Merlin Wants You (to Play Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom)

One of the things I had been looking forward to much of the year was my trip to Walt Disney World in September. But that is hardly news. What’s more was the new interactive card game featured in the Magic Kingdom that I’d been reading about for over a year: Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom.

Despite the many articles I’d read about the game, it was still a bit of a hidden treasure of the park. There were a few discreet signs pointing you in the right direction to enlist, but there wasn’t much prominent billing for the game. This of course worked in my favor as it wasn’t a crowded event in the park. Though I did keep running into the same people as I went on my card adventures through the lands.

You start with a sealed pack of five cards (I got 10 because I made my dad play), a map, and a key card which stores your game much to my amazement. After a quick demo on how to interact with the video screens in the park, I was off!

Where you start on the map is random and so is which villain you’d be encountering first. As I saw others playing throughout the day, they were doing different things than I.

Keyholes are scattered through the park, each corresponding to a different symbol on the map. When you wave your key(card) in front of it, a video screen activates playing the next part in your adventure. Using the pack of spell cards you received you defeat the Disney villains and foil their plots.

In the videos you meet Merlin who needs your help and he sends you on your way through the adventures along with lots of familiar faces (good and evil). All the videos have a lot of humor to them as well as that spirited Disney magic!

The mechanics are pretty straightforward. The screen will tell you when it is time to cast a spell, then you hold up a card which it senses and causes an effect on the screen. Each spell has a unique visual which was a lot of fun. If I had a spell card that corresponded to that particular villain (ex. I used Pumbaa when fighting Scar), I used that but I couldn’t tell if that had a greater effect or not.

Sometimes I had trouble with the sensors picking up that I was holding a card. And it can’t possibly be that I’m too tall! But generally it got it right. The villains can hurt you, but you don’t have life points or anything so it is sort of irrelevant.

The game is easy, being an all ages type thing, so it is more about the journey and seeing the story play out than it is about challenging yourself.

The range of cards already available, 70 currently in the regular set, was already broad and impressive. I just read about a special event card that can only be obtained by attending Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party this year as well. The quality of the cards are wonderful; sturdy and with top-notch artwork. This is doubly impressive considering they were and remain free.

You can get new spell cards each day at the park as well as when you finish an entire scenario and defeat the nine Disney villains. As each encounter with a villain took three to five trips to various keyholes, it quickly became apparent that I would not defeat all nine villains in one day unless that was all I planned to do.

Having a distraction like this was fantastic! An entire other game you can play as you wander the park in between everything else is pretty cool. It also had the added benefit of getting me to explore these nooks and crannies of the Magic Kingdom that I hadn’t paid as much attention to before.

I can imagine if this game takes off more cards will quickly be added. Also though I didn’t get through the entire nine villains, I know there are more and new scenarios after you beat it once. So there is plenty of replay value.

The Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom was a delightful addition to the park which satisfied the collector in me as well as the game player and Disney lover.

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