, and it needed to be published in English, and I gave him my copy.

The rest, as they say, is history.

YOU CAN ALL BEGIN TO THANK ME NOW.

Geoff
Vysetron's Avatar
Vysetron replied the topic: #303008 01 Nov 2019 07:56
Neat story! I always just assumed that Zev found it.

Thank you Geoff, seriously. That game's brought us so much joy over the years. When I talk about games eliciting emotional response and how important that is, MA is way up there as one of the best.