Let me first warn you – your first game is going to take a while. While the rules aren’t particularly difficult (and in fact, most of it can be skipped as they deal with specific spells / effects); you are going to have to spend some time putting together the decks. However, once you’re actually playing the game; Mage Wars is a ton of fun. It’s a 2 person, direct conflict wargame that will have you sitting back at the end of a game going ‘Damn, I should have done that’. It’s definitely a great game for those who don’t mind putting together spell decks and direct conflict, but it does require some upkeep to get the most out of.
Let me first state that I played the original Dungeon Twister, not the updated version. I’ve also been told to expect ‘Fantasy Chess’ with Dungeon Twister, and while I can see the similarities, I would say that Dungeon Twister is much more than a gussied-up version of chess. The ability for each room to be turned combined with the planning for setting up characters and items are all vastly important and can make / break a game for each player. It does have a steep learning curve like Chess though – the rules might be simple enough, but the strategies can get quite deep. This isn’t a bad 2-player game at all, and I could easily see how a 3-4 player game could get truly chaotic.
Food Fight came highly recommended as a tutorial game for those looking to improve their Magic drafting skills. I can see how that’d work well after playing the game, but for myself; I found Food Fight just a touch too random. I like the card drafting element in the beginning (much like 7 Wonders); but the lack of control of how those cards would appear during the actual battle portion made many of the strategies work either really well or poorly. The game itself seemed too random for me, but it seems to work well for casual or lighter groups.
Another game that I was under-whelmed by, even though the group I was with seemed to enjoy it. I guess I tend towards heavier games, and Epic Spell Wars just isn’t. You get a hand of cards, you get to play the cards down (up to 3) to deal damage / heal yourself / etc. If you’re lucky and no one targets you, you might survive. If you’re not lucky, well… you might not even get a turn in a larger group. The most fun that was had was reading out the various silly names of the spells being cast and watching the ‘take that’ element of the game. Still, it’s a very simple game with a theme that works for lighter / casual gamers but I’d rather play something as a filler if I had to.