Updated: Oct 24, 2020
The notion behind Weird Alchemy is that players are alchemists engaged in dark arts where they've been creating monsters. They generally want to end the game with fewer monsters displayed to the world than their opponents.
Designed by Chris Winterburn with some great art by Juan Moore, Weird Alchemy is an easy to play card game where players want to avoid having any monster cards in hand when each of the five 'accident' cards are drawn (the fifth card also heralds the end of the game). Starting with a hand of three cards, players can discard a signpost card to pass another card from their hand in the direction indicated. They'll do this to rid themselves of monster cards. They then draw a card into their hand, unless the card they draw is an 'accident' card.
When 'accident' cards come up, players all disclose their hands and place in front of them any monsters they hold. Magic cards are also activated and these can result in monster cards being moved to an opponent. It can feel a bit like a card game version of musical chairs or pass the parcel, especially as players can zap a magic card with an interrupt that overrides its effect.
Monsters on the table net a player 2 points at the end of the game and cards left in hand are worth 1 point for every two. The winner is the player with fewest points. There's a set collection element too, however. Most monster cards have a coloured symbol on them. If you collect three monsters in your tableau with matching coloured symbols then they score zero points.
Weird alchemy is a lively filler length game that you can expect to play through in 10-15 minutes. It takes 3–6 players but we found it was at its chaotic best with 5 or 6 players rather than 3 or 4, although that does of course mean that the 'accidents' come around that much quicker.
Shown here on Board's Eye View is a preview prototype. Weird Alchemy is published by Clever Unicorn and has been launched on Kickstarter. You can check out the campaign by clicking here. The rules and cards have already gone through a couple of iterations so it's possible that there may be some more tweaks in the finished version.