Dale Yu: First Impression of Magnefix


  • Designer: Roberto Fraga
  • Players: 2-4
  • Age: 6+
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Played with review copy provided by AMIGO

Magnefix is the first game that I know of which uses “MAGFORMERS” – Intelligent Magnetic Construction Set For Brain Development.  In this game, each player gets a set of five magnetic open squares, one each of pink, orange, blue, yellow and green.  They are magnetized on the edges so that they stack as well as stand up next to each other.

There is a deck of 55 construction cards which are shuffled and placed on the table. To start the game, the top construction card is revealed and it shows a top-down view of a set of MAGFORMERS.  All players quickly manipulate, stack or balance their five MAGFORMERS in order to replicate the top down view seen on the card.  All five pieces must be used in the construction.

The first player to think feel that they have completed the task slaps placed their hand on the card.  Other players then place their hand on top of the card when they are done.  This continues until all players have finished.  I’ll tell you right now- we have considered a house rule.  Because, let’s face it, once I slap my hand on the card, how is everyone else supposed to see it?  Though, the more we think about it, maybe this just adds to the speed nature.  Once the first person slaps the card, everyone else has to work from memory!  And, I suppose they could just choose to quit to leave their pieces in a decent state for the next turn if they think the first player got it right…  If they think there is an error, then they can keep working to try to be correct…

Once all players are done, the player whose hand is on the bottom of the stack then checks to see if they were right. If so, they keep the construction card as a score point.  If they are incorrect, then you move to the next hand in the stack and so on.  If no one got it right and I suppose this is quite likely if the first person is wrong and then they covered the stack with their hand 😊, the card is discarded.

The Magformers are left in whatever orientation they ended the last round in, and the next card is flipped over and the game continues until all the cards are played and collected.  The player with the most cards collected wins the game.  There is no tiebreaker.

My thoughts on the game

This is a interesting speed puzzle game with awesome magnetic bits.  The puzzle cards aren’t super challenging – the trick here is more in the speed.  Sometimes you are working as fast as you can on a simple card so that you can slap the pile first.  And, of course, when you try to do things this fast, you make mistakes!

I like the way that some of the cards require you to lay everything on the table and put things together the right way while other require you to stand them on their edge.  It makes for some interesting transitions.  While the magnets are strong, and the pieces click together pleasingly well – they also separate quite easily to allow for speedy rearrangements.

As with many speed games, someone who is just slightly faster at the basic task of recognition and reorganization might end up winning a majority of the cards – as there is no reward for being in second place… But, the games are quick, and the rule that pieces must stay in whatever orientation they were in at the end of the round means that sometimes a player who gives up on the current round might end up in a better position to achieve the next card!

The game is a fun challenge, and there are the usual laughs/groans as people make mistakes or make the correct move in lightning fast time! If you like speed puzzle games, this would be a good choice to bring home for your family or game group.

Until your next appointment,

The Gaming Doctor

About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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