Unboxing Spellbook from Space Cowboys and Designer Phil Walker-Harding
I’m always going to enjoy a deep, long strategic game on board game night, but there are those moments when you want something a bit lighter. Perhaps you have 30-45 minutes before you should start thinking about going to bed, and you need something quick to play and relativley easy on the mind. Enter the brand new game from Phil Walker-Harding and Space Cowboys, Spellbook. Let’s quickly talk about how the game plays, and look at what comes in the box!
If you’d rather watch an unboxing of Spellbook check out the video below!
Overview of Spellbook
In Spellbook, players will be drawing runes from the bag or the centre board and learning up to 7 spells. These spells will provide more actions to for players as the game progresses, so prioritizing certain spells over others is a pretty smart move. Players can also store runes they don’t need for points, and so much more. This game can be taught in less than 5 minutes, and plays relatively quickly after you understand how it works! How are the components, though? Let’s take a look!
Out of the Box – What Comes in Spellbook
The overall quality of the components for Spellbook are pretty good. I like getting negative things out of the way first, so I’ll mention that I think the card quality could be just a bit better. Now, based on comments from Stonemaier Games designer Jamey Stegmaier, producing linen-finish cards is one of the most expensive upgrades a game can receive, which might be surprising to some. Still, with how good the other components are in the box, I kinda wish this game had linen-finish cards.
Many of the other components are fairly standard for board games in 2023. The cardboard tiles – the player boards and the altar – are a good thickness. The included discard bowl, while a bit finicky to put together, holds up well. The included drawstring bag which you will pull tiles out of is great, and stitched! Far too often I get games without stitched bags, and they seem to wear away pretty quickly!
What I LOVE about Spellbook are the tokens included in the game. If you’ve played a game like Quacks of Quedlinburg, you know cardboard tokens, regardless of how thick they are, do not make for good playing pieces when you are handling them often. For that game, most players have resorted to buying little plastic capsules to put their tokens inside of to protect the tokens and give them a better feel when playing the game.
I made a similar complaint in my unboxing article for Life of the Amazonia. It would have been so easy for Space Cowboys to do the same here, and while some people would have had complaints (me included!), I think many would consider it fairly standard for games releasing in 2023. Instead, the development team has opted to include acrylic rune tokens, and they are amazing! They feel great to play with, and will hold up long term after dozens of games of use.
I would say the component quality of Spellbook is well above par. The cards are a bit of a bummer in my opinion, but they acrylic tokens are such a great choice that it almost (almost…) makes me forget about the cards! You can pick up Spellbook soon from a retailer near you!