Review: Cauldron Quest

The fate of the kingdom is in your hands! An evil wizard has cast a dreadful spell over our peaceful kingdom. The only way to counter the spell is to craft a magical potion. The enchanted ingredients for the potion are hidden throughout the kingdom and it’s up to the players to find the right ones and bring them to the cauldron before the evil wizard blocks the way. Once you have brought all the right ingredients to the magical cauldron, the spell will be broken and the evil wizard will be defeated!

Cauldron Quest is a co-operative game for 2-4 players of ages six and up made by one of our favorite local companies, Peaceable Kingdom. Players work together using discussion, problem-solving, and strategy to find hidden ingredients used in making the enchanted potion. If the potion is successfully crafted before the wizard is able to block all six paths that lead to the cauldron, the players have saved the kingdom and have collectively won the game! However, if all paths are blocked by the evil wizard, the spell cannot be broken and the players have failed in their quest. Win or lose, it takes around 20-minutes to complete a game and very little preparation is needed to play.

The unique, circular board is set up by placing all of the green potion bottles upside-down without looking at their ingredients. The players then flip over three of the secret ingredient chips and place them into the cauldron at the center of the board. This creates the combination of ingredients that are needed to counter the evil wizard’s spell (and also provides a different combination for each game). The players then shuffle the Path Blocker chips and place them face-down near the board. The Wizard’s Hat represents the movement of the evil wizard, and it may only travel on the purple center path and only in a clockwise direction.

The game begins with the youngest player rolling the two white Action Dice. These dice will determine one of four possible outcomes: a potion is moved, the wizard moves, a path is blocked, or a player may roll the three black Magic Dice. The movement outcomes either allow players to move potion ingredients toward the cauldron or give the wizard powers to attempt to block the paths. If the Wizard’s Hat touches any of the potion ingredients, they can be moved in favor of the wizard, which makes the quest more difficult to complete. If the Action outcome is to roll the Magic Dice, the active player then has a special opportunity to reveal a potion bottle, swap potion bottles, or move a potion bottle up to six spaces – even right into the cauldron!

The main strategy of the game is to identify the right ingredients that are needed to make the potion as soon as possible so everyone can focus on moving those ingredients into the cauldron. The longer the game goes on, the better chance the wizard has to block all the paths that lead to the cauldron. Once a Path Blocker is placed, it may only be removed by using the Spell Breaker token. This special token may only be used once during the game so it must be used wisely!

Cauldron Quest encourages children and families to work as a team by encouraging positive communication and deductive reasoning skills. Its theme and artistic style are fun and family-friendly, and it’s a great way for parents to join forces with their children to defeat the evil wizard. Cauldron Quest also provides a fantastic entry-point into the world of co-operative gaming, which is something we’re very much in support of here at the store.


If you like: Dragonwood, Forbidden Island, Dinosaur Escape
You’d definitely enjoy: Cauldron Quest
MRP: $20.00
Designers: Shanon Lyon, Marisa Peña, and Colt Tipton-Johnson
Produced by: Peaceable Kingdom